Thursday, July 31, 2008
MANUEL L. QUEZON-TALAMBUHAY
Si MANUEL L. QUEZON y MOLINA ay ang unang pangulo ng Commonwealth ng Pilipinas. Siya ay maituturing na ikalawang pangulo ng bansa pagkatapos ni Emilio Aguinaldo na ang pamamahal bilang pangulo ay hindi kinilala ng Estados Unidos at ng ibang bansa.
Si MANUEL LUIS QUEZON ay ipinanganak noong Agosto 19, 1878 sa Baler, Tayabas (Quezon). Ang kanyang ama ay si Lucio Quezon na taga Paco, Manila at si Maria Dolores Molina. Nag-aral siya ng pagpapadalubhasa sa Batas sa Pamantasan ng Sto. Tomas. Siya ay nakapasa bilang abugado noong 1903. Siya ay naging piskal sa kaniyang lalawigan at di lumaon siya ay nahalal bilang gobernador.
Noong 1907, siya ay tumakbo sa bandila ng Partido ng Nacionalista bilang kinatawan sa Asembliya mg Pilipinas . Siya ang naging lider ng mayorya (majority floor )leader dahil sa inani niyang malaking boto.
Pinangunahan niya ang unang delegasyon na nakapag-uwi ng TYDINGS-MCDUFFIE INDEPENDENCE LAW noong 1934.
Siya ay nahalal na Unang Pangulo ng Commonwealth ng Pilipinas . Ang kaniyang pagsisikap na makuha ang kalayaan ay nag resulta sa pagsulat ng Konstitusyon noong 1935.
Siya ay kasal kay Aurora Aragon at mayroon silang naging apat na anak. Sila ay sina María Aurora "Baby" Quezon (1919-1949), María Zeneida "Nini" Quezon-Avancena (1921-), Luisa Corazón Paz "Nenita" Quezon (1923-1923) and Manuel L. "Nonong" Quezon, Jr. (1926-1998). Ang kaniyang apo na si Manuel (Manolo) Quezon III ay isang magaling na manunulat.
Namatay si Manuel l. Quezon noong Agosto 1, 1944 sa Saranac Lake.
Awitin o KantahingBayan, Talumpati,Jose Corazon de Jesus,Manuel Quezon,Tayutay,Tula,Talambuhay,
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
MENSAHE SA AKING MGA KABABAYAN
This was written in English and Spanish. The English version was from Manuel L. Quezon's article in PDI in 2004. The translation in Tagalog is mine.
Mga kababayan: Mayroon akong isipan na nais kong lagi ninyong alalahanin. Ito ay:
Na kayo ay mga Filipino. Na ang Pilipinas ay inyong bayan, nag-iisang ibinigay ng Diyos sainyo. Na kailangang alagaan ninyo ito para sainyong sarili, para sainyong anak at mga anak ng inyong mga anak, hanggang sa katapusan ng daigdig. Ag inyong buhay ay dapat para sa bayan at kung hinihingi ng pagkakataon na ibuwis ito ay
humandang mamatay para sa sariling bayan.
Ang inyong bayan ay dakila. Dakila ang nakaraan nito at may naghihintay na magandang kinabukasan. Ang Pilipinas nang mga nakaraang taon ay dinilig ng dugo at pag-aalay ng buhay ng mga bayani, mga martir at mga sundalo.
Ang Pilipinas ngayon ay pinararangalan ng mga pinunong mataos na nagmamahal, nagsisilbi ng hindi makasarili at may tapang ng loob.
Ang Pilipinas kinabukasan ay magiging bayan ng kasaganaan, kaligayahan at ng kalayaan.
Isang bansa na nakataas ang noo sa Kanlurang Pasipiko, hawak ang sariling kapalaran,
sa kaniyang kamay ay tangan ang ilaw ng kalayaan at ng demokrasya. Isang republika ng mga mararangal na mamamayan na may paninindigan at sama-samang magsisikap na paunlarin ang daigdig natin ngayon.
Message to My People
My fellow citizens: there is one thought I want you always to bear in mind. And that is: that you are Filipinos. That the Philippines are your country, and the only country God has given you. That you must keep it for yourselves, for your children, and for your children's children, until the world is no more. You must live for it, and die for it, if necessary.
The Philippines of today are honored by the wholehearted devotion to its cause of unselfish and courageous statesmen. The Philippines of tomorrow will be the country of plenty, of happiness, and of freedom. A Philippines with her head raised in the midst of the West Pacific, mistress of her own destiny, holding in her hand the torch of freedom and democracy. A republic of virtuous and righteous men and women all working together for a better world than the one we have at present.
Awitin o KantahingBayan, Talumpati,Jose Corazon de Jesus,Manuel Quezon,Tayutay,Tula,Talambuhay,
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
MANUEL L. QUEZON y Molina was the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. He is considered the second President of the Philippines, after Emilio Aguinaldo (whose administration did not receive international recognition at the time and is not considered the first president by the United States; (August 19, 1878 – August 1, 1944).
Manuel Luis Quezon was born on August 19, 1878 in Baler, Tayabas (now Quezon), to Lucio Quezon, a native of Paco, Manila and Maria Dolores Molina. He studied law at the University of Sto. Tomas and passed the bar examinations in 1903. He became the fiscal of his home province and was soon elected governor.In the 1907 election, he ran for the Philippine Assembly under the Nacionalista Party, won by a large majority, and became the majority floor leader.In 1909, he was elected Resident Commissioner to Washington D.C., a post he held until 1916. His most significant achievement was the passage of the Jones Act that provided for the grant of Philippine independence.He was elected senator in 1916 and eventually became Senate President. He headed the first Independence Mission to the U.S. Congress, and brought home the Tydings-McDuffie Independence Law in 1934.The “ Star of Baler “ shone as the First President of the Commonwealth after his brilliant performance as the First Senate President. He was steadfast in his vision to deliver the masses from the shackles of colonialism which intensified his efforts to secure independence for his country. Such vision culminated in the establishment of political stability within the framework of the 1935 Constitution, the formulation of policies to ensure the social well-being of the people, and the adjustment of the national economy to the challenges of independent nationhood. He was a dynamic Filipino leader and a true friend of the poor and the oppressed whom he loved and cared so well. Quezon is one of the most illustrious sons our country has ever produced.Quezon was married to Aurora Aragon and had four children. He died on August 1, 1944 in Saranac Lake, New York.
Awitin o KantahingBayan, Talumpati,Jose Corazon de Jesus,Manuel Quezon,Tayutay,Tula,Talambuhay,
Mga Suliranin Tungkol sa Bayan
Hinihintay ni Tiya Isabel sa nakatigil na karwahe sa tapat ng bahay si Maria nang dumating si Pari Damaso. Bubulong-bulong na umakyat sa bahay ang pari nang malaman na papunta ang magtiya sa Beaterio upang kunin nito ang mga gamit.
Pagkakita kay Kapitan Tiyago ay sinabihan kaagad ito na kailangang sila ay mag-usap ng sarilinan. Hindi nito pinansin ang pagtangkang pagmano ng kapitan sa lanyang kamay
Sa kumbento ng mga dominiko, si Pari Sybila ay dumalaw sa matandang paring maysakit.
Ikinuwento niya ang mga nagaganap na sangkot si Ibarra at si Pari Damaso.
Mahahalatang gusto ni Pari Sybila ang mayamang binata.
Napunta ang kanilang usapan sa buwis, sa mga lupain at sa
Sa ari-arian ng Simbahan,
Ikinuwento rin ni Pari Sybila na ang tinyente ay hindi isinusumbong si Pari Damaso sa Kapitan Heneral.
Ang masinsinang usapan ni Kapitan Tiyago ay Pari damaso ay tungkol sa hindi niya pagsang-ayon sa pagmamabutihan nina
Maria Clara at ni Ibarra.
Binalaan ni Pari Damaso na sundin siya ni Kapitan
Tiyago dahil siya ang ama-amahin ni Maria Clara.
Pinapatay niya ang nakasinding kandila para sa maluwalhating paglalakbay ni Ibarra patungong San Diego
Monday, July 28, 2008
STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO DURING THE 2ND REGULAR SESSION OF THE 14TH CONGRESS OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, 28 July 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.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
President of the Republic of the Philippines
PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
JULY 23, 2007
Thank you. Thank you very much Speaker De Venecia, Senate President Villar, other newly elected leaders of both Houses, congratulations to you, Senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen. Vice President De Castro, former President Ramos, Chief Justice Puno, our host Mayor, Mayor Sonny Belmonte, other government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, ladies and gentlemen.
We meet here today to inaugurate a new Congress after a fresh election. I congratulate every elected official, from municipal to provincial to Congress on hard fought and successful campaigns.
Tapos na ang halalan at pamumulitika; panahon na para maglingkod nang walang damot, mamuno nang walang pangamba maliban sa kagalingan ng bayan, and to govern with wisdom, compassion, vision and patriotism.
Hangarin kong mapabilang ang Pilipinas sa mayayamang bansa sa loob ng dalawampung taon. By then poverty shall have been marginalized; and the marginalized raised to a robust middle class.
We will have achieved the hallmarks of a modern society, where institutions are strong.
By 2010, the Philippines should be well on its way to achieving that vision.
With the tax reforms of the last Congress, and I thanked the last Congress, we have turned around our macroeconomic condition through fiscal discipline, toward a balanced budget. Binabayaran ang utang, pababa ang interes, at paakyat ang pondo para sa progreso ng sambayanang Pilipino!!! Maraming salamat ulit sa nakaraang Congress.
We have been investing hundreds of billions in human and physical infrastructure. The next three years will see record levels of well thought out and generous funding for the following priorities:
First, investments in physical, intellectual, legal and security infrastructure to increase business confidence. Imprastraktura para sa negosyo at trabaho. Isang milyong trabaho taon-taon.
Second, investments in a stronger and wider social safety net - murang gamot, abot-kayang pabahay, eskwelang primera klase, mga gurong mas magaling at mas malaki ang kita, mga librong de-kalidad, more scholarships for gifted students, and language instruction to maintain our lead in English proficiency. Dunong at kalusugan ang susi sa kasaganaan.
Third, investments in bringing peace to Mindanao; in crushing terrorism wherever it threatens regardless of ideology; and in putting a stop to human rights abuses whatever the excuse.
We pay tribute to the fearless fourteen who were savagely massacred at Tipo-Tipo trying to pursue a peaceful and progressive Philippines. We will not disappoint their hopes. We will not waste their sacrifice. We will not be swayed from the course we have set in this conflict for peace with justice throughout our land.
We have created a Philippine model for reconciliation built on inter-faith dialogue, expanded public works and more responsive social services. These investments show both sides in the Mindanao conflict that they have more at stake in common; and a greater reason to be together than hang apart, including being together isolating the terrorists.
Imprastraktura ang haliging nagtitindig hindi lamang ng kapayapaan kundi ng ating buong makabagong ekonomiya: mga kalsada, tulay, paliparan, public parks and power plants.
Last year I unveiled the Super Regions - Mindanao, Central Philippines, North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, Luzon Urban Beltway and the Cyber Corridor - to spread development away from an inequitable concentration in Metro Manila. Hindi lamang Maynila ang Pilipinas.
The Super Regions was not a gimmick for the occasion but the blueprint for building a future.
In Mindanao, our food basket, I said we would prioritize agribusiness investments. And I am happy to see that the latest survey in June shows the hunger rate has sharply gone down nationwide. We have done that.
The Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources will devote 30 percent of their program budgets to Mindanao. DAR will move to Davao.
Dapat maging daan sa tagumpay sa agribusiness ang reporma sa lupa. Done right, reform will democratize success, as Ramon Magsaysay and Diosdado Macapagal envisioned. We must reform agrarian reform so it can transform beneficiaries into agribusinessmen and other agribusiness women.
Sa gayon, dadami pa ang mga tampok na magsasaka gaya ng mga nagwagi ng Gawad Saka, sina Ananias Cuado ng Comval at Demetrio Tabelon ng Butuan; at Nelson Taladhay ng Sultan Kudarat, pangunahing agrarian reform beneficiary ng 2007. We also have outstanding farmers from the other superregions, like Joseph Fernando and Heherson Pagulayan, Nestor Bautista, Joseph Lomibao, Arturo Marcaida, Peter Uy, Arturo Pasacas and Glenn Saludar.
Sa anim na taon nagtayo tayo at nag-ayos ng patubig para sa isang milyong ektarya sa buong bansa - pinakamalaki sa matagal na panahon.
Magtatayo tayo ng mariculture o palaisdaan sa dagat. Isa rito ay ilalagay natin sa Sibutu. Hiling ito ni Nur Jaafar.
Para sa buong bansa naglaan tayo ng P3 billion para sa tatlong libong kilometro ng farm to market roads. Sanlibong kilometro sa Mindanao. Gawa na ang tatlong daan.
The road and RORO network has cut the cost of bringing agribusiness products from Mindanao to Luzon. A 10-wheeler used to pay P32 thousand from Dapitan to Batangas. Now it pays P11 thousand. Fresh fish that cost P20 thousand a ton to move, now travels at P14 thousand.
Construction is criss-crossing Mindanao: Dapitan-Dakak to bring Cely Carreon's paradise closer to civilization; Sibuco-Siraway-Siocon-Baliguian; Dinagat Island Network, a baptismal gift for Glenda Ecleo's new province; the 66-kilometer Manay-Mati section of Davao-Surigao; and Maguindanao-Lebak, Sim Datumanong's brainchild when he headed DPWH.
We want better airports, new bridges and ample energy for Mindanao's rising economy.
The Dipolog and Pagadian airports will be improved by year's end. Also the Cotabato airport. No doubt eagerly awaited by Au Cerilles, Rolando Yebes, Digs Dilangalen, Ros Labadlabad and Victor Yu, and Mayors Evelyn Uy and Sammy Co.
Last July 10 we inaugurated the P1.7 billion, 900 meter bridge in Butuan, built on the initiative of Mayor Boy Daku Plaza, near the P4 billion second-generation flood control project that we also built. The first was built by my father after the great Butuan flood of the 1960's. Kailangan ipagtanggol ang kapaligiran at mamamayan sa sakuna.
In Agusan del Norte, I hope Edel Amante will be happy with our plans to pilot micro agribusiness in Jabonga.
On July 8, Ozamis Airport opened, bankrolled partly by Leo Ocampos, Aldo Parojinog and Hermie Ramiro's congressional fund. Now, that's the kind of pork that has good cholesterol.
At that occasion the MOU was signed for the Pangil Bay Bridge that will connect Ozamis to Lanao del Norte and Iligan. As urged by Bobby Dimaporo, I declared Mt. Inayawan Range a protected nature park. On Mayor Lawrence Cruz's recommendation, I instruct DPWH to build the Iligan Circumferential Road.
In 2001, we opened a solar plant in Cagayan de Oro. Still, Mindanao faced a 100-megawatt gap by 2009 out now a 210-megawatt clean coal plant in Phividec will fill that gap. We count on Oca Moreno and Tinex Jaraula to continue providing a good investment climate.
We thank Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Migz Zubiri for sponsoring the Biofuels Law in the last Congress. We now have 160 thousand hectares of jatropha nurseries in Bukidnon and 30,000 in General Santos. Jatropha is a 100% substitute for diesel, with only 5% of its emission.
Mindanao's energy challenge lies not in generating power but in power lines. Terrorists target transmission towers. We must resolutely apply the Human Security Act. This act was first filed by Johnny Enrile in 1996, 3 years after the first World Trade Center bombing, 4 years before the Rizal Day bombing and 5 years before 9/11. He ably crafted the final Senate version with Senate President Manny Villar and Nene Pimentel.
Let's now go to Central Philippines, our tourism super region:
The Cyber Corridor encompasses centers of technology and learning running the length of all the super regions, from Baguio to Clark to Metro Manila to Cebu to Davao and neighboring areas.
The Philippines ranks among top off-shoring hubs in the world because of cost competitiveness and more importantly our highly trainable, English proficient, IT-enabled management and manpower.
IT ability won for Warren Ambat of Baguio City High the most innovative teacher and leadership award in Cambodia last February, topping contestants from 70 countries, congratulations to our contestants, women.
Information technology will help the BIR bring in more taxes in the coming months. Its Revenue Watch Dashboard will monitor revenue collections in real time from the national level down to the examiners. The LGU Revenue Assurance shares information between the BIR and the LGUs to uncover fraud and non-payment, before heads would roll per Danny Suarez's Attrition Law.
While our strength in contact centers is well-established, we are now focused on growing the higher value-added services, including accounting, legal, human resources and administrative services.
And, so that no Taiwan tremor can cut off our cyber services from their global clients, PLDT and Globe are investing P47 billion in new international broadband links through other regional hubs for redundancy in our cyber space.
The business services sector has become the fastest growing in the economy providing 400,000 jobs compared to 8,000 in 2000. By 2010 the forecast is one million jobs earning $12 billion, the same amount remitted by our overseas Filipinos today.
On Safety Net and Education
Last year I said that in today's global economy, knowledge is the greatest creator of wealth. Mahusay na edukasyon ang pinakamabuting pamana natin sa ating mga anak. Yun din ang tanging pamana na ayon sa batas kailangang ibigay sa bawat mamamayan.
This year, we are investing more for education: P150 billion, P29 billion more than last year.
And, last year government and private sector built 15,000 classrooms instead of the usual 6,000.
Noon, isang libro bawat limang mag-aaral. Ngayon, tig-isang aklat na bawat grade schooler.
One third of our public high schools now have Internet access, with private sector support.
We have a scarcity of public high schools but a surplus of private high schools. So instead of building more high schools, we give more high school scholarships - 600,000 scholars this year.
For College, we launched a P4 billion fund for college loans, to increase beneficiaries from 40,000 to 200,000.
And for teachers, we have created more than 50,000 teaching positions. But we have to improve their training.
Benefits, too. Salamat, dating Senador Tessie Oreta at dating Congressman Dodong Gullas, na di na kailangan ng mga guro maghabol sa Maynila ng sweldo at pension. Pinoproseso na sa rehiyon sa regionalization ng payroll.
Teachers and all other national government employees get a raise effective end of this month.
Sa TESDA, bukod sa mga sariling kurso nagbibigay ito ng mga scholarship sa vocational schools: P600 million noong isang taon, P1 billion ngayon. May P1 bilyon pa ang DOLE.
We are investing P3 billion in science and engineering research and development technology, including scholarships for masters and doctoral degrees programs in engineering in seven universities. Upgrade know-how and learning, and Filipino talent is unbeatable.
Proof is biochemist Baldomero Olivera of the University of Utah who was named Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation.
In the International Math and Science Olympiad 2006 in Jakarta, Robert Buendia of Cavite Central School and Wilson Alba of San Beda Alabang won the gold. Congratulations, guys. Six Filipinos bagged the awards at the Intel Young Scientists Competition in New Mexico last May: Ivy Ventura, Mara Villaverde, Hester Mana Umayam and Janine Santiago of Philippine Science High; Melvin Barroa of Capiz National High, congratulations, Melvin; and Luigi John Suarez of Benedicto National High. Congratulations naman. Last week Filipino students topbilled by Amiel Sy of the Philippine Science High dominated the Mathematics World Contest in Hong Kong. Congratulations, Amiel. Congratulations Philippine Science High School. Earlier this month Diona Aquino of the Presidential Management Staff won with her team from UP the Youth Innovation Competition on Global Governance in Shanghai.
Ito ay malaking kunsuwelo sa atin. We have spent more on human capital formation than ever in the past. Why? Because if government of the people and by the people is not for them as well, it is a mockery of democracy.
May malaking pag-angat ang kalagayan ng maralita, gaya ng trabaho, pag-aaral at pagamot. Look at the chart on new poor fare.
Sa unang pagkakataon, gumastos ang Philhealth ng higit P3 bilyon sa paospital ng maralita.
Noong 2001 sinabi kong hahatiin natin ang presyo ng gamot na madalas bilhin ng madla. Ngayon sampung libong Botika ng Barangay ang nagtitinda ng murang gamot. Ang paracetamol na tatlong piso sa labas ay piso lamang sa Botika ng Barangay. Ang antibiotic na binibenta ng mga pangunahing parmasya sa P20 ay P2 lamang.
Kaya sa isang survey, halos kalahati ang nagsabing abot-kaya ang gamot, kumpara sa 11% noong 1999.
So we can spread this even more, I ask Congress to pass the Cheaper Medicines Bill that was almost enacted in June. Almost is not good enough. Let's help Mar Roxas, Ferge Biron and Teddy Boy Locsin give our people meaningful, affordable choices, from abroad and here in the Philippines.
I also ask Congress to pass legislation that brings improved long term care for our senior citizens. Asahan natin si Ed Angara.
Si Noli de Castro na isa pang kampeon ng senior citizens ay namumuno ng ating programa sa pabahay. Congratulations, Noli. The low interest rates for housing are unprecedented. Naglaan ang Pag-IBIG ng P25 billion na pautang, six times the amount when we started it in 2001. P50 billion pa ang ilalaan hanggang 2010.
On Terrorism and Human Rights
We fight terrorism. It threatens our sovereign, democratic, compassionate and decent way of life.
Therefore, in the fight against lawless violence, we must uphold these values. It is never right and always wrong to fight terror with terror.
I ask Congress...I urge you to enact laws to transform state response to political violence: First, laws to protect witnesses from lawbreakers and law enforcers. Second, laws to guarantee swift justice from more empowered special courts. Third, laws to impose harsher penalties for political killings. Fourth, laws reserving the harshest penalties for the rogue elements in the uniformed services who betray public trust and bring shame to the greater number of their colleagues who are patriotic.
We must wipe this stain from our democratic record.
Ngunit pangunahin pakikibaka pa rin para sa karapatan ang pagpapalaya ng masa sa gutom at kahirapan.
Together with economic prosperity is the need to strengthen our institutions of government. Let's start with election reform. We have long provided funds for computerization. We look forward to the modernization of voting, counting and canvassing.
We can disagree on political goals but never on the conduct of democratic elections. I ask Congress to fund poll watchdogs. And to enact a stronger law against election-related violence.
We must weed out corruption and build a strong system of justice that the people can trust. We have provided unprecedented billions for anti-graft efforts. Thus the Ombudsman's conviction rate hit 77% this year, from 6% in 2002. We implemented lifestyle checks, dormant for half a century. Taun-taon dose-dosenang opisyal ang nasususpinde, napapatalsik o kinakasuhan dahil labis-labis sa suweldo ang gastos at ari-arian nila.
Firms who were asked for bribes in taxes, permits and licenses dropped from one-third to one-half. Contract bribes are also down. Graft won't be eliminated overnight but we are making progress.
What I have outlined today is just a sampler of our P1.7 trillion Medium Term Public Investment Program. How will we fund all these? P1 trillion from state revenues, with tax reforms and firm orders to BIR and Customs to hit their targets. P300 billion from state corporations. The balance from government financial institutions, private sector investments, local government equity and our bilateral and multilateral partners.
Our new confidence and momentum for progress have imbued our foreign relations, with the ASEAN Summit last year and the coming ASEAN Regional Forum, with increased assistance from our allies and with continued support for our peace and security efforts in Mindanao.
We were able to strengthen our economy because of the fiscal reforms that we adopted at such great cost to me in public disapproval. But I would rather be right than popular.
Our fundamentals are paying off in huge leaps in investment. Anim na milyong trabaho ang nalikha sa anim na taon, most in sustainable enterprises. Sa lakas ng piso, bumagal ang pagtaas ng bilihin.
It is my ardent wish that most of the vision I have outlined will be fully achieved when I step down. It is my unshakeable resolve that the fundamentals of this vision will by then be permanently rooted, its progress well advanced and its direction firmly fixed with our reforms already bearing fruit. All that will remain for my successor is to gather the harvest. He or she will have an easier time of it than I did.
They say the campaign for the next election started on May 15, the day after the last. Fine.
I stand in the way of no one's ambition. I only ask that no one stand in the way of the people's well being and the nation's progress.
The time for facing off is over. The time is here for facing forward to a better future our people so desperately want and richly deserve.
Uulitin ko: Hindi ako sagabal sa ambisyon ninuman.
But make no mistake. I will not stand idly when anyone gets in the way of the national interest and tries to block the national vision. From where I sit, I can tell you, a President is always as strong as she wants to be.
Pagpalain tayo ng Diyos at ang dakilang gawaing hinaharap natin. The state of the nation is strong. Inyong lingkod, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
State of the Nation Address of Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, 24 July 2006, Plenary Hall, Batasang Pambansa
Thank you, Speaker de Venecia. Congratulations, Senate President Manny Villar; Vice-President Noli de Castro; President Ramos; Chief Justice Panganiban; Members of the diplomatic corps; Senators; Congressmen and Congresswomen; Other officials, ladies and gentlemen.
Sa araw na ito, nakatuon ang isip natin sa ating mga kababayan sa Lebanon. Nasa kuko sila ngayon ng malagim na paglala ng digmaan. Kahapon lamang, sinalubong natin ang unang dalawang-daang Pilipinong lumikas doon. Limang-daan pa ang mauuwi natin sa susunod na apat na araw.
Sa ating mga OFW, tunay kayong mga bagong bayani. Sa inyong paglilingkod sa pamilya, sa ating bayan at sa Diyos, maraming salamat.
Sa ating mga kababayan, a journey of a thousand miles does not begin with a single step. It starts with the first step, with gathering the means to complete it successfully. Those means are now at hand.
To my friends in Congress who, in the face of grave political consequences, championed and passed some of the most severe and critical fiscal reforms to save our economy, maraming salamat. You are the true friends of the Filipino people. For the real challenge has never been to blame but to fix what is wrong in our country and our economy.
Dahil sa inyo, sa wakas may pondo na tayo, hindi lamang para ibayad sa interes, kundi para sa edukasyon, mas mabuting tulay at kalsada, pagbigay kalinga sa kalusugan at higit na trabaho sa ating bansa. Now, we have the money to pay down our debt and to build up our country.
To the civil servants who rose to the challenge of turning a weakening economy to a strong republic, through more vigorous tax collection and more vigilant action against corruption, maraming salamat. We have achieved record revenue collections. We are lining up corrupt officials to face the consequences of their misdeeds. And finally earned the respect of the international community as a serious and viable state for our fiscal discipline and billions of pesos in annual interest savings that are now going into necessary public investments.
To our men and women in the armed services, the huge and deep core of your loyalty has earned the nation's accolade. The few mutineers have been condemned by the people. They and their partisan cohorts and funders are being brought to justice. Sa nakararaming kawal at pulis na nagtaguyod ng watawat at Saligang Batas, maraming salamat.
And at a time when we must each, as individuals and as communities, take greater responsibility, our local government officials man the frontline of change: change for greater accountability, for better service and more responsiveness to their constituents. Sa inyong lahat, mga local government officials, maraming salamat.
Higit sa lahat, salamat sa sambayanang Pilipino, para sa inyong mga sakripisyo, sa inyong tiyaga, for believing, in the face of the greatest hardships, in our ability to surmount the obstacles to the future you deserve; you who have resisted persistent if not pathetic calls for despair instead of faith, for anarchy instead of harmony, salamat, salamat, taus- pusong pasasalamat.
So I stand before you today to deliver a state of the nation that is focused on what the people want; the people want to know the plan to put us on the path to prosperity.
I am not here to talk about politics; I am here to talk about what the people want; details on the state of the nation and what their government is doing to make progress every single day.
Sama-sama nating isusulong ang bansa patungo sa kinabukasang nagniningning.
Gaya ng nakikita sa graph na ito, dahil sa ating reporma sa ekonomiya, we now have the funds to address social inequity and economic disparity. Too many ... masyadong marami, ang mamamayang nagugutom. Hindi ako hihinto hanggang magtagumpay ang ating laban sa kahirapan.
We now have the funds to stamp out terrorism and lawless violence.
May pondo na tayo para labanan ang katiwalian.
Our reforms have earned us P1 billion from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account for more investigators, prosecutors, and new technology to fight corruption. We are matching this with another billion from our fiscal savings.
We now have the funds for constitutional and electoral changes. Sa kasalukuyang sistema, napakabagal ng proseso, at bukas sa labis na pagtutunggali, at sikil ang lalawigan at mamamayan sa paghahari ng Imperial Manila. Panahon nang ibalik ang kapangyarihan sa taumbayan at lalawigan. For surely, there must be a better way to do politics, so that those who lose elections do not make the country pay for their frustrated ambitions. There must be a better way so that those who win the nation's mandate to govern can work without delay and whimsical obstruction. There must be a better way.
Meanwhile, now we can fund the Medium Term Public Investment Program.
Sumusulong na ang ating plano na may tatlong yugto. Una, ang makaahon sa mga dekada ng utang at kapos ng pondo. Nagawa na natin ito. Ikalawang yugto, ang pagbabalik sa taumbayan ang mas malaking kita ng pamahalaan: upang makapagpundar ng kalinga sa kalusugan, edukasyon at trabaho na kailangang-kailangan ng mamamayan. Ginagawa na rin natin ito. And finally, Phase Three: to invest in the natural advantages and natural resources of each section of our nation so that when harnessed together, the major economic regions of the nation are larger than the sum of its parts.
We will enhance the competitive advantage of the natural "super regions" of the Philippines: the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, the Metro Luzon Urban Beltway, Central Philippines, Mindanao and the Cyber Corridor.
In North Luzon, we will prioritize agribusiness investments. The agricultural and fisheries potential of the Cordilleras, Ilocandia, and Cagayan Valley can feed Luzon affordably. And nearness to North Asia holds the rich promise of agricultural exports and tourism.
My father built the Halsema Highway from Baguio to Bontoc, and the Bagabag airport in Nueva Vizcaya to access the Ifugao rice terraces, which by the way, the UNESCO has recently praised for the way we have carried out our heritage preservation policy. We have rehabilitated the Baguio to Mount Data leg of the highway and the rest of Halsema will now follow. We will upgrade the Bagabag airport and build a new one in Lallo, Cagayan, which will connect to Cordillera by upgrading the Tabuk-Tuguegarao Road.
Sa Tabuk, Kalinga, noong Abril, tumanggap ng titulo sa lupa ang ilang matatanda, pagkatapos nilang naghintay ng dalawampung taon mula noong napirmahan ang Mount Data Accord ng gobyerno at ng Cordillera People's Liberation Army. May isang matanda, suot ang lumang uniporme ng CPLA. Pumila, hila-hila ang isang binatilyo. Sabi niya, "This is not for me but for him." Agad inabot ang titulo sa apo. Narito ngayon si Ginoong Ama Balunggay at ang kaniyang apo si Jacob.
And our post-harvest support shall continue, like the cold chain that we set up in 2004 for La Trinidad, Benguet under Mayor Nestor Fongwan. It consisted of a refrigerated storage facility and refrigerated trucks to deliver vegetables to Metro Manila. Nais kong tumaas ang kita ng mga magsasaka, at ang ina ng bawat tahanan ay makabili ng mura at sariwang gulay para sa kaniyang mga anak.
So that the people will know how well their money is spent, Benguet and its towns of Bakun, Bokod and Itogon have rolled out the new electronic government accounting system in their jurisdictions.
If Ifugao was able to cut its poverty in half in the first three years of our administration, from 56 to 28%, congratulations. We hope that through these programs, the other provinces can replicate the success of Ifugao. Hangad nating dumami ang mga taga-Cordillera sa mga propesyon na tinitingalaan ng bayan, gaya ng mga abogadong gaya nina Maurice Domogan at Romeo Brawner. Ibig din nating makapaghanda ang Cordillera sa awtonomiya pagdating ng pederalismo, ayon nawa sa pagbabago ng Saligang Batas.
Sa Dagupan, inilunsad na ng mga kolehiyo gaya ng Northwestern Lyceum University and ladderized system of education. Sa ganitong sistema, magagamit sa unibersidad and mga kursong kinuha sa vocational school at ang karanasan sa trabaho.
We will expand President Ramos' flagship San Roque Multipurpose Dam with the massive Agno River Project. Another major project is the Banaoang Irrigation. We allocate P200 million a month for small irrigation projects like those in the flood control plan of the Region II Development Council headed by Bishop Ramon Villena. Plus another P200 million a month for farm to market roads.
Also in the works is an international airport in Poro, La Union and the improvement of the two airports in Batanes as recommended by Governor Vic Gato. Ilocos Sur will have a seaport in Salomague while the Cagayan Zone Authority will better the one in Port Irene.
To save dollars, windmills in Batanes and Ilocos Norte turn megawinds into megawatts. When Army Commander Romy Tolentino was North Luzon commander, he became a soldier-farmer, planting jatropha as yet another alternative fuel.
The Metro Luzon Urban Beltway spans most of Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mindoro and Marinduque. It must be a globally competitive urban, industrial and services center, because it produces more than half of the country's GDP.
To be world-class we invest in five comprehensive strategies for global competitiveness:
- Make food plentiful and affordable to keep our labor cost globally competitive.
- Reduce the cost of electricity to make our factories regionally competitive. 3. Modernize infrastructure at least cost to efficiently transport goods and people.
- Mobilize, upgrade and disseminate knowledge and technologies for productivity.
- Reduce red tape in all agencies to cut business costs.
The most prohibitive red tape is in our outmoded Constitution. We need Constitutional change to bring our rules of investment into the new millennium
The new public bidding process has been shortened to 45 days for infrastructure, and 26 days for supplies, as of today. Even before this, Metro Manila firms paying bribes for public contracts declined from 57% in 2003 to 46 today. Congratulations, Metro Manila
Machine readable electronic passports will enhance the credibility of Philippine travel documents, improve the mobility and increase the prospects of Philippine business and labor.
Legitimate mobility is hampered by human trafficking. Through the support of the USAID, we have convicted human traffickers with the Tongco spouses who were sentenced in a Quezon City court last December. These accomplishments removed us from the from the priority anti-trafficking watchlist.
To lower power costs we introduced the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market last month. Let's give it a chance to work. And we would like big power consumers like electronics, our number one exports, to avail of lower power rates from the National Power Corporation. On coco-biodiesel, we now have enough capacity for the proposed 1% blend just waiting to be passed into law.
The Subic-Clark corridor is on its way to a competitive international logistics center. This will be my legacy to my cabalens, jointly with Lito and Mark Lapid, Rey Aquino, Ana Bondoc, Blue Boy Nepomuceno, my son Mikey and Tarzan Lazatin. We jumpstarted it with giant investments in the Subic Seaport, the Clark Airport, and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
And to bring the beltway to the west we will connect the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Road to Dingalan Port through Nueva Ecija, and the Marikina- Infanta Road to the port of Real.
Upang ibsan ang pagod ng mga empleyadong namamasahe sa trapiko sa Kalakhang Maynila, mangangapital tayo sa mga expressway at tren.
We will have a continuous highway from Clark to Metro Manila to Batangas Port. Tapo?Vs na iyong expressway mula Clark hanggang Maynila. Sa ngayon wala nang isang oras ang biyahe mula Clark hanggang Monumento. Ngayon iiwasan natin ang trapiko mula Monumento, dahil idudugtong natin ang North Expressway sa C-5. Tutulong si Sonny Belmonte sa right-of-way. Ang C-5 naman ay konektado na sa South Luzon Expressway. Ang South Luzon Expressway ay pinapalapad naman hanggang Calamba. Sa Agosto, pahahabain ito hanggang Batangas. We will also build the Coastal Road to Bacoor, which has become urban under Jesse Castillo.
Pagdurugtungin natin ang MRT at LRT mula Monumento hanggang North EDSA upang mabuo ang biyahe paikot sa Kamaynilaan, at maibsan ang trapik. We will construct the Northrail to Clark and the Southrail to Lucena and on to Bicol, and upgrade the link between them. We will also extend the LRT to Bacoor. Sa pagbilis ng biyahe patungo at palabaas ng Metro Manila, makakatira ang manggagawa sa mas mura at maaliwalas na lalawigan.
Maayos na ang kapaligiran sa riles ng tren sa South Superhighway. Masaya ang mga pamilyang hinatid namin ni Vice President Noli de Castro sa kanilang bago at permanenteng relokasyon. Teddy Boy Locsin said it hadn't been done before, and couldn't be done at all. Well, Teddy?
Ngayon gagawin ito sa Maynila, si Lito Atienza ang bahala.
We thank China for agreeing to fund these housing needs. Huwaran ng ating programang pabahay para sa mahihirap ang mga proyekto ng Iglesia ni Kristo at Gawad Kalinga.
Ngunit kapos sa tubig ang mga taga-West Zone ng Kamaynilaan. Kaya bibigyan natin ng prayoridad hindi lamang ang edukasyon, koryente, enerhiya at kalusugan, kundi tubig din. We are setting up a 300 million liters per day pumping station for Muntinlupa, Las Pinas and Paranaque.
We will build a roll-on-roll-roll-off port system to link Lucena, Quezon to Boac, Marinduque, like the Batangas-Mindoro RORO.
Sa ganitong mga proyekto, palalakasin natin ang ekonomiya ng mga barangay at lalawigan. And we will end the long oppression of barangays by rebel terrorists who kill without qualms, even their own. Sa mga lalawigang sakop ng 7th Division, nakikibaka sa kalaban si Jovito Palparan. Hindi siya aatras hanggang makawala sa gabi ng kilabot ang mga pamayanan at maka-ahon sa bukang-liwayway ng hustisya at kalayaan.
In the harshest possible terms I condemn political killings. We together stopped judicial executions with the abolition of the death penalty. We urge witnesses to come forward. Together we will stop extrajudicial executions.
Central Philippines has the competitive edge in tourism in its natural wonders and the extraordinary hospitality of its people. The area sweeps across Palawan and Romblon, the Visayas and Bicol, plus the northern Mindanao islands of Camiguin, Siargao and Dapitan. Topbilled by Boracay, Cebu, Bohol and Palawan, it attracts more than half of the foreign tourists to the Philippines. It is also the center of geothermal power in the country, which we continue to develop.
The priority here is tourism investments. Coming soon for superstar Boracay are an instrument landing system for the Kalibo airport and a P3 billion private investment in a San Jose, Romblon airport, plus good roads to spillover destinations all over Panay.
In Cebu, Gwen Garcia is constructing a world-class convention center for the ASEAN and East Asian Summits in December.
Helping our infrastructure upgrading, is the fall in bribery for public sector contracts in Metro Cebu, from 62% of companies in 2004 to 47 today. Congratulations to Cardinal Vidal for shepherding his flock and to Metro Cebu Mayors Osmena, Ouano and Fernandez, and Metro Cebu representatives del Mar, Cuenco, Gullas and Soon-Ruiz.
Bohol became a destination distinct from Cebu since it defeated the terrorist insurgency with community initiatives led by the power tandem of Rico Aumentado and General Johnny Gomez, now the NCR Commander. It now merits its own international airport, just as our country deserves a world-class Constitution strongly supported by Governor Aumentado and the league of local authorities.
Tourism in Palawan requires the upgrading of the airports of Puerto Princesa, Busuanga, San Vicente (hometown of Congressman Alvarez that's why he's clapping) and the building of a new one in Balabac; as well as a continuous road backbone from El Nido to Bataraza.
We will lengthen the Dumaguete runway for tourism as well as electronics. Valencia, Oriental Negros could attract semiconductor firms with power rates subsidized by the geothermal field of Palimpinon. Negros will also advance energy independence with ethanol projects in San Carlos City and Tamlang Valley, once the biofuel law is passed. (You have done your part, Migs)
We will serve Guimaras by the airport being built in Santa Barbara, Iloilo and by a new RORO port in Sibunag. We will link Sipalay via Silay airport funded by the national government and Kabankalan airport being built by its local government. Thank you.
For Bicol's whalesharks, beaches and, of course, Mount Mayon, we have started acquiring the right of way for an international airport in Daraga, Albay. We will provide the means to the perfect surfs of the Pacific by upgrading the airports of Siargao, Guiuan and Tacloban.
We will widen the road to Dakak in Dapitan, and RORO will connect Siquijor to Santander, Cebu; Camiguin to Jagna, Bohol; Ubay, Bohol to Maasin, Southern Leyte, for diving in Limasawa.
We will bring Masbate and Biliran into the RORO Eastern Nautical Highway from Surigao through Leyte through Naval and Maripipi in Biliran through Esperanza, Aroroy and Burias Island in Masbate and on to Bicol. The much-awaited 10-megawatt generator set arrived in Masbate last Saturday. It is ready to power up the province before the end of the month.
Camiguin, Romblon and Camarines Norte got out of the list of poorest provinces in 2003. With tourism these provinces can become rich.
Also winning the war against poverty and calamity, undaunted by unimaginable catastrophe, the valiant people of Southern Leyte, under the leadership of Rosette Lerias and Oging Mercado (our Rudy Guliani) are rebuilding the lives of Saint Bernard and San Francisco from their tragic mudslides. Yesterday, I asked the Japanese government to help Southern Leyte implement an integrated management approach to deal with their critical ecosystem, like the one the World Bank has approved for the Bicol River Basin.
Mindanao is our priority for agribusiness investments in the south. Mindanao is mostly fertile and largely typhoon-free, exporting coconut products and high value crops, and from its waters come 40% of the country's fish catch. Our investment priorities mirror those for North Luzon, and more because Mindanao has the poorest regions and poorest provinces and because we have to spend on a logistics system linking it to the north.
In 2003 we introduced the RORO from Zamboanga del Norte through Negros, Panay and Mindoro to Batangas. This system has slashed travel time from Mindanao to Luzon from 36 hours to 24 hours, and freight cost by 30 percent, so crucial to food shipments. Now we will develop more routes like the one from Cagayan de Oro through Camiguin, Bohol, Cebu and Masbate to Bicol, the Central Nautical Highway.
Also in 2003, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, and Tawitawi registered double-digit declines in poverty incidence from the year 2000. Congratulations.
Kitang-kita ang pag-ibayo ng mga isla ng Sulu, Basilan at Tawi-Tawi. Nagbukas ang Jollibee sa Basilan. The Balikatan exercises with the United States, combined with the US GEM program and other donor-assisted projects, have no doubt contributed to this.
Sa Sulu, isang araw ng Mayo, umuulan, nagwakas ang isang mahabang pagtutunggali nang pumasok ang mga kawal at sibilyan sa Kampong Bitan-ag sa Panamao na hawak ng mga rebelde. Nagyakapan at nagkamayan ang dalawang panig. Dahil sa matinding pagnanais para sa kapayapaan ni Marine General Ben Dolorfino, naganap ang pagkakasundo. Gayon natapos ang isang madugong kabanata. Congratulations, General Ben Dolorfino.
Susi sa anumang pag-ibayo ang malakas na suporta at ma-abilidad na liderato ng pamahalaang local. Halimbawa, iyong "from arms to farms¿¿ ni Governor Ben Loong ng Sulu, with his caravan of tractors literally invading former rebel camps in his province. Congratulations.
Mahigit isang linggong nakaraan, dumating sa "Eleven Islands" ang daan-daang rebeldeng at kanilang pamilya, sa pamumuno ng dating MNLF Commander na si Aribari Samson. Dito sa mga pulo na kilalang "no man's island," dati nagtatago ang mga rebelde at criminal. Ngayon sa tulong ng isang programa ng United Nations, nagtayo tayo ng dalawang daang tahanan at panibagong buhay para sa pangkat ni Samson. Thank you for giving peace a chance. Congratulations, Commander Samson.
I take this occasion to express our gratitude to the donor community from the US, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Union, Australia, Japan, our ASEAN neighbors, the multilaterals and the rest of the world. Thank you for helping us in our peace process.
If we can harness the forces of good in our nation, the positive force at work here at home and those from abroad such as the US, Malaysia, the OIC and others, we shall prevail in Mindanao with a peace agreement that brings freedom and hope to all Filipinos. With this peace, we would reap dividends in resources invested in agribusiness, not aggression, to build up, not tear down, the Philippine south.
Among the possible peace dividends would be pro-poor road projects like the Siocon-Sirawai-Sibuco-Baligyan Road in Zamboanga del Norte; the Lebak to Maguindanao which Sim Datumanong started when he was Secretary of Public Works; the Dinagat Island road network in Surigao Del Norte; the Hawilian-Salug-Sinakungan barangay road in Agusan del Sur; the Pangil Bay Bridge; and the Surigao-Davao Road, which we want to be as beautiful as the Bukidnon Highway completed during the administration of Joe Zubiri and the term of Migs Zubiri.
Mindanao's number one export, coconuts, has been growing continuously for the last three years, at the rate of 10% a year. The coconut farmers deserve a portion of the peace dividend. I invite Congress and the Bishops-Ulama-Priests-Pastors-Farmer-Lumad Conference led by Archbishop Fernando Capalla to help me ensure their rightful share.
On top of peace and investment, progress also demands good governance. I congratulate Donkoy Emano for the drop in reports of corruption for public contracts in Cagayan de Oro from 65% of firms last year to 38 this year. Also Rudy Duterte and the other leaders of Metro Davao led by Majority Leader Boy Nograles for a similar drop, 57% last year to 49 now. Things are coming together for Mindanao, a prelude to their readiness for eventual federalism.
The Cyber Corridor will boost telecommunications, technology and education. The corridor runs the length of all the super regions, from Baguio to Cebu to Davao. The cities of Davao, Tagum and Samal Island Garden all operate electronic government accounting systems. There are many wings now to the corridor because enterprising local executives like L-Ray Villafuerte and Jerry Trenas have aggressively attracted call centers to their jurisdictions (Congratulations, Jerry) In this corridor, the English and information and communication technology skills of the youth give them a competitive edge in call centers and other business process outsourcing.
In 2001, in this hall, we hailed ICT as a key growth sector. So we built up telecommunications infrastructure and opened the market for Internet phone calls. Today international calls cost 6 cents a minute, down from 40 cents. From 2,000 BPO workers in 2001, we now have 200,000.
I had coffee with some call center agents last Labor Day. Lyn, a new college graduate, told me, "Now I don't have to leave the country in order for me to help my family. Salamat po." I was so touched, Lyn by your comments. With these structural reforms, we not only found jobs, but kept families intact. Thank God, I thought, or someone might also try to impeach me for violating Article 15 of the Constitution on the solidarity of the family as the foundation of the nation.
As Louie Villafuerte argues, to step into the future, a country that wants to be a player in the global economy needs bold and well-funded research and development initiatives of its own. To this end, we will continuously increase the budget for science and technology, and education. For in today's global economy, knowledge is the greatest creator of wealth.
In summary, I named only a few priorities to illustrate that on many fronts, your government is working, and working well. Our economy is now growing over the longest period in the last quarter-century: 22 consecutive quarters of growth. Umakyat ng mahigit tatlumpung porsyento ang kita ng pinakamahihirap na pamilya sa unang tatlong taon ng ating panunungkulan, at bumaba ang dami ng maralita sa 25% ng mga pamilya, mula 28%, katumbas ng dalawang milyong katao na lumaya sa kahirapan. According to Thornton and Punongbayan, 70% of medium-sized business owners are optimistic, the fifth most optimistic among 30 countries, just behind India, Ireland, South Africa and China.
Bickering in politics may delay, but not derail the initiatives that need to be taken on our pro-poor, pro-growth, and pro-peace agenda. Regardless of the fate of the national budget, we must automate our election process. Local governments must get their rightful share of revenues. I ask Congress to pass a supplemental budget to effect this.
We are a great people. We have honest students and honest cops. We have scaled the heights of Mount Everest, dominated the Southeast Asian games, we have won international beauty titles, and of course punched our way to triumph in the boxing world. Our people compete and win every day in every imaginable job throughout the world. Individually, we've taken the world on and won; together, we must take on the challenge of creating a new, peaceful, humane and competitive nation and prevail.
For those who want to pick up old fights, we're game but what a waste of time. Why not join hands instead? Join hands in the biggest challenge of all, where we all win or we all lose: the battle for the survival and progress of our one and only country.
After three years, eleven months, and six days, I shall relinquish the Presidency, with much if not all that I have outlined completed. I do not want it said then that, in the end, I defeated my enemies. I would rather have it said that all of us, you and I, friends and foes today, achieved together a country progressive, prosperous and united.
Thank you. Mabuhay!
Naalala ni Crisostomo Ibarra ang nakaraan habang sakay siya ng kalesa.
Napansin din niya ang mga walang pinagbago sa lugar ng Talisay sa San Gabriel. Sa tingin niya ay pumangit ang Escolta. Samantalng magaganda naman ang mga karwaheng nasasakyan naman ng kawaning papunta sa kanilang opisina. Nakita niya sa Pari Damaso, si Kapitan Tinong at ang kaniyang asawa at dalawang anak.
Nadaanan niya ang Arroceros at ang pagawaan ng tabako. ang Hardin Butaniko na nagpaalala sa kaniya ng mga hardin sa Europa.
Nakita rin niyang muli ang Bagumbayan (Luneta) na nagpaalaala sa kaniyang gurong pari na nagturo sa kaniya tungkol sa karunungan at kung bakit ang dayuhan ay napunta sa Pilipinas.