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PIA Press Release

PGMA won't be distracted by political noise

SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga (8 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today no amount of political noise will divert her attention from her task of growing the economy and improving the lives of the Filipino people.

In a speech at the launching in Pampanga of the "Go Negosyo Caravan" at the Bren Guiao Convention Center here, the President said she is tightly focused on nation-building, including providing capital to small and medium-scale Filipino entrepreneurs and offering investment incentives to overseas Filipino workers and their families, to be distracted by politics.

The President was referring to the third impeachment complaint filed against her last week before the House of Representatives following the controversy over the government's national broadband network (NBN) project with ZTE Corp. of China.

Malacaņang has dismissed the complaint as "petty grandstanding" and a "waste of people's time and money."

In a press statement, Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio R. Bunye shrugged off the latest impeachment complaint as "just another distraction that the President will ignore."

"Every time the nation takes two steps forward on its path to economic growth and political stability, her detractors try to take us three steps backward," Bunye said.

In her speech here, the President said in the Kapampangan dialect: "Alang nanu mang kainge political,a malyaring makapigil kekatamu, king pamagpatupad na ning peka-importantent inisyatibo a magawang marakal a negosyong mana'kitan ampong milyun-milyon a trabaho para karing kekatamung memalen (no political noise will distract me from pursuing important programs that would create new businesses and millions of jobs)" for Filipinos.

She assured the nation that she would continue empowering the people to enable them to take advantage of the opportunities generated by the improving economy of the country.

"And Go Negosyo will not only empower (Filipinos), but inspire them to get into the exciting world of entrepreneurship. Thank you, Go Negosyo, for helping bring out the entrepreneurial spirit of our people," the President said.

The Chief Executive pointed out that the continuing uptake of the stock market, strong peso, sustained rise of the gross domestic product (GDP) are clear signs that the Philippine economy is growing and that the country is well on its way to becoming a modernized nation in the next 20 years.

Assisted by Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship Jose Concepcion III, the President handed out trophies to 11 most "inspiring Kapampangan entrepreneurs" who, through their example as entrepreneurs, have helped develop Pampanga as a new frontier for progress.

The trophies were designed by world renowned designer and Cebu-based Kenneth Cobonpue.

The awardees were Ryan Razon of Razon's, Jose Bituin of Betis Crafts, Jaime Uy of Saver's Mall, Garcia family of Mekeni, Lolita Hizon of Pampanga's Best, Michael Escaler of PASUDECO, Willy Tan of Hausland, Peter Nepomuceno of Nepo Group of Companies, Teresa Carlos-David of Bank of Florida, Dr. Emmanuel Angeles of the Angeles Foundation University, and Fatima del Rosario of Sasmuan Delicacies.

"We extol the recipients of the Most Inspiring Entrepreneur Awards to local businessmen whose success stories continue to inspire our people," the President said.

She expressed elation that the Center for Entrepreneurship has recognized the 11 awardees as "role models to the rising generation of Filipino entrepreneurs."

"We can produce more entrepreneurs of their caliber," the President said, as she pointed out that the government has been giving its full support to the entrepreneurs.

"In my inaugural address in 2004, I said that when we step down in 2010, part of our legacy shall be that we will have supported three million entrepreneurs by giving them loans and helping them become good managers, thereby establishing a deep foundation for a broad middle class," she said.

Since 2004, the government has extended more than P100 billion worth of loans to 50,000 middle income men and women who want to start or operate their own businesses through the SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth.

In addition, the Central Bank has adopted several investment incentive programs for overseas remittances to be invested in capital enterprises.

The President also said the government is cutting red tape to simplify the requirements for small and medium investments.

The government, she said, has promoted new entrepreneurial class in several key areas, one of which is the microfinance system. More than P80 billion have also been extended to four million low income men and women to start their own businesses.

Before Pampanga, the Go Negosyo Caravan was held in the cities of Baguio, Manila, Iloilo, and Bacolod. The caravan seeks to bring out the entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipinos. (OPS) [top]

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