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PIA Press Release
2008/07/29

Commentary: GMA cares for Filipinos

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (29 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed concerns for Filipinos who have less in life.

In her 8th State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, President Arroyo said she cares for the breadwinner wives, farmers who work hard to feed their family and for students who wish to land a good job after graduation.

The President said that she is concerned for teachers, Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and for a father who wants to earn more for a living.

President Arroyo pointed out that the answer must be special care and attention in this great hour of need of Filipinos.

To solve the many complex challenges affecting the country, the President laid down some strategies.

In order to ease the price challenges that the country is facing, the President said "we must have a targeted strategy with set of precise prescriptions."

She added that food self-sufficiency; less energy dependence; greater self-reliance in our attitude as a people and in our posture as a nation is another answer.

The President stressed that 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 Chief Executive maintained that Value Added Tax is very important in the present crises.

"We have come too far and made too many sacrifices to turn back now on fiscal reforms. Leadership is not about doing the first easy thing that comes to mind; it is about doing what is necessary, however hard," she said.

Accordingly, the revenues raised through the EVAT are the primary source of government funds for financing social welfare programs for the poorest of the poor.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Golez said that every centavo earned from the EVAT is spent by the national government on programs designed to uplift the lives and welfare of the poor Filipinos through rice subsidy, scholarship grants, among others. (PIA) [top]

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