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PIA Press Release

PGMA SONA targets keep gaining

by ES Subong

Iloilo City (17 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is very decisive in pursuing her State of the Nation Address (SONA) targets, accomplishments of which keep gaining as she races with her term.

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) 6 Director Janet Mesa said the government's investments in human and physical infrastructures are gaining ground with its targets being met in agriculture, education, agrarian reform, health, job creation and transportation.

In agriculture, Arroyo launched the mariculture project in Tawi-Tawi on May 29, covering 1,000 hectares, while education has covered much human resource investments, with the creation of more than 53,026 teaching positions from 2002-2007; provision of financial subsidies to 563,908 students, release of P1 billion for scholarships and students loans programs and of P1.005-B allocation for MS and PhD scholars under the Engineering Research and development for Technology program.

For the PGMA Training for Work scholarship program in 2007, the government has provided P1 billion to TESDA, which yielded 98,809 graduates.

The Arroyo administration's agrarian reform thrust on agribusiness recorded 19 agri-business venture agreements forge with 19,083 hectares benefiting 13,824 agrarian reform beneficiaries.

For the health sector, the milestone accomplishment was the signing of Republic Act 9502 or the Cheaper Medicines law.

As to job creation, the government's emergency employment program has been hiring about 20,000 out of school youth every year,

On the other hand, there is the target to accelerate the remediation, completion and opening of the NAIA Terminal 3, within the year. President Arroyo was the first to land there on her return from the United States last June 30.

Director Mesa said that the mix of human and physical infrastructures investments of the Arroyo administration is part of President Arroyo's legacy which is intended to stay and contribute to lasting development, even beyond her term, particularly her targets for human resources development.

Mesa said, the President's delivery of the SONA is an important event for it is an expression of transparency where government informs the people of what it is doing, especially to ensure food sufficiency, energy security, improved production and infrastructure, as well as set the direction for the country.

The President is expected to deliver her SONA this July 28. Earlier Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the hands-on President is going through SONA preparation many times. (PIA) [top]

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