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PIA Press Release
2008/01/22

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's departure statement on her visits to Switzerland and the Middle East

Malacanang, Manila, 22 January

(Read by the President at the opening of the joint National Economic and Development Authority-Cabinet Group and National Anti-Poverty Commission-Cabinet Group meeting at Malacanang's Aguinaldo State Dining Room, January 22, 2008)

Mga kababayan, nagagalak tayo sa malaking pagbaba ng dami ng mga mamamayang nagsasabing naghihirap sila, pinakamababa sa dalawampung taon. Ito ang bunga ng ating mga reporma sa ekonomiya, katatagan ng sambayanan laban sa pamumulitika at pag-aalsa, at lumalagong kumpyansa at pagtingala ng mundo sa ating bansa.

Sa tumitinding tagumpay ng ating sama-samang pagsulong ng progreso, kailangan din nating bigyang-pansin ang ilang pangkat na hindi pa lubos na nabibigyan ng ating lumalagong ekonomiya at kaban ng bayan. Kaya naman patuloy ang pakikipag-konsulta ng Gabinete sa iba't-ibang sector, kasama ang mga pinuno ng simbahan at iba pang tinig ng mahihirap. Bahagi ng pulong ng Gabinete ngayon ang kagyat na pagtugon ng pamahalaan sa mga usapin, hinaing at pangangailangang inilapit sa mga opisyal ng pamahalaan. Umasa kayo: nakinig at kikilos tayo.

Pangunahin sa ating pagkilos para sa mahihirap ang paggamit ng lumalagong kaban ng bayan para sa mga programang pangkabuhayan, pangkalusugan, pang-edukasyon, pabahay, koryente at tubig, at tulong sa magsasaka at mangingisda.

Sa patuloy na pagsigla ng ekonomiya at paghahatid ng biyaya sa taong bayan, pinakamahalaga ang nagkakaisang pagsisikap ng lahat, lalo na ngayong may banta hindi lamang ng presyo ng langis, kundi ang paghina ng ekonomiya ng Amerika na baka mag-epekto sa Pilipinas. Kaya naman lalo nating pag-iibayuhin ang kabuhayan sa kabila ng mga ligalig sa pandaigdigang ekonomiya.

Ito rin ang mensaheng ihahatid natin sa mga pinuno ng negosyo sa mundo na magpupulong sa Switzerland.

Global engagement and a robust foreign policy are central pillars of our plan for a safe and strong Philippines. We depart today for Europe and the Middle East to continue to advance the strategic interests of the Philippines and press the need for closer economic, political and social relations between the Philippines and the world.

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, we will meet with a number of the world leaders who are partners with the Philippines in bringing peace to Mindanao, aid assistance to our poor and greater security in the fight against terrorism.

Another central goal of our trip is to continue the relentless promotion of the Philippines as a great place to invest and do business. For the first time in a generation, the Philippine economy is on a path to sustained economic growth, creating millions of new jobs and billions of new pesos in revenue to invest in our people and our infrastructure to build up our nation. Foreign investment is central to that progress. We are proud of the results of our ability to attract more and more business to the Philippines the last seven years.

We will also be meeting with our International Board of Advisors which is comprised of some of the world's top business leaders who are helping communicate the dynamism and the very positive new environment for business that is being created in our nation.

Our journey will also take us to the Arabian Gulf and the Emirate of Dubai where we will meet with top businessmen from the Gulf and the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, a government that is playing an important role in global flows of investment capital and energy resources. This is also a country that employs hundreds of thousands of our countrymen and women. We will work to ensure that they continue to enjoy the positive working conditions that they deserve. In our meetings with these fellow Filipinos we will assure them that their contributions to their families and their country are recognized and appreciated.

These visits are part of the commitment of our Administration to global engagement that broadens and deepens our ties, strengthens our security alliances, encourages trade and investment agreements, and protects our overseas Filipino workers.

We will continue this engagement in 2008 as we have done throughout my presidency. We need the world and we like to think the world needs us our hardworking people, our ideal geographic location, and our reliability as a friend and ally. (OPS) [top]

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