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Q: Paano nakatutulong ang mga OFWs sa ating bansa?
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2013 OFW POPULATION?

The total Number of the OFWs is Estimated to be around 2.2 Million.


What are the accomplishments of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo?

Authored 55 laws on economic/social reforms as Senator The only president with Doctorate in Economics In 2007 the Philippines registered 7.1 GDP, the highest in 30 years The BPO Industry made the Philippines next to India in the world As a result, 500k related jobs were created, 10B-US$ revenue almost equaled the OFWs remittances of 12B-US$ in 2015 it will reach 15Billion dolars


Do you believe that Filipinos are caring?

yah.. i think so (im a Filipino).. but not to be bias because im a Filipino, i think that we are caring cause that's how we are raised. We have close family ties that we eventually pass on to our future children and to anybody else. I think that's why we are called "hospitable" in the first place. We always see to it that when we meet other people or we are with someone, we treat them very nicely. Cause we like to leave an impression to other people (especially foreigners) that even we live in a third world country, we are alright, that we are nice, that we are not miserable, that we can stand on our own. We care for our families cause we live in a society with a family-oriented culture. That's why our OFWs are in demand in terms of caring for other people.. i don't say that other races are not that caring, im just saying, we are.. and we care.. really care.. even sometimes they don't allow us to..:)


What is the summary of emir by chito S rono?

It tells the story of Amelia, a Filipina from Ilocos who decides to work abroad to help her family. She takes care of a future crown prince - Ahmed, the Sheik's son - rearing him, and in the process, introducing the young boy to the culture, values, and language of the Philippines. More than a nanny, Amelia acts as Ahmeds surrogate mother and is even willing to offer her life to ensure his safety. Her journey reveals, through words and music, the life that overseas Filipino workers live - their struggles to have a better life… their dreams, and the hope that someday their hard work will finally be rewarded. EMIR is thus far, the only movie to take on the heart and soul of the Filipino through our innate love for music. It is a tribute to our OFWs…The hands that work, and toil in foreign lands, and yet have one home, one heart and one spirit.


Reactions in the hostage drama in Quirino grandstand?

PHILIPPINES AS A STOOPING GIANT (our country's struggles against condemnations)August 23, 2010, over 20 tourists, handled by Hong Thai Travel, were along Quirino Grandstand (one of the most historical places in the Philippines and in front of Rizal Park) when a seemed- to- be policeman entered their bus and announced a hostage. The hostage taker, former Sr. Insp. Rolando Mendoza, was on a grief against the Philippine Ombudsman for the result of his case that revoked his license and benefits as a Philippine Police.The hostage drama took about 10 hours that ended in a brutal and bloody way leaving 9 dead including Mendoza. The blame is now on the shoulders of Philippine National Police whose faults were, "accordingly", lack of equipments, skills, tactic/ strategies and a lot more. Today, the world sees them as GARBAGES and the Filipinos as IDIOTS.For these, I, as a Filipino citizen, would like to correct everyone who speaks evil against my country and my countrymen at large. To curse us generally because of this tragedy is immoral. It wasn't in our hands; I mean the whole of us. The issue was about the mistakes of the policemen present and involved in the catastrophe. Our role, perhaps and as our capacity was concerned, was to pray for the safety of the victims despite differences in nationality and faith. And, I assure you that we did (I, personally) because we're believers of God.After the tragedy, to be honest, I really felt sad and bad for the victims and for the relationship that might be broken between our country and the world. But, still, I prayed immediately for the souls of the dead and the recovery of the injured. I (maybe, we) also didn't forget to pray for the forgiveness of the Chinese , British and other nationalities involved for the inadequacy that caused the loss of lives. With these, I AND WE FILIPINOS WOULD LIKE TO APOLOGIZE. I know it isn't that easy to accept this apology but PLEASE, DO NOT PUT ALL OUR KIND AND LOVING COUNTRYMEN INTO CONDEMNATION.I stand correctly in saying that it is much immoral and brutal to speak evil against people who never harm you. The policemen involved who committed mistakes have been abducting lately; our president is despised; Chinese people are asking our government to fire some of our officials despite our government's humble and caring treatment to the victims, to their families and to China. WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT? KILL US ALL? Now, THE WORLD IS HATING US. Even our OFWs in Hong Kong and in the other parts of the world are being belittled and discriminated for the accusation they didn't want or do! THESE ARE TOO MUCH! I'll be frank; CHINA AND THE WORLD OWE US MORE THAN THEY SHOULD HATE US. So, I guess, you have the right to be silenced when you think you are being uncontrolled.First, when Chinese people come to Philippines, they are well-entertained that's why we are known for hospitality. Most of them establish businesses and investments despite the resources they have in their own land. In spite of being new settlers, we buy their products. Issues like product contamination, giving cheap labor to Filipinos and even maltreating them, sprouted but, still, we revere Chinese nationals and treat them as guests. Most of them are one of the richest persons in our country and we are thankful for their help in our economy especially in employment. (My grandfather had been an employee of a Chinese businessman for long years). They are our TOP INVESTORS and one of our GREAT FRIENDS. WE TRUST them so much that many of us travel to China to work mostly as DOMESTIC HELPERS. Sad to say, several OFWs are being abused and maltreated there. When they get into the case, some of them are not minded. Things will end when they summon to our government and help them go back and sometimes, they come in their COFFINS. We never speak a single word against China and in fact, Hong Kong is one of our favorite places that some of us go there, at least, once a year. Cases like drug trafficking, maltreatment of Filipino workers and even their Filipino households, smuggling and selling of illegal products and services and other more are just few of the things that some Chinese do illegally in our country. To their luck, they are forgiven and sometimes, just overlooked.We, Filipinos, even sympathize with Chinese traditions. We celebrate Chinese New Year that we even buy their traditional foods like TIKOY and MOONCAKE. We value these in as much as Chinese do. Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was also partly Chinese. The Chinese and Filipino people were, for a long time, good companions that both owed each other a lot. Nevertheless, what's happening now?I am, personally, dismayed for the too much evil feedbacks from Chinese citizens especially when I heard how they treat our OFWs in their country after this tragedy happened. ISN'T THIS IMMORAL?! I understand, of course, their animosity but not to the extent of cursing us as a whole. Think about the times when some of them aggrieved our fellowmen. Did we react to it in as much as they do to us now? After their words, do we stop buying their products and abhor Chinese settlers in our land? ARE WE NOT DOING EVERYTHING TO CARE THE VICTIMS AND PACIFY THEIR GRIEVES AGAINST US? ARE WE NOT STOOPING DOWN BEFORE CHINA AND THE WORLD? WE HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO SEVERAL CONDEMNATIONS FOR MANY DAYS ALREADY. MANY HAVE APOLOGIZED TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT. WE ARE EATING THOSE HURTING WORDS! AND, NOW THEY EVEN WANT TO INTERFERE IN THE ACTIVITY OF OUR GOVERNMENT! THESE ARE TOO IMMORAL!The world has done bad things to our country nevertheless, we remain bowing before everyone. Many try to cheat us just to get our precious properties like Spratly's. They do anything to befriend us and we are always hospitable to them that is why some say we are FOOL. Yet, I'm sorry to say, YOU CAN NEVER PUT THIS SMALL COUNTRY UNDER YOUR HANDS!Philippines is the home of great men. Philippines is the place where God truly works and cares. Philippines is the place where corruption, calamities and poverty take place but still stands in unity, courage and faith to face and succeed over these adversities. Philippines is one of the richest in natural resources, in labor force, in skills and sportsmanship, in bright minds that other countries love to hire us, in moral values that in fact we prioritize character building subjects (in fact, I am a volunteer teacher of Christian values), in quality education that foreigners come to study here in our hidden great universities, in generous, kind, hospitable, wonderful and beautiful persons, in loyal, hardworking, and dedicated servants that the world loves and whose services are unpayable, in languages that the world need for better globalization and again, in FAITH and God's anointment.We are the FILIPINOS OF HUMILITY and GREATNESS LIKE ANYBODY ELSE. Do not belittle the STOOPING GIANT.I am not saying these to change the situation, to revenge, or to lift ourselves . I'm saying these to remind everyone of the value of forgiveness for we are all not perfect. I plead you not to destroy the relationship we have or curse our whole country for we are working hard to maintain our nation. Mistakes are inevitable though we really APOLOGIZE. Whether we were there or not, we APOLOGIZE. Let us preserve our friendship that stems centuries ago and do not pass the punishment to our innocent countrymen. Some maybe bad but the majority are friendly and good, I ASSURE YOU.No nation with all people as evil remains standing. But we do remain because we are not evil as what you are thinking.Again, WE APOLOGIZE, PLEASE DO NOT OOZE OUT ALL YOUR GRIEVES TO EVERYONE IN OUR COUNTRY. DO NOT BE IMMORAL.And, for some Filipino who TURN THEIR BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRY, I PITY YOU!THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS THE WHOLE WORLD!m lagumbay


Is the Philippines a dirty place?

no its not there are some parts but not the whole country. Philippines is a beautiful place Yes the Philippines is a very dirty place with very polluted air and land including the water. The Philippines is a poor country and mostly people make it a past time to create children. Facts about the Philippines: Philippines is a baby making capital of the world. The air quality in metro manila is one of the worst in the world because a lot of jeepneys are there. The people are lazy. Some member of the families are parasite. There is a social culture of depending those who have jobs and they are not hard working people. Filipinos are dirty people. There is a lot of squatter and illegal settlers along the riverside and sea sides. Majority of the people are dirty and throws garbage every where. The guys have no discipline in peeing into the wall of the streets. The roads are humpy and rough because politicials take home part of the budget for road construction into their pockets. The road quality and infrastructure are very very poor The rules of law is not fully being implemented The people are highly dependent into those working abroad which they called OFWs The Filipinos are intelligent but they are lazy at work and dirty into their own homes They bring shoes and slippers inside their home. They dont know how to do proper waste segragation. They always use plastics which adds up into their waste They dont like planting trees rather they love converting their agriculture into towns. Sorry guys hope you wake up! You are already left far behind by Vietnam, India, Indonesia,Korea and Malaysia. Philippines remain to be a third world country because people are lazy and they have the crab mentality which they dont help others to grow and develop. They patrionize foreign products instead of their own products. There is very less manufacturing facilities in the Philippines because people usually demands a lot of benefits from the employer and they dont stay in the company for long period of time. Filipinos dont like starting a business and doesnt want to be entreprenuer-majority is not insterested in how to save money Filipinos have lots of festivities which are non sense because they are still under the church culture-or catholism which hypnotises everyone to become stupid. Filipinos will remain POOR because they have no interest in making a difference. Sorry im just telling the facts base on news media prints and friends comments to Philippines. Ugly country!


Cause of poverty in Philippines?

The Philippines is poor because we are poor (we do not have enough resources for infrastructure, for basic social services, and to collect taxes and to spend wisely because of corruption) and because we are not "smart" - we have high transactions costs and we do not know how to industrialize. In addition, the authors claim that we have a Freudian desire to remain poor. They state: "The constraints on economic development are not purely economic. There are other 'deep parameters' that affect economic performance. Lack of social cohesion, spotty entrepreneurship, and the inability to establish a credible and selfless political leadership are among the challenges that the Philippines faces today. There is a degree of inconsistency between how religion affects society and capitalist development in the Philippines. Meanwhile, long-held social values, such as ningas cogon (an old Filipino expression, which literally means 'grass flash-fire', referring to cogon dry grass which blazes furiously when set alight, but only for a few minutes before turning to cold ashes), have adversely affected economic growth in less tangible ways." Somehow, I cannot believe this analysis. It seems too defeatist, even if superficially correct. It plays into the arguments of the aid institutions (ADB, WB) and macro "guardians" (IMF staff) that the Filipino people or their leaders are too dumb or unwilling to know how to take care of themselves. On the economic merits, the analysis of the authors does not take into account the failure of markets (in some areas) and of institutions (in other areas). Although this critique seems a variant of "we're not smart," it at least points to where we can do something about why we are poor. We can promote markets and free entry to break up entrenched quasi-monopolies or quasi-cartels, we can fix the institutional failures in the land and labor markets, and we can harness the deep motivations that cause Filipinos to go "OW." (Why, for example, do OFWs earn well abroad, but not in the country?) I submit that the reason we can't seem to see through our noses stems from the blinders of very simple neoclassical economics that do not take into account the institutional failures that stunt economic growth. In addition, we have taken advice from the international financial institutions at face value or at lip service, without actively questioning the bases for such advice. For example, if you've been inside the World Bank as long as Bill Easterly, you will know that much of advice from Washington simply serves to perpetuate aid and loan dependency, and does little to promote economic development. If we engaged in constructive dialogue with these institutions, we may well realize that, given their entrenched and often ignorant ways (one-size fits all models, for example), we are better off designing home-grown solutions based on a deeper understanding of how economics affects institutions and how the latter affect economic performance.


Story of edsa revolution 1?

EDSA 1: 'Magkakapatid Tayo!'(Homily of His Excellency Most Reverend Ramon C. Arguelles, Archbishop of Lipa during the Mass for the 21 st Anniversary of EDSA1 at the EDSA Shrine on February 25, 2007 at 12 noon.)It was Sunday, around 11 o'clock, the night of February 23, 1986. With another priest I was walking towards Ortigas Avenue, along EDSA, between the two military camps, on the Aguinaldo side. A large group of tough-looking men, coming from the opposite direction, shouting loud anti-Marcos slogans, saw us and cried out: "Padri, Muslim kami, kristiyano kayo, ngunit magkakapatid tayo, mga Pilipino!" The group had just come from Villa San Miguel to ask the Cardinal to bless their intent to assault Malacañang. Of course, the Cardinal dissuaded them by insisting on the futility and iniquity of violence, and charged them instead to go to EDSA and implore Allah with Christians already gathered there in prayer to plead God to preserve the country from ruin.One excellent way of portraying EDSA1, which remained fixed and fresh all these twenty one years in my mind and heart, was that expression from the band of Muslim warriors: "Magkakapatid tayo, mga Pilipino!" My stories from Mindanao later, as military bishop, allowed me to listen to people recount with nostalgia the pleasant state prevailing in pre-Martial Law days. Christians and Muslims, they said, used to live side by side in remarkable serenity, neighborly helping one another. Martial law delivered that 'kapatiran' a terrible blow. But the "Four Days of Courage", as the title of the book on EDSA1 by a Canadian author puts it, as battle tested troops swiftly transported from Mindanao, faced with bafflement the harmless crowd in EDSA, those four days of courage demonstrated plainly that the return of peace and brotherhood once reigning among Muslims and Christians was not at all impossible.Those four days indeed, and some time after, saw the world watch the Filipinos with amazement and admiration. Initially, people everywhere thought they were witnessing a so-called "unarmed revolution," a first in world history. Soon after, it became more evident that it was a fully armed spontaneous assembly. Sinister and divergent forces were set to take advantage of a highly probable outburst of violence to carry out their own veiled schemes. The most unexpected however happened: the guns remained still, the violence was averted, peace and brotherhood held sway. Miracles can indeed happen - February 1986 was one awe-inspiring miracle - but such cannot be indefinitely stretched.EDSA1, which caught the attention earned the admiration of the whole planet earth, was the quintessence of brotherhood and non-violence. It was without doubt an unusual heavenly visit to our islands intended to give the entire world a timely lesson. What astonished even the godless or irreligious was how, first and foremost, Filipinos fused in prayerful solidarity, so remarkable when the affluent of places like Greenhills and Forbes shared bread with and provided drinks for the destitute of Libis and Tondo, when on a make shift on top of a jeepney, one future senator and cabinet secretary lifted a lowly cigarette and peanut vendor and yelled to the approving crowd: Mabuhay ang tunay naPilipino!" The spectacle in EDSA1 and the prevailing mood evoked the passage from Holy Writ that says: "If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness and the gloom shall become for you midday. Then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails" (Isaiah 58:11). For a fleeting moment this nation indeed saw light rise up in the darkness. How can one fail to be amazed at the sight of thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, doubtless more than a million people processing the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima reciting endless rosaries while presenting flowers bewildered fierce-looking, fully armed Marcos soldiers, who nonchalantly bragged that in the combat zones of Southern Philippines, they killed foes as though they merely butcher pigs. Masses in various points, participated piously by the cross-shaped throng along EDSA and Boni Serrano Avenue, drew together in liturgical singing and prayer the multitude comprising Catholics, non-Catholics, even non-Christians, in reverent solidarity. What actually typified EDSA1 and accounted for the quieting down of dreaded instrument of carnage is undeniably that it was an intervention from above answering the collective and humble pleas of the devoted crowd.What went wrong then? What happened to this blessed country that some are compelled to affirm: "the spirit of EDSA is fading" or "the spirit of EDSA is dead"? Some observe that most young people do not really know what actually happened in EDSA1. Or that they care very little because EDSA for them has no relevance at all. In 1986, too, young people were dazed at was going on. They knew no leader other than the late dictator. They could not imagine there could ever be any other. The age group succeeding them, twenty one years after, is also perplexed, but this time by the issue of scores of leaders at variance, having only one thing in common, and that is, they are blown up facsimiles of the one EDSA1 toppled.Some bemoan the thinning of the mass attending EDSA1's annual celebration. They probably dread more the thinning of the number of believers in the deep significance of EDSA. The question is raised whether the commemoration of EDSA1 has yet any sense. Or has the spirit of EDSA1 died; has it been buried with probably God's principal promoter in making EDSA part of Philippine history and the history of mankind, the most revered and cherished Jaime Cardinal Sin? How many still remembers the serene voice from a tiny, almost insignificant country in the Pacific realm, that resounded in the entire planet, signaling the victorious quest for freedom? The voice, that in many unmistakable ways has given the Philippines a more prominent place in the world's saga? Unfortunately, there are always some who would wish that a new Cardinal Sin will rise. Cardinal Sin was no doubt the right person for the right time called by God for a specific purpose. Any attempt to clone him will miserably fail and will only dilute the matchless significance of a remarkable man, besmirch his memory and deprive him of his honored place in history. Regrettablythere are even direct or indirect, conscious of unconscious efforts to show that the late cardinal was wrong all along.While the collective prayer of countless people silenced the guns in 1986, almost immediately thereafter, until the present moment, violence once mire holds sway. People are upset by the eager call to return to arms, when this country was deemed to be the one to attest to the whole world that the sure way to a better future is the road to peace, the road that realizes the biblical announcement: "They shall beat the swords into ploughshares and their spears into sickles; one nation shall not raise the sword against another. Nor longer shall they train for war again." (Isaiah 2:4). Instead the resumption of hostilities rendered the EDSA cry of Muslim brothers a distant, if not a shattered dream: "Padri, Muslim kami, Kristiyano kayo, ngunit magkakapatid tayo, mga Pilipino!" the weapons of hatred have disturbingly dotted all our islands. EDSA1 gave our people and so many others in the world a sense of hope. Now the hope of our country, the hope likewise of other peoples, liberated by following the example set by EDSA1, that hope seems to vanish. Has EDSA1 really become a severe disappointment for the Philippines and for the rest of the world?Among the reasons behind the apparent collapse of the EDSA hope can be the followingEarly after February 1986, a move to identify the EDSA heroes started. So many declared themselves EDSA heroes, even those who were never among the millions physically present during the four days of courage. A protracted debate on the real heroes resulted. Everyone tries to grab credit for himself. The most powerful nation in contemporary world, which obviously opposed EDSA1, or did not believe in its spirit, which until now water down its significance, also claims to be the author of EDSA. Happily there are discerning people who would remind everyone that God was the real hero.In those difficult days many felt the verse in Holy Writ taking place in real life: "God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid people, like the wheel-chaired lady raising singly the rosary before the big tank, were ready to die for the country because they believed that God, our savior led them in the fearless struggle to save our nation destruction. The satanic powers of that time hoped to make the Philippines the next display area to display area to test the newly invented, more sophisticated was machines. Heaven intervened and preserved this praying nation. God indeed must be recognized as the only hero. This country was destined to announce to the world that it is only God who truly saves. No one, nothing else is worth trusting.There were indeed outstanding personalities whom the nation will always feel grateful to. Some used to be part of the dreaded regime and at the precise moment sided with the people. They revealed the deceptions of the past and helped the nation to search for the truth that liberates. But the atmosphere of conversion to God and genuine solicitude to the nation easily slid back into selfishness; the pursuit of self-interest prevailed, true welfare of the people was set aside, instant heroes turned perpetual traitors. Many returned to what they were all the while before imminent death and Divine judgment confronted them.EDSA1 was a wonderful occasion to flesh to the words of the Psalm that say: "Some trust in chariots; others, in horses; but we trust in the name of the Lord, our God" (Psalm 20:8). EDSA1 was an experience of utter helplessness. People turned to and trusted only in God. "The Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression" (Deuteronomy 26:7). EDSA1 was clearly God's manner of showing his mercy on people. The seeming EDSA1 collapse is due also to the nation's return to trusting the weapons of war as well as the prevalent belief that the nation's future depends on foreign investments, on financial advancements. These are the chariots and horses of contemporary times to which secular people attribute personal and collective salvation.For a brief moment EDSA1 appeared as the realization of the content of the Magnificat: "(God) has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones, but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty": (Luke 1:51-53). For an instant indeed, EDSA1 illustrated how the lowly and downtrodden were lifted up and the hungry filled with good things. Such are the true manifestations of the Kingdom of God. Sadly, the observable symptom that show the spirit of EDSA1 gradually discarded is that the downtrodden have become more miserable twenty one years after EDSA1. Farm and fisher folks are being displaced from the place of their livelihood and their original habitat, all in the name of progress. The attempt to bring the nation better future by giving the poor the capacity to rise from destitution gave way to the profit hungry few who deprive the poor farmers of the last fertile ground their till and the poor fishermen the rich sea where they fish. To earn money purportedly for the country, the post EDSA leaders, ex-heroes turned traitors, have opened Philippine shores to foreign perverts sacrificing the dignity and decency of Filipino womanhood, allowing the sexual assaults on children, and branding the abode and quarters of the rural and urban poor touristic eyesores that need to be wiped out. The government protected materially rich not only close their eyes to the plight of the poor. They want to eliminate poverty by eradicating the poor. The hungry become more numerous as the well-fed continue to feast at the expense of those who have nothing to eat. This land endowed by God with exquisite natural beauty and natural resources is being offered for the exploitation of the foreigners, leaving the local inhabitants poorer than ever. Post EDSA times have not benefited the majority still looking for total freedom. The poor exalted in EDSA1 as the true Filipino has been marginalized more than ever. Treachery to the true ideals had only reduced this nation in all aspects into a situation that brought about the Martial Law regime.There are countless other factors indicating that EDSA1 was a total disappointment. It is not that EDSA has failed. Many people, including those who arrogantly claim to be the framers of EDSA, ignoring especially the heavenly part that made EDSA what it is, these have failed EDSA. They have even prostituted EDSA.EDSA has never died. It has only been allowed to bloom in the proper way. The EDSA that only God can claim as the source has been snatched by the wrong hands. Just like what the devil insinuated in today's Gospel, he claims to possess what belongs to God, namely, the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory. That is why at the end of the Lord's Prayer is said, "For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours now and forever!" EDSA is for God and anything that belongs to God can never experience total collapse. The cry should be: Bring back God to EDSA! Bring EDSA back to God! It can also be said: "Away with the false gods of EDSA. They are anti-God, they are anti-EDSA, they are anti-Filipino.How can EDSA then be remembered in a way that its spirit will continue to inspire the people and lead all to more hopeful future?The spirit of EDSA 1 MUST NOT BE CONFINED TO A SINGLE STREET IN Metro Manila, a street that all Filipinos and all humanity will probably never see. The dream to draw great crowds occasionally does not do justice to the EDSA spirit. Again the majority of the Filipino people has never been and will never be able to be in EDSA physically. But the Spirit of EDSA that must spread to all the corners of the country and even of the whole word. EDSA must no be reduced to a mere annual celebration and dramatic reenactment. The spirit of EDS 1 must be lived at all times, in all places in the entire archipelago and beyond. It is a spirit of love, sharing and solidarity. EDSA has not failed. It must not be allowed to fade. God will not allow EDSA's true spirit to fail. It is penetrating slowly and must penetrate slowly the lives of our Filipinos and all men and women in the world.EDSA 1 must be first and foremost seen as a Divine experience. God must be acknowledged as the origin, purpose and center of the EDSA phenomenon. An EDSA without God and the Blessed Mother is a caricature. True EDSA is and should always be a prayerful event. But true prayer! Not politicized prayer.EDSA can never be called by politicians, nor military, not even any individual or group. It is not planned. It is clearly a divine surprise, and certainly never a human manipulation and earthly fabrication.True EDSA is giving importance and preference to the weak and the poor. They are the true participants. They many never by the exploited ones. EDSA opposes in fact any exploitation of the poor and the destitute. EDSA is instead their liberation. An EDSA that is intended for the rich and powerful and sustained by them, and used for their purposes is a prostitution of the true spirit of EDSA. It is an offense against God, who is truly the great Benefactor of this event.EDS being the work of God cannot fail. There are many evil forces that try to deliver a fatal blow to EDSA. God cannot be defeated. God's work can never fail It is people who fail God. Men and women fail to breathe the true spirit of EDSA, usually because of selfishness and self-love.All can and must be promoters of God-given EDSA spirit which should benefit all, particularly the poor, establish a society of true love that the Philippines demonstrated 21 years ago. AT that time, true EDSA took place because the people prayerfully listened to God's word through the prophet. "You have already been told what is good, and what Yahweh wants of you; only this, to do what is right and to love goodness and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8).Today it is the 21 st anniversary of EDSA. It is also the 21 st National Migrants Sunday. The Spirit of EDSA is very much alive. It is observed in the sacrifices and the humility of Filipinos overseas. The Filipinos overseas are treated by all regimes since EDSA 1 as an exploited sector. They are no different from the regime EDSA 1 unseated and which betrayed it. They look at the OFWs in terms of dollars, money and remittances, that present corrupt leaders nevertheless misuse at the expense of Filipino tears, perspiration and blood.To those who retain the true EDSA spirit, the OFWs are the bearers of the Divine message which is EDSA to the whole world. Was EDSA 1 not proclaimed rightly by the song, "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo?" The exploiters of fellow Filipinos never sing that song. Indeed the OFWs are the agents of EDSA to the rest of the world.Those in the Philippines who believe with Ninoy that the Filipino is worth dying for, all who believe with Cardinal Sin that this nation is worth living and praying for and that this country has been especially chosen by God, all who are willing to establish a country and a world in solidarity, all these can say with great confidence: EDSA 1 has not failed. God does not give up. God's people in humility and true love will never be disheartened. What EDSA is is God's gift, not only to the Filipinos, but to the world. Everyplace in the whole archipelago, even all over the world, should be able to hear the confident shout, " Magkakapatid tayo!" That sentence is EDSA.


What happen in edsa 1 revolution?

It was Sunday, around 11 o'clock, the night of February 23, 1986. With another priest I was walking towards Ortigas Avenue, along EDSA, between the two military camps, on the Aguinaldo side. A large group of tough-looking men, coming from the opposite direction, shouting loud anti-Marcos slogans, saw us and cried out: "Padri, Muslim kami, kristiyano kayo, ngunit magkakapatid tayo, mga Pilipino!" The group had just come from Villa San Miguel to ask the Cardinal to bless their intent to assault Malacañang. Of course, the Cardinal dissuaded them by insisting on the futility and iniquity of violence, and charged them instead to go to EDSA and implore Allah with Christians already gathered there in prayer to plead God to preserve the country from ruin.One excellent way of portraying EDSA1, which remained fixed and fresh all these twenty one years in my mind and heart, was that expression from the band of Muslim warriors: "Magkakapatid tayo, mga Pilipino!" My stories from Mindanao later, as military bishop, allowed me to listen to people recount with nostalgia the pleasant state prevailing in pre-Martial Law days. Christians and Muslims, they said, used to live side by side in remarkable serenity, neighborly helping one another. Martial law delivered that 'kapatiran' a terrible blow. But the "Four Days of Courage", as the title of the book on EDSA1 by a Canadian author puts it, as battle tested troops swiftly transported from Mindanao, faced with bafflement the harmless crowd in EDSA, those four days of courage demonstrated plainly that the return of peace and brotherhood once reigning among Muslims and Christians was not at all impossible.Those four days indeed, and some time after, saw the world watch the Filipinos with amazement and admiration. Initially, people everywhere thought they were witnessing a so-called "unarmed revolution," a first in world history. Soon after, it became more evident that it was a fully armed spontaneous assembly. Sinister and divergent forces were set to take advantage of a highly probable outburst of violence to carry out their own veiled schemes. The most unexpected however happened: the guns remained still, the violence was averted, peace and brotherhood held sway. Miracles can indeed happen - February 1986 was one awe-inspiring miracle - but such cannot be indefinitely stretched.EDSA1, which caught the attention earned the admiration of the whole planet earth, was the quintessence of brotherhood and non-violence. It was without doubt an unusual heavenly visit to our islands intended to give the entire world a timely lesson. What astonished even the godless or irreligious was how, first and foremost, Filipinos fused in prayerful solidarity, so remarkable when the affluent of places like Greenhills and Forbes shared bread with and provided drinks for the destitute of Libis and Tondo, when on a make shift on top of a jeepney, one future senator and cabinet secretary lifted a lowly cigarette and peanut vendor and yelled to the approving crowd: Mabuhay ang tunay naPilipino!" The spectacle in EDSA1 and the prevailing mood evoked the passage from Holy Writ that says: "If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness and the gloom shall become for you midday. Then the Lord will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails" (Isaiah 58:11). For a fleeting moment this nation indeed saw light rise up in the darkness. How can one fail to be amazed at the sight of thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, doubtless more than a million people processing the Pilgrim Image of Our Lady of Fatima reciting endless rosaries while presenting flowers bewildered fierce-looking, fully armed Marcos soldiers, who nonchalantly bragged that in the combat zones of Southern Philippines, they killed foes as though they merely butcher pigs. Masses in various points, participated piously by the cross-shaped throng along EDSA and Boni Serrano Avenue, drew together in liturgical singing and prayer the multitude comprising Catholics, non-Catholics, even non-Christians, in reverent solidarity. What actually typified EDSA1 and accounted for the quieting down of dreaded instrument of carnage is undeniably that it was an intervention from above answering the collective and humble pleas of the devoted crowd.What went wrong then? What happened to this blessed country that some are compelled to affirm: "the spirit of EDSA is fading" or "the spirit of EDSA is dead"? Some observe that most young people do not really know what actually happened in EDSA1. Or that they care very little because EDSA for them has no relevance at all. In 1986, too, young people were dazed at was going on. They knew no leader other than the late dictator. They could not imagine there could ever be any other. The age group succeeding them, twenty one years after, is also perplexed, but this time by the issue of scores of leaders at variance, having only one thing in common, and that is, they are blown up facsimiles of the one EDSA1 toppled.Some bemoan the thinning of the mass attending EDSA1's annual celebration. They probably dread more the thinning of the number of believers in the deep significance of EDSA. The question is raised whether the commemoration of EDSA1 has yet any sense. Or has the spirit of EDSA1 died; has it been buried with probably God's principal promoter in making EDSA part of Philippine history and the history of mankind, the most revered and cherished Jaime Cardinal Sin? How many still remembers the serene voice from a tiny, almost insignificant country in the Pacific realm, that resounded in the entire planet, signaling the victorious quest for freedom? The voice, that in many unmistakable ways has given the Philippines a more prominent place in the world's saga? Unfortunately, there are always some who would wish that a new Cardinal Sin will rise. Cardinal Sin was no doubt the right person for the right time called by God for a specific purpose. Any attempt to clone him will miserably fail and will only dilute the matchless significance of a remarkable man, besmirch his memory and deprive him of his honored place in history. Regrettablythere are even direct or indirect, conscious of unconscious efforts to show that the late cardinal was wrong all along.While the collective prayer of countless people silenced the guns in 1986, almost immediately thereafter, until the present moment, violence once mire holds sway. People are upset by the eager call to return to arms, when this country was deemed to be the one to attest to the whole world that the sure way to a better future is the road to peace, the road that realizes the biblical announcement: "They shall beat the swords into ploughshares and their spears into sickles; one nation shall not raise the sword against another. Nor longer shall they train for war again." (Isaiah 2:4). Instead the resumption of hostilities rendered the EDSA cry of Muslim brothers a distant, if not a shattered dream: "Padri, Muslim kami, Kristiyano kayo, ngunit magkakapatid tayo, mga Pilipino!" the weapons of hatred have disturbingly dotted all our islands. EDSA1 gave our people and so many others in the world a sense of hope. Now the hope of our country, the hope likewise of other peoples, liberated by following the example set by EDSA1, that hope seems to vanish. Has EDSA1 really become a severe disappointment for the Philippines and for the rest of the world?Among the reasons behind the apparent collapse of the EDSA hope can be the followingEarly after February 1986, a move to identify the EDSA heroes started. So many declared themselves EDSA heroes, even those who were never among the millions physically present during the four days of courage. A protracted debate on the real heroes resulted. Everyone tries to grab credit for himself. The most powerful nation in contemporary world, which obviously opposed EDSA1, or did not believe in its spirit, which until now water down its significance, also claims to be the author of EDSA. Happily there are discerning people who would remind everyone that God was the real hero.In those difficult days many felt the verse in Holy Writ taking place in real life: "God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid people, like the wheel-chaired lady raising singly the rosary before the big tank, were ready to die for the country because they believed that God, our savior led them in the fearless struggle to save our nation destruction. The satanic powers of that time hoped to make the Philippines the next display area to display area to test the newly invented, more sophisticated was machines. Heaven intervened and preserved this praying nation. God indeed must be recognized as the only hero. This country was destined to announce to the world that it is only God who truly saves. No one, nothing else is worth trusting.There were indeed outstanding personalities whom the nation will always feel grateful to. Some used to be part of the dreaded regime and at the precise moment sided with the people. They revealed the deceptions of the past and helped the nation to search for the truth that liberates. But the atmosphere of conversion to God and genuine solicitude to the nation easily slid back into selfishness; the pursuit of self-interest prevailed, true welfare of the people was set aside, instant heroes turned perpetual traitors. Many returned to what they were all the while before imminent death and Divine judgment confronted them.EDSA1 was a wonderful occasion to flesh to the words of the Psalm that say: "Some trust in chariots; others, in horses; but we trust in the name of the Lord, our God" (Psalm 20:8). EDSA1 was an experience of utter helplessness. People turned to and trusted only in God. "The Lord heard our voice and saw our misery, our toil and our oppression" (Deuteronomy 26:7). EDSA1 was clearly God's manner of showing his mercy on people. The seeming EDSA1 collapse is due also to the nation's return to trusting the weapons of war as well as the prevalent belief that the nation's future depends on foreign investments, on financial advancements. These are the chariots and horses of contemporary times to which secular people attribute personal and collective salvation.For a brief moment EDSA1 appeared as the realization of the content of the Magnificat: "(God) has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones, but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty": (Luke 1:51-53). For an instant indeed, EDSA1 illustrated how the lowly and downtrodden were lifted up and the hungry filled with good things. Such are the true manifestations of the Kingdom of God. Sadly, the observable symptom that show the spirit of EDSA1 gradually discarded is that the downtrodden have become more miserable twenty one years after EDSA1. Farm and fisher folks are being displaced from the place of their livelihood and their original habitat, all in the name of progress. The attempt to bring the nation better future by giving the poor the capacity to rise from destitution gave way to the profit hungry few who deprive the poor farmers of the last fertile ground their till and the poor fishermen the rich sea where they fish. To earn money purportedly for the country, the post EDSA leaders, ex-heroes turned traitors, have opened Philippine shores to foreign perverts sacrificing the dignity and decency of Filipino womanhood, allowing the sexual assaults on children, and branding the abode and quarters of the rural and urban poor touristic eyesores that need to be wiped out. The government protected materially rich not only close their eyes to the plight of the poor. They want to eliminate poverty by eradicating the poor. The hungry become more numerous as the well-fed continue to feast at the expense of those who have nothing to eat. This land endowed by God with exquisite natural beauty and natural resources is being offered for the exploitation of the foreigners, leaving the local inhabitants poorer than ever. Post EDSA times have not benefited the majority still looking for total freedom. The poor exalted in EDSA1 as the true Filipino has been marginalized more than ever. Treachery to the true ideals had only reduced this nation in all aspects into a situation that brought about the Martial Law regime.There are countless other factors indicating that EDSA1 was a total disappointment. It is not that EDSA has failed. Many people, including those who arrogantly claim to be the framers of EDSA, ignoring especially the heavenly part that made EDSA what it is, these have failed EDSA. They have even prostituted EDSA.EDSA has never died. It has only been allowed to bloom in the proper way. The EDSA that only God can claim as the source has been snatched by the wrong hands. Just like what the devil insinuated in today's Gospel, he claims to possess what belongs to God, namely, the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory. That is why at the end of the Lord's Prayer is said, "For the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are Yours now and forever!" EDSA is for God and anything that belongs to God can never experience total collapse. The cry should be: Bring back God to EDSA! Bring EDSA back to God! It can also be said: "Away with the false gods of EDSA. They are anti-God, they are anti-EDSA, they are anti-Filipino.How can EDSA then be remembered in a way that its spirit will continue to inspire the people and lead all to more hopeful future?The spirit of EDSA 1 MUST NOT BE CONFINED TO A SINGLE STREET IN Metro Manila, a street that all Filipinos and all humanity will probably never see. The dream to draw great crowds occasionally does not do justice to the EDSA spirit. Again the majority of the Filipino people has never been and will never be able to be in EDSA physically. But the Spirit of EDSA that must spread to all the corners of the country and even of the whole word. EDSA must no be reduced to a mere annual celebration and dramatic reenactment. The spirit of EDS 1 must be lived at all times, in all places in the entire archipelago and beyond. It is a spirit of love, sharing and solidarity. EDSA has not failed. It must not be allowed to fade. God will not allow EDSA's true spirit to fail. It is penetrating slowly and must penetrate slowly the lives of our Filipinos and all men and women in the world.EDSA 1 must be first and foremost seen as a Divine experience. God must be acknowledged as the origin, purpose and center of the EDSA phenomenon. An EDSA without God and the Blessed Mother is a caricature. True EDSA is and should always be a prayerful event. But true prayer! Not politicized prayer.EDSA can never be called by politicians, nor military, not even any individual or group. It is not planned. It is clearly a divine surprise, and certainly never a human manipulation and earthly fabrication.True EDSA is giving importance and preference to the weak and the poor. They are the true participants. They many never by the exploited ones. EDSA opposes in fact any exploitation of the poor and the destitute. EDSA is instead their liberation. An EDSA that is intended for the rich and powerful and sustained by them, and used for their purposes is a prostitution of the true spirit of EDSA. It is an offense against God, who is truly the great Benefactor of this event.EDS being the work of God cannot fail. There are many evil forces that try to deliver a fatal blow to EDSA. God cannot be defeated. God's work can never fail It is people who fail God. Men and women fail to breathe the true spirit of EDSA, usually because of selfishness and self-love.All can and must be promoters of God-given EDSA spirit which should benefit all, particularly the poor, establish a society of true love that the Philippines demonstrated 21 years ago. AT that time, true EDSA took place because the people prayerfully listened to God's word through the prophet. "You have already been told what is good, and what Yahweh wants of you; only this, to do what is right and to love goodness and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8).Today it is the 21 st anniversary of EDSA. It is also the 21 st National Migrants Sunday. The Spirit of EDSA is very much alive. It is observed in the sacrifices and the humility of Filipinos overseas. The Filipinos overseas are treated by all regimes since EDSA 1 as an exploited sector. They are no different from the regime EDSA 1 unseated and which betrayed it. They look at the OFWs in terms of dollars, money and remittances, that present corrupt leaders nevertheless misuse at the expense of Filipino tears, perspiration and blood.To those who retain the true EDSA spirit, the OFWs are the bearers of the Divine message which is EDSA to the whole world. Was EDSA 1 not proclaimed rightly by the song, "Handog ng Pilipino sa Mundo?" The exploiters of fellow Filipinos never sing that song. Indeed the OFWs are the agents of EDSA to the rest of the world.Those in the Philippines who believe with Ninoy that the Filipino is worth dying for, all who believe with Cardinal Sin that this nation is worth living and praying for and that this country has been especially chosen by God, all who are willing to establish a country and a world in solidarity, all these can say with great confidence: EDSA 1 has not failed. God does not give up. God's people in humility and true love will never be disheartened. What EDSA is is God's gift, not only to the Filipinos, but to the world. Everyplace in the whole archipelago, even all over the world, should be able to hear the confident shout, " Magkakapatid tayo!" That sentence is EDSA.


Can I have the whole copy of the SONA 2008?

Thank you, Speaker Nograles. Senate President Villar. Senators and Representatives. Vice President de Castro, President Ramos, Chief Justice Puno, members of the diplomatic corps, ladies and gentlemen:I address you today at a crucial moment in world history.Just a few months ago, we ended 2007 with the strongest economic growth in a generation. Inflation was low, the peso strong and a million new jobs were created. We were all looking to a better, brighter future.Because tough choices were made, kumikilos na ang bayan sa wakas. Malapit na sana tayo sa pagbalanse ng budget. We were retiring debts in great amounts, reducing the drag on our country's development, habang namumuhunan sa taong bayan.Biglang-bigla, nabaligtad ang ekonomiya ng mundo. Ang pagtalon ng presyo ng langis at pagkain ay nagbunsod ng pandaigdigan krisis, the worst since the Great Depression and the end of World War II. Some blame speculators moving billions of dollars from subprime mortgages to commodities like fuel and food. Others point of the very real surge in demand as millions of Chinese and Indians move up to the middle class.Whatever the reasons, we are on a roller coaster ride of oil price hikes, high food prices and looming economic recession in the US and other markets. Uncertainty has moved like a terrible tsunami around the globe, wiping away gains, erasing progress.This is a complex time that defies simple and easy solutions. For starters, it is hard to identify villains, unlike in the 1997 financial crisis. Everyone seems to be a victim, rich countries and poor, though certainly some can take more punishment than others.To address these global challenges, we must go on building and buttressing bridges to allies around the world: to bring in the rice to feed our people, investments to create jobs; and to keep the peace and maintain stability in our country and the rest of the world. Yet even as we reach out to those who need, and who may need us, we strive for greater self-reliance.Because tough choices were made, the global crisis did not catch us helpless and unprepared. Through foresight, grit and political will, we built a shield around our country that has slowed down and somewhat softened the worst effects of the global crisis. We have the money to care for our people and pay for food when there are shortages; for fuel despite price spikes.Neither we nor anyone else in the world expected this day to come so soon but we prepared for it. For the guts not to flinch in the face of tough choices, I thank God. For the wisdom to recognize how needed you are, I thank, you Congress. For footing the bill, I thank the taxpayers.The result has been, on the one hand, ito ang nakasalba sa bayan; and, on the other, more unpopularity for myself in the opinion polls. Yet, even unfriendly polls show self-rated poverty down to its 20-year low in 2007.My responsibility as President is to take care to solve the problems we are facing now and to provide a vision and direction for how our nation should advance in the future.Many in this great hall live privileged lives and exert great influence in public affairs. I am accessible to you, but I spend time every day with the underprivileged and under represented who cannot get a grip on their lives in the daily, all-consuming struggle to make ends meet.Nag-aalala ako para sa naka-aawang maybahay na pasan ang pananagutan para sa buong pamilya. Nag-aalala ako para sa magsasakang nasa unang hanay ng pambansang produksyon ng pagkain ngunit nagsisikap pakanin ang pamilya. I care for hardworking students soon to graduate and wanting to see hope of good job and a career prospect here at home.Nag-aalala ako para sa 41-year old na padre de pamilya na di araw-araw ang trabaho, at nag-aabala sa asawa at tatlong anak, at dapat bigyan ng higit pang pagkakakitaan at dangal. I care for our teachers who gave the greatest gift we ever received - a good education - still trying to pass on the same gift to succeeding generations. I care for our OFWs, famed for their skill, integrity and untiring labor, who send home their pay as the only way to touch loved ones so far away. Nagpupugay ako ngayon sa kanilang mga karaniwang Pilipino.My critics say this is fiction, along with other facts and figures I cite today. I call it heroism though they don't need our praise. Each is already a hero to those who matter most, their families.I said this is a global crisis where everyone is a victim. But only few can afford to avoid, or pay to delay, the worst effects.Many more have nothing to protect them from the immediate blunt force trauma of the global crisis. Tulad ninyo, nag-aalala ako para sa kanila. Ito ang mga taong bayan na dapat samahan natin. Not only because of their sacrifices for our country but because they are our countrymen.How do we solve these many complex challenges?Sa kanilang kalagayan, the answer must be special care and attention in this great hour of need.First, 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.Napakahalaga ang Value Added Tax sa pagharap sa mga hamong ito.Itong programa ang sagot sa mga problemang namana natin.Una, mabawasan ang ating mga utang and shore up our fiscal independence.Pangalawa, higit na pamumuhunan para mamamayan at imprastraktura.Pangatlo, sapat na pondo para sa mga programang pangmasa.Thus, the infrastructure links programmed for the our poorest provinces like Northern Samar: Lao-ang-Lapinig-Arteche, right now ay maputik, San Isidro-Lope de Vega; the rehabilitation of Maharlika in Samar.Take VAT away and you and I abdicate our responsibility as leaders and pull the rug from under our present and future progress, which may be compromised by the global crisis.Lalong lumakas ang tiwala ng mga investor dahil sa VAT. Mula P56.50 kada dolyar, lumakas ang piso hanggang P40.20 bago bumalik sa P44 dahil sa mga pabigat ng pangdaigdigang ekonomiya. Kung alisin ang VAT, hihina ang kumpiyansa ng negosyo, lalong tataas ang interes, lalong bababa ang piso, lalong mamahal ang bilihin.Kapag ibinasura ang VAT sa langis at kuryente, ang mas makikinabang ay ang mga may kaya na kumukonsumo ng 84% ng langis at 90% ng kuryente habang mas masasaktan ang mahihirap na mawawalan ng P80 billion para sa mga programang pinopondohan ngayon ng VAT. Take away VAT and we strip our people of the means to ride out the world food and energy crisis.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.The government has persevered, without flip-flops, in its much-criticized but irreplaceable policies, including oil and power VAT and oil deregulation.Patuloy na gagamitin ng pamahalaan ang lumalago nating yaman upang tulungan ang mga pamilyang naghihirap sa taas ng bilihin at hampas ng bagyo, habang nagpupundar upang sanggahan ang bayan sa mga krisis sa hinaharap.Para sa mga namamasada at namamasahe sa dyip, sinusugpo natin ang kotong at colorum upang mapataas ang kita ng mga tsuper. Si Federico Alvarez kumikita ng P200 a day sa kaniyang rutang Cubao-Rosario. Tinaas ito ng anti-kotong, anti-colorum ngayon P500 na ang kita niya. Iyan ang paraan kung paano napananatili ang dagdag-pasahe sa piso lamang. Halaga lang ng isang text.Texting is a way of life. I asked the telecoms to cut the cost of messages between networks. They responded. It is now down to 50 centavos.Noong Hunyo, nagpalabas tayo ng apat na bilyong piso mula sa VAT sa langis-dalawang bilyong pambayad ng koryente ng apat na milyong mahihirap, isang bilyon para college scholarship o pautang sa 70,000 na estudyanteng maralita; kalahating bilyong pautang upang palitan ng mas matipid na LPG, CNG o biofuel ang motor ng libu-libong jeepney; at kalahating bilyong pampalit sa fluorescent sa mga pampublikong lugar.Kung mapapalitan ng fluorescent ang lahat ng bumbilya, makatitipid tayo ng lampas P2 billion.Sa sunod na katas ng VAT, may P1 billion na pambayad ng kuryente ng mahihirap; kalahating bilyon para sa matatandang di sakop ng SSS o GSIS; kalahating bilyong kapital para sa pamilya ng mga namamasada; kalahating bilyon upang mapataas ang kakayahan at equipment ng mga munting ospital sa mga lalawigan. At para sa mga kalamidad, angkop na halaga.We released P1 billion for the victims of typhoon Frank. We support a supplemental Western Visayas calamity budget from VAT proceeds, as a tribute to the likes of Rodney Berdin, age 13, of Barangay Rombang, Belison, Antique, who saved his mother, brother and sister from the raging waters of Sibalom River.Mula sa buwang ito, wala nang income tax ang sumusweldo ng P200,000 o mas mababa sa isang taon - P12 billion na bawas-buwis para sa maralita at middle class. Maraming salamat, Congress.Ngayong may P32 na commercial rice, natugunan na natin ang problema sa pagkain sa kasalukuyan. Nagtagumpay tayo dahil sa pagtutulungan ng buong bayan sa pagsasaka, bantay-presyo at paghihigpit sa price manipulation, sa masipag na pamumuno ni Artie Yap.Sa mga LGU at religious groups na tumutulong dalhin ang NFA rice sa mahihirap, maraming salamat sa inyo.Dahil sa subsidy, NFA rice is among the region's cheapest. While we can take some comfort that our situation is better than many other nations, there is no substitute for solving the problem of rice and fuel here at home. In doing so, let us be honest and clear eyed - there has been a fundamental shift in global economics. The price of food and fuel will likely remain high. Nothing will be easy; the government cannot solve these problems over night. But, we can work to ease the near-term pain while investing in long-term solutions.Since 2001, new irrigation systems for 146,000 hectares, including Malmar in Maguindanao and North Cotabato, Lower Agusan, Casecnan and Aulo in Nueva Ecija, Abulog-Apayao in Cagayan and Apayao, Addalam in Quirino and Isabela, among others, and the restoration of old systems on another 980,000 hectares have increased our nation's irrigated land to a historic 1.5 million hectares.Edwin Bandila, 48 years old, of Ugalingan, Carmen, North Cotabato, cultivated one hectare and harvested 35 cavans. Thirteen years na ginawa iyong Malmar. In my first State of the Nation Address, sabi ko kung Hindi matapos iyon sa Setyembre ay kakanselahin ko ang kontrata, papapasukin ko ang engineering brigade, natapos nila. With Malamar, now he cultivates five hectares and produces 97 cavans per hectare. Mabuhay, Edwin! VAT will complete the San Roque-Agno River project.The Land Bank has quadrupled loans for farmers and fisherfolk. That is fact not fiction. Check it. For more effective credit utilization, I instructed DA to revitalize farmers cooperatives.We are providing seeds at subsidized prices to help our farmers.Incremental Malampaya national revenues of P4 billion will go to our rice self-sufficiency program.Rice production since 2000 increased an average of 4.07% a year, twice the population growth rate. By promoting natural planning and female education, we have curbed population growth to 2.04% during our administration, down from the 2.36 in the 1990's, when artificial birth control was pushed. Our campaign spreads awareness of responsible parenthood regarding birth spacing. Long years of pushing contraceptives made it synonymous to family planning. Therefore informed choice should mean letting more couples, who are mostly Catholics, know about natural family planning.From 1978 to 1981, nag-export tayo ng bigas. Hindi tumagal. But let's not be too hard on ourselves. Panahon pa ng Kastila bumibili na tayo ng bigas sa labas. While we may know how to grow rice well, topography doesn't always cooperate.Nature did not gift us with a mighty Mekong like Thailand and Vietnam, with their vast and naturally fertile plains. Nature instead put our islands ahead of our neighbours in the path of typhoons from the Pacific. So, we import 10% of the rice we consume.To meet the challenge of today, we will feed our people now, not later, and help them get through these hard times. To meet the challenges of tomorrow, we must become more self-reliant, self-sufficient and independent, relying on ourselves more than on the world.Now we come to the future of agrarian reform.There are those who say it is a failure, that our rice importations prove it. There are those who say it is a success-if only because anything is better than nothing. Indeed, people are happier owning the land they work, no matter what the difficulties.Sa SONA noong 2001, sinabi ko, bawat taon, mamamahagi tayo ng dalawang daang libong ektarya sa reporma sa lupa: 100,000 hectares of private farmland and 100,000 of public farmland, including ancestral domains. Di hamak mahigit sa target ang naipamahagi natin sa nakaraang pitong taon: 854,000 hectares of private farmland, 797,000 of public farmland, and Certificates of Ancestral Domain for 525,000 hectares. Including, over a 100,000 hectares for Bugkalots in Quirino, Aurora, and Nueva Vizcaya. After the release of their CADT, Rosario Camma, Bugkalot chieftain, and now mayor of Nagtipunan, helped his 15,000-member tribe develop irrigation, plant vegetables and corn and achieve food sufficiency. Mabuhay, Chief!Agrarian reform should not merely subdivide misery, it must raise living standards. Ownership raises the farmer from his but productivity will keep him on his feet.Sinimula ng aking ama ang land reform noong 1963. Upang mabuo ito, the extension of CARP with reforms is top priority. I will continue to do all I can for the rural as well as urban poor. Ayaw natin na paglaya ng tenant sa landlord, mapapasa-ilalim naman sa usurero. Former tenants must be empowered to become agribusinessmen by allowing their land to be used as collateral.Dapat mapalaya ng reporma sa lupa ang magsasaka sa pagiging alipin sa iba. Dapat bigyan ang magsasaka ng dangal bilang taong malaya at di hawak ninuman. We must curb the recklessness that gives land without the means to make it productive and bites off more than beneficiaries can chew.At the same time, I want the rackets out of agrarian reform: the threats to take and therefore undervalue land, the conspiracies to overvalue it.Be with me on this. There must be a path where justice and progress converge. Let us find it before Christmas. Dapat nating linisin ang landas para sa mga ibig magpursige sa pagsasaka, taglay ang pananalig na ang lupa ay sasagip sa atin sa huli kung gamitin natin ito nang maayos.Along with massive rice production, we are cutting costs through more efficient transport. For our farm-to-market roads, we released P6 billion in 2007.On our nautical highways. RORO boats carried 33 million metric tons of cargo and 31 million passengers in 2007. We have built 39 RORO ports during our administration, 12 more are slated to start within the next two years. In 2003, we inaugurated the Western Nautical Highway from Batangas through Mindoro, Panay and Negros to Mindanao. This year we launched the Central Nautical Highway from Bicol mainland, through Masbate, Cebu, Bohol and Camiguin to Mindanao mainland. These developments strengthen our competitiveness.Leading multinational company Nestle cut transport costs and offset higher milk prices abroad. Salamat, RORO. Transport costs have become so reasonable for bakeries like Gardenia, a loaf of its bread in Iloilo is priced the same as in Laguna and Manila. Salamat muli sa RORO.To the many LGUs who have stopped collecting fees from cargo vehicles, maraming, maraming salamat.We are repaving airports that are useful for agriculture, like Zamboanga City Airport.Producing rice and moving it cheaper addresses the supply side of our rice needs. On the demand side, we are boosting the people's buying power.Ginagawa nating labor-intensive ang paggawa at pag-ayos ng kalsada at patubig. Noong SONA ng 2001, naglunsad tayo sa NCR ng patrabaho para sa 20,000 na out of school youth, na tinawag OYSTER. Ngayon, mahigit 20,000 ang ineempleyo ng OYSTER sa buong bansa. In disaster-stricken areas, we have a cash-for-work program.In training, 7.74 million took technical and vocational courses over the last seven years, double the number in the previous 14 years. In 2007 alone, 1.7 million graduated. Among them are Jessica Barlomento now in Hanjin as supply officer, Shenve Catana, Marie Grace Comendador, and Marlyn Tusi, lady welders, congratulations.In microfinance, loans have reached P102 billion or 30 times more than the P3 billion we started with in 2001, with a 98% repayment record, congratulations! Major lenders include the Land Bank with P69 billion, the Peoples' Credit and Finance Corporation P8 billion, the National Livelihood Support Fund P3 billion, DBP P1 billion and the DSWD's SEA-K P800 million. For partnering with us to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit, thank you, Go Negosyo and Joey Concepcion.Upland development benefits farmers through agro-forestry initiatives. Rubber is especially strong in Zamboanga Sibugay and North Cotabato. Victoria Mindoro, 56 years old, used to earn P5,000 a month as farmer and factory worker. Now she owns 10 hectares in the Goodyear Agrarian Reform Community in Kabasalan, Zamboanga Sibugay, she earns P10,000 a week. With one hectare, Pedro and Concordia Faviolas of Makilala, North Cotabato, they sent their six children to college, bought two more hectares, and earn P15,000 a month. Congratulations!Jatropha estates are starting in 900 hectares in and around Tamlang Valley in Negros Oriental; 200 in CamSur; 300 in GenSan, 500 in Fort Magsaysay near the Cordero Dam and 700 in Samar, among others.In our 2006 SONA, our food baskets were identified as North Luzon and Mindanao.The sad irony of Mindanao as food basket is that it has some of the highest hunger in our nation. It has large fields of high productivity, yet also six of our ten poorest provinces.The prime reason is the endless Mindanao conflict. A comprehensive peace has eluded us for half a century. But last night, differences on the tough issue of ancestral domain were resolved. Yes, there are political dynamics among the people of Mindanao. Let us sort them out with the utmost sobriety, patience and restraint. I ask Congress to act on the legislative and political reforms that will lead to a just and lasting peace during our term of office.The demands of decency and compassion urge dialogue. Better talk than fight, if nothing of sovereign value is anyway lost. Dialogue has achieved more than confrontation in many parts of the world. This was the message of the recent World Conference in Madrid organized by the King of Saudi Arabia, and the universal message of the Pope in Sydney.Pope Benedict's encyclical Deus Caritas Est reminds us: "There will always be situations of material need where help in the form of concrete love for neighbour is indispensable."Pinagsasama-sama natin ang mga programa ng DSWD, DOH, GSIS, SSS at iba pang lumalaban sa kahirapan sa isang National Social Welfare Program para proteksyonan ang pinaka-mahihirap mula sa pandaigdigang krisis, and to help those whose earnings are limited by illness, disability, loss of job, age and so on-through livelihood projects, microfinance, skills and technology transfer, emergency and temporary employment, pension funds, food aid and cash subsidies, child nutrition and adult health care, medical missions, salary loans, insurance, housing programs, educational and other savings schemes, and now cheaper medicine-Thanks to Congress.The World Bank says that in Brazil, the income of the poorest 10% has grown 9% per year versus the 3% for the higher income levels due in large part to their family stipend program linking welfare checks to school attendance. We have introduced a similar program, Pantawid Pamilya.Employers have funded the two increases in SSS benefits since 2005. Thank you, employers for paying the premiums.GSIS pensions have been indexed to inflation and have increased every year since 2001. Its salary loan availments have increased from two months equivalent to 10 months, the highest of any system public or private-while repayments have been stretched out.Pag-Ibig housing loans increased from P3.82 billion in 2001 to P22.6 billion in 2007. This year it experienced an 84% increase in the first four months alone. Super heating na. Dapat dagdagan ng GSIS at buksan muli ng SSS ang pautang sa pabahay. I ask Congress to pass a bill allowing SSS to do housing loans beyond the present 10% limitation.Bago ako naging Pangulo, isa't kalahating milyong maralita lamang ang may health insurance. Noong 2001, sabi natin, dadagdagan pa ng kalahating milyon. Sa taong iyon, mahigit isang milyon ang nabigyan natin. Ngayon, 65 milyong Pilipino na ang may health insurance, mahigit doble ng 2000, kasama ang labinlimang milyong maralita. Philhealth has paid P100 billion for hospitalization. The indigent beneficiaries largely come from West and Central Visayas, Central Luzon, and Ilocos. Patuloy nating palalawakin itong napaka-importanted programa, lalo na sa Tawi-Tawi, Zambo Norte, Maguindanao, Apayao, Dinagat, Lanao Sur, Northern Samar, Masbate, Abra and Misamis Occidental. Lalo na sa kanilang mga magsasaka at mangingisda.In these provinces and in Agusan Sur, Kalinga, Surigao Sur and calamity-stricken areas, we will launch a massive school feeding program at P10 per child every school day.Bukod sa libreng edukasyon sa elementarya at high school, nadoble ang pondo para sa mga college scholarships, while private high school scholarship funds from the government have quadrupled.I have started reforming and clustering the programs of the DepEd, CHED and TESDA.As with fiscal and food challenges, the global energy crunch demands better and more focused resource mobilization, conservation and management.Government agencies are reducing their energy and fuel bills by 10%, emulating Texas Instruments and Philippine Stock Exchange who did it last year. Congratulations, Justice Vitug and Francis Lim.To reduce power system losses, we count on government regulators and also on EPIRA amendments.We are successful in increasing energy self-sufficiency-56%, the highest in our history. We promote natural gas and biofuel; geothermal fields, among the world's largest; windmills like those in Ilocos and Batanes; and the solar cells lighting many communities in Mindanao. The new Galoc oil field can produce 17,000-22,000 barrels per day, 1/12 of our crude consumption.The Renewable Energy Bill has passed the House. Thank you, Congressmen.Our costly commodity imports like oil and rice should be offset by hard commodities exports like primary products, and soft ones like tourism and cyberservices, at which only India beats us.Our P 350 million training partnership with the private sector should qualify 60,000 for call centers, medical transcription, animation and software development, which have a projected demand of one million workers generating $13 billion by 2010.International finance agrees with our progress. Credit rating agencies have kept their positive or stable outlook on the country. Our world competitiveness ranking rose five notches. Congratulations to us.We are sticking to, and widening, the fiscal reforms that have earned us their respect.To our investors, thank you for your valuable role in our development. I invite you to invest not only in factories and services, but in profitable infrastructure, following the formula for the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway.I ask business and civil society to continue to work for a socially equitable, economically viable balance of interests. Mining companies should ensure that host communities benefit substantively from their investments, and with no environmental damage from operations.Our administration enacted the Solid Waste Management Act, Wildlife Act, Protection of Plant Varieties, Clean Water Act, Biofuels Act and various laws declaring protected areas.For reforestation, for next year we have budgeted P2 billion. Not only do forests enhance the beauty of the land, they mitigate climate change, a key factor in increasing the frequency and intensity of typhoons and costing the country 0.5% of the GDP.We have set up over 100 marine and fish sanctuaries since 2001. In the whaleshark sanctuary of Donsol, Sorsogon, Alan Amanse, 40-year-old college undergraduate and father of two, was earning P100 a day from fishing and driving a tricycle. Now as whaleshark-watching officer, he is earns P1,000 a day, ten times his former income.For clean water, so important to health, there is P500 million this year and P1.5 billion for next year.From just one sanitary landfill in 2001, we now have 21, with another 18 in the works.We launched the Zero Basura Olympics to clear our communities of trash. Rather than more money, all that is needed is for each citizen to keep home and workplace clean, and for garbage officials to stop squabbling.Our investments also include essential ways to strengthen our institutions of governance in order to fight the decades-old scourge of corruption. I will continue to fight this battle every single day. While others are happy with headlines through accusation without evidence and privilege speeches without accountability, we have allocated more than P3 billion - the largest anti-graft fund in our history - for real evidence gathering and vigorous prosecution.From its dismal past record, the Ombudsman's conviction rate has increased 500%. Lifestyle checks, never seriously implemented before our time, have led to the dismissal and/or criminal prosecution of dozens of corrupt officials.I recently met with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US agency that provides grants to countries based on governance. They have commended our gains, contributed P1 billion to our fight against graft, and declared us eligible for more grants. Thank you!Last September, we created the Procurement Transparency Group in the DBM and linked it with business, academe, and the Church, to deter or catch anomalies in government contracts.On my instruction, the BIR and Customs established similar government-civil society tie-ups for information gathering and tax evasion and smuggling monitoring.More advanced corruption practices require a commensurate advances in legislative responses. Colleagues in Congress, we need a more stringent Anti-Graft Act.Sa pagmahal ng bilihin, hirap na ang mamimili - tapos, dadayain pa. Dapat itong mahinto. Hinihiling ko sa Kongreso na magpasa ng Consumer Bill of Rights laban sa price gouging, false advertising at iba pang gawain kontra sa mamimili.I call on all our government workers at the national and local levels to be more responsive and accountable to the people. Panahon ito ng pagsubok. Kung saan kayang tumulong at dapat tumulong ang pamahalaan, we must be there with a helping hand. Where government can contribute nothing useful, stay away. Let's be more helpful, more courteous, more quick.Kaakibat ng ating mga adhikain ang tuloy na pagkalinga sa kapakanan ng bawat Pilipino. Iisa ang ating pangarap - maunlad at mapayapang lipunan, kung saan ang magandang kinabukasan ay Hindi pangarap lamang, bagkus natutupad.Sama-sama tayo sa tungkuling ito. May papel na gagampanan ang bawat mamamayan, negosyante, pinunong bayan at simbahan, sampu ng mga nasa lalawigan.We are three branches but one government. We have our disagreements; we each have hopes, and ambitions that drive and divide us, be they personal, ethnic, religious and cultural. But we are one nation with one fate.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.Our country and our people have never failed to be there for us. We must be there for them now.Maraming salamat. Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat.Edit this page (if you have permission) |Google Docs -- Web word processing, presentations and spreadsheets.


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