SONA 2008 highlights PGMA's concern for poor, cites 3 ways to protect them from current global challenges
Tacloban City (July 29) -- In her 8th State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA), President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo manifested her concern for the less fortunate Filipinos as she cited three ways to protect them from the current global challenges.
The President was talking about the many Filipinos who have nothing to protect them from the immediate blunt force trauma of the global crisis which came sooner than expected. These are the people who should be helped not only because of their sacrifices for the country but "because they are our countrymen."
Special care and attention in this hour of need must be given to them, the President said even as she enumerated three ways to solve the many current global complex challenges.
First, the President said, "we must have a targeted strategy with set of precise prescriptions to ease the price challenges we are facing."
"Second, food self-sufficiency; less energy dependence; greater self-reliance in our attitude as a people and in our posture as a nation."
"Third, short-term relief cannot be at the expense of long term reforms. These reforms will benefit not just the next generation of Filipinos, but the next President as well."
The President said she cares about the pitiful wives who carry the burden for their entire families. She cares about the farmers who are the frontliners in national food production but are finding it hard to feed their families. She cares for the hardworking students soon to graduate and wanting to see hope of good job and career prospect here at home.
It is at this point that the President stated the importance of the Value Added Tax in facing the current global challenges, saying that such program is the solution to the problems inherited by her Administration.
First VAT paved the way to lessen RP's debts and shore up the country's fiscal independence. Second, it provided more capital for the people and for infrastructure projects and third, it provided enough funds for the country's programs for the poor.
"Take away VAT and we strip our people of the means to ride out the world food and energy crisis," the President underscored, in answer to the clamor from several sectors to recall VAT on fuel and electricity.
"As your President, I care too much about this nation to let anyone stand in the way of our people's wellbeing. Hindi ko papayagang humadlang ang sinuman sa pag-unlad at pagsagana ng taong bayan. I will let no one – and no one's political plans – threaten our nation's survival," President Arroyo concluded. (PIA 8) [top]