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=PHILIPPINE * PRESIDENT=

DOC.OF PGMA ADMIN.

<Welcome To My Home> | DOC.OF PGMA ADMIN. | ARROYO | =SUMMARY=

GLORIA MACAPAGAL ARROYO

Sona 2005 Executive Summary

INTRODUCTION


Having won a resounding, fresh mandate to govern the Filipino people in May 2004, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo readily took on the challenge of steering the country towards the pursuit of her vision of economic opportunity, social cohesion and democratic faith.

She outlined a 10-Point Agenda, aptly called "BEAT THE ODDs," which is envisioned to jumpstart the country's growth and finally set it on the road towards unsurpassed, sustainable and equitable progress.

This agenda of governance spells out major policies and programs to fight poverty through: achieving a Balanced budget by collecting the right revenues and spending right; providing Education for all children of school-age; implementing full Automation of the electoral process; building Transportation and digital infrastructure to link the entire nation; Terminating hostilities through a just conclusion of the peace process; Healing the wounds of EDSA 1, 2 and 3; providing Electricity and water for all barangays; offering Opportunities for livelihood and the creation of six to 10 million jobs; Decongesting Metro Manila through railway and road projects and the establishment of new government centers; and, Developing Subic and Clark into the most competitive international service and logistics center in Southeast Asia.

Concretized under the 2004-2010 Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP), these are focused policy strategies and programs to arrive at solutions and interventions to the country's most pressing problems. These ensure that the results of economic reforms instituted since the President took the helm of government in 2001 benefit all sectors of society, particularly the poorest.

With prudent fiscal management and sound macroeconomic policies, GDP growth increased from 3% in 2001 to 6.1% in 2004. GNP growth likewise accelerated from 3.5% to 6.2%. The 2004 economic expansion has been the strongest since 1996 and exceeded the MTPDP target of 4.9-5.8%. For the first quarter of 2005, GDP grew by a moderate 4.6% and GNP, 4.7%.

Inflation and interest rates were maintained at single-digit levels. From 6.8% in 2001, inflation was reduced to 3.5% in 2003 before rising to 6% in 2004. Inflation averaged 8.3% in the first half of 2005, due largely to volatile oil prices in the global market. Based on 91-day Treasury bills, on the other hand, interest rates consistently declined from 9.87% in 2001 to 7.34% in 2004 and to 6.67% for the first half of 2005.
The peso-dollar exchange rate was generally stable, depreciating by only 4.6% from P53.36 per US$1 on 21 January 2001 when the President assumed office to P55.92 on 30 June 2005, as compared to the 23.6% depreciation from P42.04 on 30 June 1998 to P55.01 on 18 January 2001.

A balance of payments surplus of US$1.638 billion was recorded for the first five months of 2005, more than three times the US$477 million posted in the same period last year. The surplus was partly attributed to OFW remittances which, for the first four months of 2005, reached US$3.1 billion or 17.2% higher than the same period last year.

Foreign direct investments reached P155.5 billion in 2004, more than three times the P34 billion reported in 2003, and P35.1 billion for 2005 first quarter. The P183.88 billion in investments approved by the Board of Investments and the Philippine Economic Zone Authority in 2004 was 224% higher than the previous year. For the first five months of 2005, investments reached P108.16 billion.

Despite weakness in the international market, export earnings grew by 9.2% to US$39.58 billion in 2004 from US$36.23 billion in 2003. Exports from January to April 2005 reached US$12.7 billion, 4.8% higher than in the same period the previous year.


BALANCED BUDGET

The National Government effectively contained the fiscal deficit for the past two and a half years through sustained increases in revenue collections and prudent management of expenditures. From P199.9 billion in 2003, the deficit was further cut to P186.1 billion in 2004. This represents a one percentage point reduction in the deficit to GDP ratio from -4.9% of GDP in 2003 to -3.9% in 2004.

Revenues grew from P563.7 billion in 2001 to P698.3 billion in 2004. Collections increased to P322.35 billion in the first five months of 2005, up 11.6% from the same period in 2004.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) posted its highest tax collection growth rate of 13.6% since 1998 and registered its highest ever monthly collection of P62.9 billion in April 2005, exceeding target by P200 million and last year's April collection by P9.9 billion or 18.7%.

With three new tax measures enacted into law - Indexation of Excise Tax on Tobacco and Liquor, Attrition Act and Restructuring of the Value-Added Tax System - revenues are projected to increase by about P48 billion to P56 billion in 2005. These new revenue sources, coupled with administrative measures such as expanded computerization programs of BIR and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), austerity measures across all government agencies, the No Audit Program which enhances voluntary compliance with tax payments, and privatization of power generation companies, are expected to contribute to the further reduction in national government deficit to P180 billion by year-end.

Adding a boost to the revenue measures are the BIR's Run After Tax Evaders (RATE) and the BOC's Run After The Smugglers (RATS) programs, which were launched in March and July 2005, respectively. To date, the BIR has filed 26 tax evasion cases against affluent and known personalities while the BOC has charged 16 respondents for smuggling diesel fuel and agricultural products.


EDUCATION FOR ALL

To ensure that everyone of school age will be in a classroom that is conducive to learning, classroom construction was accelerated to reduce the backlog of 17,873 as of June 2004. The target of constructing 6,000 classrooms a year was surpassed by 92% with 11,533 built in the past school year.

Tuition fee subsidies were given to more than 350,000 students in SY 2004-2005 and 375,000 students in SY 2005-2006 so those who could not avail of free public high school education were accommodated in private schools.

With the accelerated classroom construction, the tuition fee subsidies and the implementation of double-shift classes, the classroom backlog is expected to be completely met before 2010. In addition, the President aims to provide schools in unserved barangays, with 1,176 classrooms already built out of the targeted 1,617.

To provide quality education, about 69% or 3,334 of the 4,830 public high schools were given computers and computer labs. More than 100 million textbooks for priority subjects were also procured and delivered to schools since 2001, while a total of 28,021 new teacher positions were created to address the annual increase in students.

Other efforts in education include the launching of the Early Childhood Care Development curriculum standards for 5-year olds; programs to improve proficiencies in Math, Science, and English; increased access to scholarships for students from indigent families; and the formulation of the Philippine National Qualification Framework to allow technical-vocational students to progress to higher education.


AUTOMATED ELECTIONS

The Administration allocated P3 billion for the Commission on Election's (Comelec) Comprehensive Electoral Modernization Program that would computerize the electoral process and increase confidence in its integrity.

Of this amount, P2.6 billion was utilized in 2003 for the following program components: voter's validation system, automated counting and canvassing system, and system for electronic transmission of election results.

The electoral modernization program was discontinued in January 2004, however, after the Supreme Court disallowed the use of the automated counting and canvassing machines, and electronic transmission of election results on the ground that the winning bidder had not been qualified to participate in the bidding.

Comelec continues to consult with various sectors on electoral reforms to increase efficiency and efficacy of election administration, including possible amendments to election laws. It is also exploring other technologies and systems to re-start the modernization process and cleanse the voter database in time for the 2007 elections.


TRANSPORT AND DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE

In line with the Administration's goal to link the entire country through a network of transport infrastructure, the Nautical Highway System was put in place in 2004. The system maximizes the use of the roll-on/roll-off (RORO) vessels in transporting passengers and produce from Mindanao to Luzon.

Three routes from Luzon to Mindanao were developed: Western Nautical Highway (Manila to Dapitan), Central Nautical Highway (Masbate to Dapitan) and Eastern Nautical Highway (Masbate to Surigao). All ports and road connections along these RORO routes are in place, regular services in all routes are being ensured and port facilities are being expanded as needed.

To entice shipping companies to expand or modernize and local governments to invest in RORO facilities, a P30-billion financing program was provided under the Development Bank of the Philippines' Sustainable Logistics Development Program.

New airports are also being developed in Negros Occidental (Silay City), Iloilo (Sta. Barbara/Cabatuan), and Bohol (Panglao) while the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Pampanga and Busuanga Airport in Palawan are being upgraded to serve as gateways to tourism destinations.

In terms of digital infrastructure, the government launched the Philippine CyberServices Corridor, an ICT belt stretching 600 miles from Baguio City to Zamboanga which is envisioned to provide a variety of cyberservices at par with global standards. To fuel growth and enhance the access to information and communications technology, internet connectivity cost was reduced to a third of what it used to be in 2002.


TERMINATE HOSTILITIES

The Arroyo Administration put back on track the government's negotiations with the communist insurgents, MILF secessionists, and other rebel groups, which were derailed for almost two and half years by the past Administration in favor of an "all-out-war" policy. At the same time, the government ensured that the existing peace agreements are substantially complied with.

Peace negotiations with the MILF were revived, resulting in a bilateral ceasefire in July 2003 that continues to hold on the ground, the signing of an interim peace agreement on relief and rehabilitation of war-torn communities, and a commitment from the MILF to assist the government in the interdiction and isolation of terrorist groups seeking refuge in MILF communities.

Talks with the CPP/NPA/NDF were also pursued, but were suspended in August 2004 due to the renewal by the US of its terrorist listing. In spite of the unilateral decision of the said movement to suspend the talks, the government kept its communication lines open and undertook confidence-building measures for the possible revival of the talks. While peace negotiations are underway, however, military operations against the CPP/NPA/NDF continued, resulting in the decreased strength of the movement by 35% from 11,930 in 2001 to 7,709 in June 2005.

The government continued the implementation of political, military and socio-economic aspects of the GRP-MNLF Peace agreement in 1996, such as the full reintegration of MNLF members into the AFP and PNP and the devolution of functions and powers to the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The 1986 peace pact with the Cordillera People's Liberation Army was also pursued with the integration of 264 qualified members into the AFP.

To show the government's commitment for Mindanao and Muslim development, other measures were undertaken to complement the peace negotiations such as: development of conflict-affected areas through investments in infrastructure and livelihood; rehabilitation of hospitals in ARMM to improve health care service delivery; establishment of Shari'ah Courts; promotion of Muslim holidays; and strengthening of Madrasah education.


HEALING THE WOUNDS OF EDSA 1, 2 AND 3

In an effort to heal the wounds and the divisiveness generated by the People Power Revolutions, the National Security Council convened and consulted with political and religious leaders.

All parties agreed on the need to become more united as a people and to prepare for a long-term, multi-faceted, multiple-channeled reconciliation process. In line with this, the religious leaders shall take the lead in finding a just process of reconciliation and provide guidance to the Cabinet in formulating the strategic framework. The government, meanwhile, shall sustain its pursuit of measures to address other threat groups that continue to confront the security of the nation.

Among the specific measures identified were: accelerating the compensation to victims of human rights violations from a portion of the seized Marcos wealth, sustaining reforms in the military to address legitimate grievances of the men in the field, and continuing consultations on how to pursue reconciliation and national unity.


ELECTRICITY AND WATER FOR ALL BARANGAYS

The Administration provided electricity to 5,365 barangays since 2001, attaining 92.87% barangay-level electrification and bringing it closer to its goal of 100% electrification by 2008.

On the other hand, 48 out of the 210 waterless areas in Metro Manila or 1,126 households benefited from the President's Priority Program on Water implemented through MWSS concessionaires. This complemented the Patubig ni PGMA project, which provided potable water through mobile tankers to 956,541 waterless households in Metro Manila, and the provinces of Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna. The government shall also provide water to 432 municipalities outside Metro Manila where less than 50% of households have access to potable water.


OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE 6 TO 10 MILLION JOBS

The government's target to generate six to 10 million jobs in the next six years is being pursued through the development of two million hectares of agribusiness land; increased lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); and the expansion of key sectors. Preliminary estimates from January to June 2005 showed that 1.3 million jobs were created.

At least 135,314 new jobs were created by developing 73,925 hectares of new agricultural lands and linking them with corresponding markets in all regions. Areas were either planted to crops, grown with forage for pasture, stocked with animals, seeded with fingerlings or farmed with seaweeds.

To increase the viability of MSMEs, the government provided P9.9 billion in loans in 2004 and P3.4 billion in the first quarter 2005, resulting in the creation of 562,633 and 152,123 jobs, respectively. Under the SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth (SULONG) program, P27 billion were released in 2004 and P7.2 billion in the first quarter of 2005 which supported 90,445 jobs.

With tourism promotion, arrivals from January 2004 to May 2005 increased by 498,165 and translated into 607,762 new jobs. A total of 468,634 new jobs were created in 2004 and 139,128 from January to May 2005.

Government programs also helped in generating 760,324 jobs in 2005 in other sectors like information and communications technology, mining, housing construction and site development, public construction and maintenance, and economic zones. Meanwhile, more than 61,000 workers have undergone or are undergoing apprenticeship under the Kasanayan at Hanapbuhay Program since 2004.


DECONGESTING METRO MANILA

To decongest Metro Manila and allow people to work within the metropolis while living in nearby provinces, road and rail transport projects were aggressively pursued.

The completed North Luzon Expressway Expansion Project has already cut travel time by half. Construction and rehabilitation of the Southern Luzon Expressway, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) Extension, and Manila-Cavite Expressway Extension Project are underway.

The Northrail Project, a commuter system that will run from Caloocan to Clark, is expected to accelerate development in Central and Northern Luzon by improving the interconnection of major transportation facilities in the Manila-Clark-Subic economic triangle.

This is complemented by two other rail projects: (a) the Northrail-Southrail Interconnectivity Project, which would rehabilitate the existing 34-kilometer PNR Commuter Service Line from Caloocan to Alabang; and (b) the MRT 3, Phase II Project which will close the MRT 3-LRT Line 1 loop and form the railway transport backbone in Metro Manila.

Preparations for the development of new government centers have also commenced through the transfer of the following departments: Department of Agriculture to Davao City; Department of Public Works and Highways to Bicol; Department of Tourism to Cebu City; Department of Land Reform to Iloilo City; and Department of Transportation and Communication to Clark.


DEVELOP SUBIC AND CLARK

Major road, seaport and airport projects are underway to develop the Subic-Clark corridor as a premier international service and logistics center in Southeast Asia.

Construction of the P27.4-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway commenced in April 2005 and will be completed in 2007. Phase I of the Subic Bay Port Development Project, which involves the construction of a new container terminal at Cubi Point and the rehabilitation of selected wharves, was 22% accomplished as of June.

The Diosdado Macapagall International Airport in Clark is being upgraded to accommodate more airlines and flight frequencies resulting from the government's air liberalization policy. The United Parcel Service (UPS) and Asiana Airlines have increased their flight frequencies, while three new airlines, China Rich Airways, Air Asia Berhad and Tiger Airways, have begun operating in Clark.


OTHER MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS
    On top of the 10-Point Agenda, the Arroyo Administration also recorded substantial accomplishments through other major programs, some of which were started during the President's first term:

  • AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION. In four years, the government utilized P97.12 billion in irrigation, post-harvest facilities, infrastructure, credit and other components of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA). Funding support for AFMA will be sustained until 2015 by virtue of RA 9281, which also extended the effectivity of duty-free incentives on agricultural inputs, equipment and machinery.

    Growth in agriculture averaged at 4% in the last four years, attaining a high of 4.8% last year in spite of the disastrous effects of four typhoons in the last quarter.

    Production of basic agricultural commodities such as rice, corn, livestock, sugar and fisheries increased. The coconut sector recorded an impressive export performance in 2004 valued at US$830.20 million, 9.62% higher than in 2003. The government continued to push for the resolution of the coconut levy issue in favor of the coconut farmers to further develop the coconut industry.

  • INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT. The government constructed/ improved/rehabilitated a total of 13,216.56 kilometers of national roads and 183,905.59 lineal meters of national bridges; and completed 5,383 flood control projects nationwide.

  • BILATERAL AND MULTILATERAL COOPERATION. The National Government entered into agreements on trade and trade-related policies to secure continued economic growth for the country. The Philippines reiterated its support for an open, transparent, predictable and competitive multilateral trading system by forging economic ties with China, the European Commission, ASEAN and the rest of the world.

  • ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SAVINGS. The Administration formulated the Philippine Energy Plan 2005 Update to provide for a steady increase in the country's energy self-sufficiency from 56.6% in 2005 to the desired level of 60% by 2010. Energy supply as of 2004 was 268.3 million barrels of fuel oil equivalent (MMBFOE), up 4.7% from 2003.

    To promote and develop indigenous oil and gas, the Philippine Petroleum Exploration Investment Promotion was launched which attracted exploration investments from the private sector. Since 2004, eight new service contracts have been awarded for the exploration of potential petroleum sources in the country. The government also aggressively developed renewable energy such as biomass, hydro, solar, wind and ocean resources. To make the country, particularly its public transportation, less vulnerable to the volatility of world oil prices, the government launched the Natural Gas Vehicle Program, where initially 200 buses will commercially run on compressed natural gas.

    The government launched the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Program in August 2004 which has resulted in energy savings of 8.1 MMBFOE, equivalent to US$295 million or P16.2 billion.

    The implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act has resulted in discounts for large energy consumers and savings from Independent Power Producer contracts. The Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), which will give consumers the power to choose the cheapest and most reliable electricity suppliers, was tested in April and will be operational in Luzon in December 2005.

    Electric cooperatives were restructured to improve their performance and were granted provisional authority by the Energy Regulatory Commission to reduce existing rates. Their loans were condoned, translating to an average reduction of P0.3676/kWh in electricity rates.

    The Administration implemented lifeline rates which provided subsidy to about 1.7 million or 40% of Meralco's marginalized end-users.

  • SOCIAL JUSTICE AND BASIC NEEDS. The Administration intensified its efforts to alleviate poverty through the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) Program, focused on five strategic thrusts: acceleration of asset reform; provision of development/social services livelihood and employment; social protection and security from violence; and participation of the poor in decision-making.

    Since 2001, about 840,000 hectares of public and private land have been distributed to 640,967 beneficiaries and more than 100,000 hectares have been placed under leasehold operation benefiting 48,960 farmers. A total of 29 Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles covering 604,143 hectares with 150,099 beneficiaries and 48 Certificate of Ancestral Land Titles covering 1,105 hectares with 138 family-beneficiaries were also distributed to indigenous peoples.

    The government gave security of land tenure to 340,020 informal settlers through Presidential Proclamations declaring public lands as alienable and disposable for housing purposes and the Community Mortgage Program. On the other hand, 216,241 households belonging to the bottom 30% of the income population were provided housing and slum upgrading services. About 372,000 low-salaried workers benefited from different home lending programs of government agencies.

    A total of 2.56 million urban and rural poor families or 12.81 million poor Filipinos were enrolled under the National Health Insurance Program as of 31 May 2005. Access of the poor to low-priced essential medicines was expanded through 76 DOH-retained hospitals, 130 participating LGUs, 4,062 Botika ng Barangay and 288 private sector-run Botika ng Bayan outlets nationwide.

    The government attained the lowest strike incidence in 26 years in 2004, with only 25 strike cases declared, 13 cases lower than in 2003. From January to May 2005, only eight strike cases were declared, down by three cases from the same period last year. Strike prevention rate was recorded at 96.6%.

    Providing immediate economic relief amidst rising prices of basic goods, increases in wages in all regions ranged from P5 to P25 per day.

  • NATIONAL SECURITY, PEACE AND ORDER. The government intensified its relentless campaign against organized crime, terrorism, kidnap-for-ransom (KFR) syndicates, and illegal drugs.

    Fifteen KFR groups were deactivated, with the arrest of the most wanted kidnap mastermind, 20 other top KFR bosses and 628 kidnappers.

    The intensified anti-illegal drug operations led to the arrest of 152,248 financiers, pushers and users; filing in court of 104,768 drug cases; seizure of P50.46 billion worth of illegal drugs; and dismantling of 40 shabu laboratories and warehouses.

    A 33% reduction in crime incidents and a monthly average of 89% street crime solution efficiency rate was achieved from April 2003 to March 2005.

    The government stepped up efforts to eliminate illegal gambling by passing into law RA No. 9287 (An Act Increasing the Penalties for Illegal Numbers Games). This resulted in the arrest of 102,866 bettors, collectors and cabos, and 449 financiers; the filing of criminal cases against known gambling lords; and the confiscation of about P38 million cash and gambling paraphernalia.

    The government broke the back of the Abu Sayyaf Group, cutting its strength by 61% from a high of 1,300 at the start of 2001 to 508 as of June 2005. A total of 113 major ASG personalities were neutralized, including Galib Andang (Kumander Robot) and Aldam Tilao (Abu Sabaya).

  • FIGHTING CORRUPTION THROUGH GOOD GOVERNANCE. The Administration's efforts against graft and corruption focused on punitive and preventive measures as well as the promotion of zero tolerance for corruption.

    Of the 288 lifestyle checks conducted on government officials with the rank of director and above, 25 cases were endorsed to the Office of the President for proper action and 108 to the Ombudsman. Among those meted punishments include two officials from DPWH, four from the BOC and six from the BIR.

    Partnership with vigilant non-government entities was enhanced to tightly watch procurement processes and the delivery of supplies and materials to the field level. The Government Procurement Reform Act addressed loopholes in the government procurement system and generated P233 million savings from bid notices.

    The bureaucracy was rationalized for more effective and efficient delivery of services. A total of 13 agencies were transferred to departments where their functions are more aligned, seven agencies were abolished, and two were merged to address duplication of functions. A more comprehensive rationalization program in government is underway.

    Local-national government partnership for development was strengthened and LGUs were empowered with the increase in their internal revenue allotment from P112 billion in 2001 to P152 billion in 2005.


CHALLENGES AHEAD

The President stands firm on her commitment to carry out her 10-Point Agenda of governance. This will not be an easy task, given the need to heal a deeply divided nation before sustainable development is achieved.

The first phase of the President's economic reform agenda is complete and the second phase has begun. The government needs to continue aggressive economic and fiscal reforms by cracking down on tax evaders and smugglers, increasing initiatives against graft and corruption, pursuing effective energy conservation and keeping prices under control.

More importantly, the Administration shall invest in vital social needs to alleviate the plight of the people through job creation, better education, improved healthcare, greater access to electricity and water, and reliable transportation and infrastructure.

The government shall continue to address bottlenecks in program and project implementation to ensure the unhampered delivery of services. The nation also needs to continue to be vigilant against the threat of global terrorism.

Notwithstanding the difficulties brought on by the present political noise, the President remains resolute in her mission to engage all segments of society to work together to advance the vision for the Philippines - a modern country founded on social justice and enjoying economic prosperity.
 
Sona 2004 Speech text
 
SAMAKATWID, IPABATID SA LAHAT, MULA SA POOK AT PANAHONG ITO SA BAWAT PILIPINO, SAANMAN NAROROON...

YOU HAVE A GOVERNMENT -- INDEED, YOU HAVE A COUNTRY -- THAT CARES. YOUR LIFE IS HELD MORE DEARLY THAN INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM. AND YOU HAVE A PRESIDENT WHO IS YOUR FRIEND.

WHY WAS ANGELO DE LA CRUZ SAVED? BECAUSE I STUCK TO MY OATH. SINCE I FIRST BECAME PRESIDENT IN 2001, MY DECLARED FOREIGN POLICY FOCUS HAS BEEN TO PROTECT THE VITAL INTERESTS OF THE NATION, INCLUDING OUR EIGHT MILLION OVERSEAS FILIPINOS.

AND I CANNOT APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A PROTECTOR OF MY PEOPLE.

THE DIFFERENCE OF A FEW WEEEKS, FOR A PULLOUT ALREADY DECIDED ON, COULD NOT JUSTIFY SACRIFICE OF A HUMAN LIFE.

SACRIFICING ANGELO DE LA CRUZ WOULD HAVE BEEN A POINTLESS PROVOCATION; IT WOULD HAVE PUT THE LIVES OF A MILLION AND A HALF FILIPINOS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AT RISK, BY MAKING THEM PART OF THE WAR.

WARS ARE FOR COMBATANTS. AS I SPEAK SOLDIERS ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY COMMUNIST INSURGENTS BUT THEY DON'T EXPECT TO BE RELEASED EXCEPT BY THE COMPASSION OF THEIR CAPTORS OR A MILITARY OPERATION.

WE HAVE BEEN FIGHTING THE LONGEST RUNNING COMMUNIST INSURGENCY IN HISTORY. WE HAVE BEEN COMING TO GRIPS WITH FUNDAMENTALIST TERRORISM LONG BEFORE 9/11.

AS THE LEADER OF THE NATION, I SAY IN BEHALF OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE TO THE WORLD: WE ARE STRONG AND PRINCIPLED BELIEVERS IN DEMOCRACY. FOUR GENERATIONS OF FIGHTING FILIPINOS HAVE CEASELESSLY STRUGGLED AGAINST TOTALITARIANS AND TERRORISTS, FOR OUR FREEDOM, FOR THE FREEDOM OF OUR PEOPLE AND THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD.

WE HAVE FOUGHT THE ENEMY, AND TAKEN AS GOOD AS WE GAVE-- NOT FROM A SAFE DISTANCE BUT IN CLOSE QUARTERS. BATAAN AND CORREGIDOR, KOREA AND VIETNAM, EAST TIMOR, KOSOVO, LIBERIA, TO NAME A FEW.

WHEN I OPTED TO SAVE ANGELO DE LA CRUZ, I WAS REFLECTING WHETHER ONE LIFE SHOULD BE SACRIFICED FOR NO PRESSING REASON OR SAVED BY ACCELERATING AN ONGOING PULLOUT.

I DID NOT SACRIFICE POLICY TO SAVE A HUMAN LIFE. I APPLIED POLICY FOR THAT PURPOSE. THE PHILIPPINES HAS NO POLICY THAT DEMANDS SACRIFICE OF HUMAN LIVES.

ASK YOURSELVES THIS: IF ANGELO DELA CRUZ HAD BEEN SACRIFICED, WHAT WOULD CHANGE-FOR THE BETTER IN IRAQ TODAY?

HAVING SAVED ONE FILIPINO FROM A PAINFUL AND POINTLESS DEATH, WE MUST SEIZE THE UNITY WE ATTAINED TO IMPROVE OUR GOVERNMENT AND SAVE OUR ECONOMY.

PINAPANGAKO KO ANG ISANG BAGONG DIREKSYON: MAMAMAYAN MUNA. ANG TAONG BAYAN ANG PINAKAMALAKI NATING YAMAN. NGUNIT MADALAS, KAUNTI LANG ANG ATENSYON NA BINIBIGAY SA KANILANG PAG-UNLAD. DI TULOY MATAWID ANG AGWAT NG MAYAMAN AT MAHIRAP. DI TULOY MAPA-ABOT SA LAHAT ANG BIYAYA NG DEMOKRASYA.

I WANT TO CREATE ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AT HOME AND ABROAD. I DON'T WANT JUST ONE OR THE OTHER. I WANT BOTH.

BUT IT CAN ONLY BE DONE WITH-FOCUS, WITH ENERGY, AND WITH A COMMON PURPOSE TO DO THAT WHICH STILL LIES WITHIN OUR POWER: PUT OUR ECONOMIC HOUSE BACK IN WORKING ORDER BEFORE IT FINDS ITSELF BEYOND HOPE OF REPAIR AND DOOMED TO SHARE THE FATE OF FAILED NATIONS.

WE MADE A HEADSTART IN THE LAST THREE YEARS; WE MUST TAKE BOLDER STEPS FORWARD IN THE NEXT SIX.

INFLATION IS UNDER CONTROL. THE ORDINARY HOUSEWIFE HAS BEEN BUYING HER RICE AND FISH AT STABLE PRICES.

NEW INVESTMENTS, FOREIGN AND BETTER YET DOMESTIC, WERE MADE. THREE MILLION MORE OF OUR PEOPLE FOUND JOBS IN THE LAST THREE YEARS COMPARED TO HALF A MILLION IN THE THREE YEARS BEFORE THAT.

MALAKI ANG PAG-UNLAD SA PANGUNAHING PANGANGAILANGAN-- MALINIS NA TUBIG, HEALTH INSURANCE, TIRAHAN, PAARALAN, AKLAT.

WE BEAT DOWN CRIME, WE ARE BREAKING UP THE DRUG AND KIDNAPPING SYNDICATES, WE ARE MOPPING UP THE STRAGGLERS. THE PEOPLE ARE SAFER IN THE STREETS, IN THEIR HOMES, AND IN THEIR PLACES OF WORK.

EVERY GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD IS AT WAR WITH ITS OWN CORRUPTION; WE HAVE MADE LIFESTYLE CHECKS A LETHAL WEAPON, AND ADOPTED PROCUREMENT REFORMS TO TAKE THE FIGHT FORWARD.

THANKS TO MANY OF YOU, I EMERGED FROM THE LAST ELECTION WITH MORE VOTES THAN ANY PREVIOUS PRESIDENT.

AS A FURTHER SIGN OF THE PEOPLE'S OVERWHELMING SUPPORT, THEY GAVE ME A HUGE MAJORITY IN CONGRESS, AND AMONG THE LOCAL GOVERNMENTS.

THIS IS A NEW DAY, WITH A NEW DIRECTION, AND A RENEWED CONFIDENCE IN WHAT WE CAN ACHIEVE TOGETHER.

I AM DETERMINED TO PROVE THAT THIS TREMENDOUS SHOW OF FAITH AND CONFIDENCE IS WELL DESERVED.

THE SEASON OF BITTER PARTISANSHIP IS OVER; THE SEASON OF SERVICE IS UPON US ALL, MAJORITY, MINORITY; OPPOSITION, ADMINISTRATION.

IN MY INAUGURAL ADDRESS, I LAID DOWN A 10-POINT AGENDA FOR THE NEXT SIX YEARS -- NOT UTOPIA BUT SOMETHING PRACTICAL WE CAN ACHIEVE AND ACCOMPLISH ON TIME.

WHAT I DID PROMISE WAS THAT MY TERM WOULD BE THE IRREVERSIBLE TURNING POINT.

IPINANGANGAKO KO IIWANAN NA NATIN ANG LIGALIG AT ALINLANGAN.

AT THE END OF MY TERM, THE QUESTION WILL NOT LONGER BE WHETHER WE CAN COMPETE BUT WHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD SHALL WE TAKE AN INDISPUTABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.

THE NEXT SIX YEARS WE HOPE IS WHEN WE FINALLY GET THINGS RIGHT.

IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT THAT GOAL WE CANNOT ALL AGREE ON? IS THERE A REASON WE CANNOT ALL WORK TOGETHER?

ALL THAT'S NEEDED IS TO CLEAR AWAY A COUPLE OF OBSTACLES, AS I INTEND TO DO WITH FIVE KEY REFORM PACKAGES: (1) JOB CREATION THROUGH ECONOMIC GROWTH, (2) ANTI-CORRUPTION THROUGH GOOD GOVERNMENT, (3) SOCIAL JUSTICE AND BASIC NEEDS, (4) EDUCATION AND YOUTH OPPORTUNITY AND (5) ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SAVINGS.

TOUGH DECISIONS WILL HAVE TO BE MADE. IT'S GOING TO BE TOUGH LOVE FROM HERE ON. IT MUST BE TOUGHER ON THOSE WHO'VE HAD IT EASY THAN ON THOSE WHO'VE HAD IT TOUGH ALREADY.

HUMARAP DIN SA PROBLEMA ANG MGA KARATIG BANSA.

ANG KANILANG SEKRETO'Y PAGKAKAISA NG MAMAMAYAN, SUPORTA SA LIDERATO, AT SAKRIPISYO NG BAWAT ISA.

WE MUST BEAR THE PAIN AND SHARE THE PAIN TO ENJOY THE GAIN TOGETHER.

THOSE WITH MORE MUST SACRIFICE MORE; THOSE WITH LESS ARE ALREADY LIVING LIVES OF SELF-SACRIFICE.

MARAMING MAGSASABI: MATAGAL NA SILANG NAGSA- SAKRIPISYO. NGUNIT HINIHINGI KO SA INYO: KONTI PANG SAKRIPISYO.

WE MUST WAIT WITH PATIENCE FOR THE REFORMS TO WORK. IN THE MEANTIME, WE MUST WORK MORE PRODUCTIVELY BECAUSE WORLD COMPETITION IS KEEN AND WE WANT THE JOBS NOT ONLY TO COME, BUT TO STAY.

OUR MOST URGENT PROBLEM IS THE BUDGET DEFICIT. SOMETIMES IT'S UNAVOIDABLE; BUT CHRONIC DEFICITS ARE ALWAYS BAD.

SOMETIMES STAMPING OUT DEFICITS TOO VIGOROUSLY CAN SLOW DOWN GROWTH. BUT IGNORING THEM CAN KILL THE ECONOMY. IT SENDS THE WRONG SIGNAL THAT WE DON'T UNDERSTAND OUR FISCAL PREDICAMENT AND WILL NOT HELP OURSELVES. THIS WILL DRIVE AWAY INVESTMENTS, EXACERBATE THE DEFICIT AND HURT JOB GROWTH.

CHRONIC DEFICITS DRASTICALLY REDUCE GOVERNMENT'S ABILITY TO MAKE THOSE INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS THAT BUSINESS NEEDS TO GROW AND CREATE JOBS.

CHRONIC DEFICITS MEAN UNDERTAKING LESS SOCIAL SERVICES THAT PRIVATE CHARITY WILL NEVER PROVIDE BUT WITHOUT WHICH SOCIAL WAR IS INEVITABLE. THIS IS A SURE FIRE FORMULA FOR NATIONAL FAILURE.

SO! WE MUST RAISE REVENUES, EXPAND GOVERNMENT SERVICES, YET CUT COSTS -- ALL AT THE SAME TIME. IT BOILS DOWN TO RIGHT PRIORITIES.

THE BEAUTY OF THE FISCAL PROBLEM IS THAT ALL THE SOLUTIONS ARE KNOWN, THOUGH APPLYING THE RIGHT ONES IS TRICKY.

ALL THE SOLUTIONS REQUIRE: TOUGHNESS ON THE PART OF GOVERNMENT, COOPERATION ON THE PART OF BUSINESS, PATIENCE ON THE PART OF OUR PEOPLE, AND ACTIVE SUPPORT ON THE PART OF CONGRESS.

ALL THE SOLUTIONS REQUIRE PROFOUND, EVEN PERSONAL CHANGES. POLITICIANS WILL NEED TO FOCUS ON THE JOB AT HAND RATHER THAN ON THEIR PROSPECT OF RE-ELECTION.

THE WORST OFFENDER YET THE HARDEST TO PIN DOWN IS CORPORATE CORRUPTION. BUSINESSMEN MUST ADOPT AN ATTITUDE OF TAX ACCEPTANCE NOT TAX AVOIDANCE. THEY MUST STOP TRYING TO OUTRUN THE TAX COLLECTOR. THEY MUST RECOGNIZE THAT ONLY A FISCALLY STRONGER GOVERNMENT CAN CREATE A MORE CONGENIAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT: GREATER SECURITY, BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE, CHEAPER CREDIT, MORE BUSINESS.

MY ADMINISTRATION WILL UNDERTAKE REFORMS TO RAISE OR SAVE P20 BILLION. I ASK CONGRESS TO PASS EIGHT REVENUE MEASURES THAT WILL COLLECT P80 BILLION MORE.

ALAM KONG MAAASAHAN KO ANG MGA MAMBABATAS. UPANG BURAHIN ANG DEFICIT. UPANG ITULOY ANG MAGANDANG TRABAHO. AT UPANG ITAGUYOD ANG SALIGAN NG MATAPAT NA GOBYERNO AT MALAKAS NA EKONOMIYA.

INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENERGY PROVIDE THE GREATEST MULTIPLIER EFFECT FOR GROWTH AND JOB CREATION. PAG MAGANDA ANG IMPRASTRAKTURA GAYA NG KALSADA, TULAY, PANTALAN, TELEPONO, KORYENTE, MARAMING MAMUMUHUNAN. MARAMING MAGKAKAROON NG TRABAHO.

WE MUST ACHIEVE SUFFICIENT, EFFICIENT, CHEAP ENERGY IN THE NEAR TERM. WE MUST BE SURE TO HAVE THE CAPACITY TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF A GROWING ECONOMY, SO AS NOT TO CHOKE OFF GROWTH WHEN IT COMES, AND THEREBY LOSE THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT MAY NOT COME AGAIN.

TO THIS END, NAPOCOR POWER GENERATING PLANTS AND TRANSMISSION LINES MUST BE PRIVATIZED BUT NOT IN A FIRE SALE. DELIVERING ELECTRICITY TO VIRTUALLY AN ENTIRE COUNTRY AS BIG AS OURS CANNOT POSSIBLY BE WORTH NOTHING BUT THE TROUBLE OF RUNNING IT.

NAPOCOR'S TRANSMISSION SYSTEMS WILL BE SOLD ON TERMS THAT RECOGNIZE THE LUCRATIVE MONOPOLY OF ITS TRANSMISSION GRID. I ASK CONGRESS TO PASS THE TRANSCO BILL THAT ALREADY PASSED THE HOUSE IN THE 12TH CONGRESS.

OUR INVESTMENTS IN SOCIAL JUSTICE AND BASIC NEEDS ARE AS VITAL TO OUR FUTURE AS FISCAL AND MACROECONOMIC REFORMS. A NATION DEEPLY DIVIDED WILL NOT STAND. AND IT CERTAINLY WILL NOT MOVE FORWARD.

OUR NATION IS DIVIDED BY SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC FAULTLINES. THE TECTONIC PLATES MAY SHIFT WITH UNTHINKABLE CONSEQUENCES.

    SOME SAY THAT IS IT CHEAPER TO DIE THAN TO GET WELL FROM AN ILLNESS, THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND CLEAN WATER IN THIS RAINFALL COUNTRY, THAT IN THIS MODERN DAY AND AGE, PART OF THE COUNTRY STILL SITS IN DARKNESS. THIS IS A TERRIBLE WASTE AND A TERRIBLE SHAME.

KAYA ANG AKING AGENDA PARA SA MARALITA AY HANAPBUHAY; REPORMA SA LUPA; TUBIG, GAMOT AT KORYENTE; PAGTATANGGOL AT KAPANGYARIHAN PARA SA MAHINA.

IN FACT, WE WILL NOW BE ABLE TO BRING CLEAN WATER TO THE ENTIRE COUNTRY BECAUSE DURING MY PREVIOUS TERM, YOU, CONGRESS FINALLY PASSED THE CLEAN WATER ACT; BECAUSE IN MY FIRST DAYS AS PRESIDENT IN 2001 I SIGNED THE SOLID WASTE ACT; ---THANK YOU ALSO FOR GIVING ME THAT OPPORTUNITY --- AND BECAUSE WE ARE REFORESTING OUR WATERSHEDS.

THE PLACE TO START NOW IS LIVELIHOOD, FOR 10 MILLION FILIPINOS.

THE GROWING INDUSTRIAL, SERVICE, AND MICRO- ENTERPRISE SECTORS WILL TAKE CARE OF SOME, A THRIVING AGRI-BUSINESS SECTOR WILL KEEP MORE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE RATHER THAN BURDENING A METRO MANILA THAT IS ALREADY CRACKING UNDER THE WEIGHT OF OVERPOPULATION.

LAND REFORM COVERS AGRARIAN LAND, URBAN LAND, AND ANCESTRAL DOMAIN LAND. I ASK CONGRESS TO QUALIFY FARMLAND AS BANK COLLATERAL AND REFORM THE SYSTEM OF URBAN LAND TITLE

ANG KAPANGYARIHAN NG TAONG BAYAN AY PUSO NG DEMOKRASYA. DAPAT KASAMA SILA SA PAGHUGIS NG KANILANG KAPALARAN.

DADALHIN KO ANG AKING MGA REPORMA SA TAONG BAYAN. AKO'Y MAGPAPALIWANAG, AKO'Y MAKIKINIG.

I HAVE SHOWN THAT GOVERNMENT DOES CARE EVEN FOR A SINGLE FILIPINO LIFE. NOW WE MUST SHOW THAT WE CARE FOR THE REST OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY THE WEAKEST AMONG US.

TO ADAPT THE WORDS OF ADAM SMITH TO THE INFORMATION AGE, "THE GREATEST IMPROVEMENT IN THE PRODUCTIVE POWERS OF LABOR SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN THE EFFECTS OF A MODERN EDUCATION."

ECONOMIES HAVE EXHAUSTED THE POSSIBILITIES OF THE DIVISION OF LABOR; THE WAY FURTHER FORWARD NOW IS A BETTER- EDUCATED, MORE ADAPTABLE WORKFORCE.

WE NEED TO START EARLY. AND WE NEED TO MAINTAIN THE HIGHEST EDUCATIONAL STANDARDS. I ASK CONGRESS TO LEGISLATE AN EXTRA YEAR OF STUDIES NOT BY ADDING A FIFTH YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL BUT BY STANDARDIZING WHAT IS TAUGHT IN BARANGAY DAY CARE CENTERS.

TO EXPAND YOUTH OPPORTUNITY, WE NEED TO FOCUS ON TECHNICAL AND VOCATIONAL EDUCATION; ON STRENGTHENING ENGLISH, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY -- AND LOVE OF COUNTRY. AS I SAID IN MY INAUGURAL: IT IS NOT FREE MARKETS BUT PATRIOTISM THAT MAKES COUNTRIES STRONG.

THERE IS A SENSE IN WHICH AS A SOCIETY WE HAVE FAILED THE YOUTH IN THEIR FORMATIVE YEARS, IN GROWING UP NORMALLY AND PRODUCTIVELY, IN GETTING A GOOD EDUCATION, IN LEARNING THE HABITS OF HONESTY AND CITIZENSHIP AND CIVIC DISCIPLINE.

I ASK THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM, THE PARENTS, THE CHURCH AND PILLARS OF THE COMMUNITY TO HELP SHAPE A NEW CULTURE OF HONESTY, PATRIOTISM, RESPECT, DISCIPLINE AND SERVICE FOR YOUNG FILIPINOS.

THE ROOF CANNOT COLLAPSE WHEN THE VALUE PILLARS OF GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY ARE SOUND AND STRONG.

I FERVENTLY SUPPORT THE JUDICIAL REFORMS BEING CARRIED OUT BY OUR SUPREME COURT.

I ASK CONGRESS FOR A LAW MAKING THE OMBUDSMAN'S FUNCTION AS EFFECTIVE AS HONG KONG'S INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION.

BUREAUCRATIC CORRUPTION WITH ITS NUMEROUS LEAKAGES IS BAD. SO IS GOVERNMENT INCOMPETENCE. UNLIKE IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR, WHERE THE FREE MARKET PUNISHES MISTAKES, GOVERNMENT INCOMPETENCE PUNISHES ONLY THE PUBLIC.

WE HAVE TO TEAR AWAY LAYERS OF INEFFICIENCY PILED ON BY DECADES OF POLITICAL ACCOMMODATION: REDUNDANCY IN THE NATIONAL SERVICE, WASTE IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, AND POINTLESS PROCEDURES FOR GETTING DONE WHAT ISN'T NEEDED ANYWAY TO SECURE THE PUBLIC WELFARE. JUST HOW DOES PAYING OFF THE HEALTH INSPECTOR BANISH BACTERIA FROM A DIRTY KITCHEN?

BY DEFINITION, PUBLIC SERVICES ARE WHAT THE PRIVATE SECTOR WILL NOT DO EXCEPT FOR A PRICE THE PUBLIC CANNOT PAY.

WHERE THE PRIVATE SECTOR CAN DO IT BETTER AND CHEAPER, GOVERNMENT MAY HAVE TO STEP ASIDE. BUT THE WATCHWORDS ARE BETTER AND CHEAPER. WHERE PRIVATIZATION ONLY SPELLS PUBLIC PILLAGE, GOVERNMENT WILL CONTINUE TO DO THE WORK.

BUT THAT'S NO REASON TO SPARE PUBLIC SERVICES FROM THE TEST OF COMPETITIVE PERFORMANCE.

WE WILL SIMPLIFY PROCEDURES TO ELIMINATE FIXERS.

WE WILL DOWNSIZE THE GOVERNMENT, MOTIVATE EXCESS EMPLOYEES TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS, AND INCREASE THE PAY OF A LEAN AND MEAN BUREAUCRACY.

I HAVE ABOLISHED EIGHTY OFFICES UNDER THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. I WILL ABOLISH THIRTY MORE.

I ASK CONGRESS TO PASS A LAW ON GOVERNMENT RE-ENGINEERING, WITH SILVER PARACHUTES FOR REDUNDANT OFFICES.

ONCE WE HAVE PROVED TO OUR PEOPLE THAT WE HAVE DONE WHAT WE CAN WITHIN THE PRESENT STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT, WE CAN MOVE ON TO CHANGING THE SYSTEM TO ONE THAT ENHANCES OUR FREEDOM AND FLEXIBILITY TO DO MORE.

I EXPECT THAT NEXT YEAR, CONGRESS WILL START CONSIDERING THE RESOLUTIONS FOR CHARTER CHANGE.

NO ONE HAS A MONOPOLY ON RIGHT IDEAS. I AM REACHING OUT TO ALL SEGMENTS OF SOCIETY AND ALL PARTIES, BE THEY WITH ME OR AGAINST ME, TO JOIN ME IN THOSE THINGS THAT SHOULD BE EVERYONE'S CONCERN BECAUSE THEY RISE ABOVE POLITICS TO THE LEVEL OF PATRIOTISM.

I DO NOT WANT A HONEYMOON PERIOD AFTER WHICH WE CAN FORGET THE COUNTRY AND GO AFTER EACH OTHER AGAIN. I WANT A MARRIAGE NOT OF CONVENIENCE BUT OF CONVICTION, ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF PARTIES AND GROUPS, ENCOMPASSING THE RANGE OF INTELLIGENT POLITICAL, RELIGIOUS AND ECONOMIC VIEWS. I WANT A MARRIAGE FOR AT LEAST THE LIFE OF THIS CONGRESS.

I DO NOT ASK FOR UNPRINCIPLED SUPPORT BECAUSE IT WILL NOT HOLD.

I DO ASK FOR AN END TO UNPRINCIPLED OBSTRUCTIONISM BECAUSE THAT ALWAYS SUCCEEDS IN DEFEATING OUR BEST EFFORTS.

TUNAY NGA NA KAHIRAPAN AT KAWALAN NG KATARUNGAN ANG SAGABAL SA ATING PAG-UNLAD. NGUNIT ANG MGA NAGSUSULSOL SA MAHIHIRAP NA MANGGULO ANG SUMISIRA SA ATING KINABUKASAN.

SO THIS MUST STOP.

WE MUST PUT A STOP TO THAT.

EVERY YEAR, EVERY PRESIDENT TELLS CONGRESS THAT IT IS THE LAST CHANCE FOR MEANINGFUL CHANGE.

THIS TIME I WILL SAY IT AGAIN, ADDING ONLY THAT PAST PRESIDENTS WERE RIGHT. AND THAT EACH TIME CHANGE DOESN'T HAPPEN, MAKES CHANGE HARDER AND LESS LIKELY TO HAPPEN THE NEXT TIME AROUND.

THE TIME FOR CHANGE IS WELL PAST DUE.

THIS TIME, LET ME SAY, LET'S JUST DO IT!

MABUHAY ANG PILIPINO!

MARAMING SALAMAT SA INYONG LAHAT.

Sona 2003 Speech text

YESTERDAY, WITHOUT BLOODSHED, WITHOUT DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, AND WITHIN A SINGLE DAY, WE OVERCAME AN ILL-CONCEIVED MUTINY CARRIED OUT BY MISGUIDED MILITARY OFFICERS.

SUCH ACTIONS ARE DEPLORABLE AND WILL BE MET WITH THE FULL FORCE OF THE LAW, INCLUDING THEIR POLITICAL COMPONENT.

YET THEY SIGNAL AN UNDERLYING PROBLEM THAT WE MUST ADDRESS. I AM CONSTITUTING AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE THE ROOTS OF THE MUTINY AND THE PROVOCATIONS THAT INSPIRED IT. AT THE REQUEST OF DEFENSE SECRETARY ANGELO REYES, I AM ALSO CONSTITUTING AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE THE DAVAO BOMBING.

THESE WILL BE MATCHED BY A PNP REFORM COMMISSION. I THANK THE NATIONAL POLICE FOR THEIR SOLID SUPPORT IN YESTERDAY'S CRISIS, AND I AM SURE THEY THEMSELVES WELCOME A COMPREHENSIVE REFORM THAT WILL CURE THE ORGANIZATION NOT ONLY OF THE FAILURES OF THE SCALE OF THE AL-GHOZI ESCAPE, BUT ALSO THE DAILY DEVILS THAT ARE THE KOTONG COPS.

BY NOW WE SHOULD BE AT PEACE: AT PEACE IN THE SOUTH, AT PEACE IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, SAFE IN OUR HOMES AND SECURE IN OUR COMMUNITIES. BUT WE REMAIN AT WAR. AT WAR AGAINST TERRORISM. AT WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION. AT WAR AGAINST DISEASE. AT WAR AGAINST DRUGS, THE GREATEST MENACE FACING OUR COUNTRY TODAY.

LAST FIVE WEEKS, WE'VE STRUCK A MAJOR BLOW AGAINST THE DRUG MENACE. EIGHT BILLION PESOS IN FIVE WEEKS. IT IS A PITY THAT A FEW DAYS LATER AFTER THE PENULTIMATE SUCCESS AGAINST THE DRUG MENACE, WE SHOULD FIND OURSELVES AT WAR AGAINST DESTABILIZERS.

WE CANNOT STAY DIVIDED WITH SO MUCH WE NEED TO DO TOGETHER. I ADDRESS MYSELF NOT ONLY TO THE JOINT HOUSES HERE ASSEMBLED, BUT TO THE NATION-AT-LARGE.

I NEED YOU; WE NEED EACH OTHER.

IYON ANG AKING SINABI NANG NALUKLOK AKO BILANG PANGULO NOONG 2001. SINABI KO NOON NA PANAHON NA NG PAGHILOM SA ATING LIPUNAN.

AT SA AKING UNANG STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS, PINAGDIINAN KO ANG MGA BATAYANG HANGARIN NG KARANIWANG PILIPINO: TRABAHO, PAGKAIN SA BAWAT MESA, TAHANAN, EDUKASYON.

I GAVE MY TARGETS.

I AM SUBMITTING TO THE CONGRESS AND TO THE NATION A TECHNICAL REPORT OF MY GOVERNMENT'S PERFORMANCE. IN SUM I CAN SAY, WE DELIVERED IN GREAT PART ON OUR COMMITMENTS.

HINDI LUMAMPAS ANG DALAWANG BUWAN PAGKATAPOS NOONG STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS, NOONG 9-11, NAGBAGO ANG MUNDO. SA MGA BATAYANG HANGARING TRABAHO, PAGKAIN SA BAWAT MESA, TAHANAN, AT EDUKASYON, ATING IDINAGDAG ANG KAPAYAPAAN.

NGUNIT DAHIL HINDI PA MATATAG ANG ATING REPUBLIKA, HINDI PA NATIN MAAASAHAN NA KUNG ANG ISANG PANGULO AY MAG-UUTOS PARANG ISANG PRESIDENTE NG ISANG KORPORASYON, AY MAIINTINDIHAN AT SUSUNOD KAAGAD ANG MGA INSTITUSYON AT BUROKRASYA. IN A NATION WHOSE INSTITUTIONS ARE STILL FRAGILE, A LEADER CANNOT RUN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY LIKE A CORPORATION.

FOR THE PRACTICAL PURPOSES OF MOST PEOPLE, GOVERNMENT EXISTS TO PROVIDE JOBS, HOMES, EDUCATION, PEACE, FOOD ON EVERY TABLE. AND TO DO THAT ADEQUATELY AND DEPENDABLY, GOVERNMENT MUST POSSESS THE CAPACITY TO EXECUTE GOOD POLICY AND DELIVER BASIC SERVICES THROUGH STRONG AND RESPONSIVE INSTITUTIONS STAFFED BY A COMPETENT AND DEDICATED BUREAUCRACY. IN SHORT, GOVERNMENT MUST BE THE ARM OF A STRONG REPUBLIC.

BUT A STRONG REPUBLIC DOES NOT HAPPEN OVERNIGHT; NOT EVEN IN TWO OR THREE YEARS. NOR DOES IT HAPPEN ONCE AND FOR ALL.

IN THIS SETTING, THE FIRST VIRTUE OF A MODERN LEADER IS A CONSTANT SENSE OF CORRECT PERSPECTIVE, THE CAPACITY TO RETAIN HER ORIGINAL FOCUS, AND PLOD ON REGARDLESS.

SHE MUST STICK TO PRIORITIES THAT WERE CAREFULLY CHOSEN, RATHER THAN DUMP THEM AT EVERY FIRST ISSUE THAT IS RECKLESSLY RAISED.

I HAVE STUCK TO MY PRIORITES: JOBS, FOOD ON EVERY TABLE, HOMES, EDUCATION, PEACE.

MANY OF OUR REFORMS HAVE YET TO BEAR FRUIT, BUT IN THE FULLNESS OF TIME OUR COUNTRY WILL REAP WHAT WAS CAREFULLY PICKED, PLANTED AND NURTURED. AND IT WILL BE A HARVEST OF PLENTY.

THE HARVEST HAS IN FACT STARTED.

SA KAPAYAAN:

WE HAVE HIT HARD AT TERRORISM AND, WITH THE HELP OF SPEAKER JOE DE VENECIA, MADE ADVANCES TOWARDS A NEGOTIATED PEACE ON TWO FRONTS: THE MILF AND THE NDF.

SA SUSUNOD NA LINGGO, MAGSISIMULA NA ANG PAG-UUSAP NG PEACE PANELS NG GOBYERNO AT MILF TUNGO SA ISANG PANGHULING KASUNDUANG PANG-KAPAYAPAAN.

WE WILL AVAIL OF THE GOOD OFFICES OF MALAYSIA IN THE SEARCH OF A POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE CONFLICT WITH THE MILF, WHILE LOOKING TO THE HELP OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE REHABILITATION OF CONFLICT AREAS AND THE ERADICATION OF THE ROOTS OF WAR.

WE -- ALL OF US FILIPINOS -- HAVE TO DECIDE NOW, ONCE AND FOR ALL, WHETHER WE WANT PEACE OR WE WANT WAR. THERE IS NO WAY TO PEACE. PEACE IS THE WAY.

SUBALIT KUNG IPAGPIPILITAN NG ILANG MGA KAAWAY NG ATING REPUBLIKA ANG DIGMAAN, WALA AKONG MAGAGAWA KUNG HINDI TAPATAN SILA UPANG IPAGTANGGOL ANG ATING MGA KABABAYAN.

I THANK THE SENATE FOR RATIFYING SEVEN U.N. CONVENTIONS AGAINST TERRORISM. I ASK THEM TO RATIFY THE REMAINING FIVE.

HINIHINGI KO RIN SA KONGRESO NA IPASA NA ANG ANTI-TERRORISM LAW, AT ISAMA RITO ANG PAGPATAW NG MABIGAT NA PARUSA SA KAPABAYAAN SA PANGANGALAGA NG MGA PINAGHIHINALAANG TERORISTA.

KASAMA NG TERORISMO, ANG PROBLEMA NG DROGA ANG PINAG-UUGATAN NG MATINDING PAGKABAHALA NG MGA MAMAMAYAN TUNGKOL SA KANILANG PERSONAL NA KALIGTASAN.

ANG KATIWALIANG NILIKHA NG KALAKAL SA DROGA AY MALALIM ANG LAGOS AT BUMABAGTAS SA LAHAT NG SECTOR. DAPAT NATING KAPOOTAN ANG WALANG PAKUNDANGANG PAGSIRA SA BUHAY NG ATING MGA MAMAMAYAN NA MAAARING HUMANTONG SA PAGKAWASAK NG ATING MGA INSTITUSYONG DEMOKRATIKO.

KAPAG NAKAKAUSAP KO ANG MGA MAGULANG NG MGA DRUG ADDICT, NAWAWASAK ANG AKING PUSO, NGUNI'T LALONG TUMITIBAY ANG LOOB KO NA TAMA ANG AKING DESISYONG ITAAS ANG ANTAS NG ATING PAGLABAN SA BAWAL NA GAMOT.

DADALHIN KO ANG LABANG ITO SA BAWA'T LALAWIGAN AT LUNGSOD HANGGANG UMABOT SA MGA BARANGAY UPANG KUMATOK TAYO SA MGA PINTO NG BAWA'T PAMILYANG PILIPINO. THIS IS ONE FIGHT I AM TAKING EVERYWHERE, IF WE HAVE TO KNOCK ON EVERY DOOR.

MAGLULUNSAD TAYO NG KAMPANYA SA MGA PAARALAN AT MGA KOMUNIDAD PARA SAGIPIN ANG KABATAAN AT BIGYAN NG BAGONG-BUHAY ANG MGA DRUG USERS AT TIYAKING HINDI SILA MALULONG MULI!

PIPIGAIN NATIN ANG SUPPLY SA KALYE SA PARAANG KAHIT NA ANG MASALAPI AY MAHIHIRAPANG SUSTENTUHAN ANG KANILANG BISYO.
PIPILAYAN NATIN ANG OPERASYON NG MGA DRUG LORDS AT NG KANILANG MGA PADRINO SA MGA PASILYO NG KAPANGYARIHAN.

I THANK CONGRESS FOR PASSING THE ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING LAW, BECAUSE IT WILL HELP US INTERDICT THE MONEY OF THE DRUG LORDS. I AM NOW INSTRUCTING THE SECRETARY OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT TO ALLOCATE A 100 MILLION PESOS FOR ITS IMPLEMENTATION.

ITO ANG ATING LABAN AT TAYO AY MAGTATAGUMPAY.

PARA SA MGA BIG FISH SA ILIGAL NA DROGA, MAHIRAP NA ANG MAGMORATORIUM SA DEATH PENALTY.

NGUNIT SA IBANG BAGAY, PRO-LIFE PA RIN AKO. I WILL VETO ANY BILL THAT WILL TRY TO SMUGGLE IN ABORTION.

TUNGKOL SA EDUKASYON:

IN 2001 I SAID THAT OUR ENGLISH LITERACY GIVES US A COMPETITIVE EDGE IN ICT. I ALSO SAID THAT TO PREPARE THE YOUTH TO BE THE NEXT GENERATION OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS, WE WILL UPGRADE MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHING IN BASIC EDUCATION.

KAYA DINAGDAGAN NATIN ANG ORAS PARA SA MATH AT ENGLISH AT PINAG-IBAYO ANG LAMAN NG SCIENCE SA BAGONG CURRICULUM.

NAGTAYO TAYO NG ESKWELAHAN SA ANIM NA RAANG BARANGAY NA DATI'Y WALANG PAARALAN.

SINISIMULAN NATIN ANG DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM O EDUCATION TV PARA SA APAT NA RAANG PAMAYANANG MALAYO AT KULANG ANG GURO.

AT KAGAYA NI SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON, SAMAHAN NIYO AKONG MAGTAYO NG SILID-ARALAN SA LAHAT NG PAARALANG LUMALAMPAS SA SANDAANG MAG-AARAL BAWAT SILID. IN THAT WAY, WE CAN ONCE AND FOR ALL CLOSE THE PERENNIAL SCHOOL BUILDING GAP.

TUNGKOL SA TIRAHAN:

TAYO AY NAKAPAGTAYO NG HIGIT SANDAAN-LIBONG BAHAY PARA SA MGA MARALITA AT HALOS DALAWANDAANG LIBO PARA SA MGA MANGGAGAWA.

BINIGYAN DIN NATIN NG KATIYAKAN SA LUPANG TINITIRIKAN ANG HALOS TATLUNDAAN-LIBONG MAHIHIRAP NA PAMILYA.

PINAGTIBAY NATIN ANG ANCESTRAL DOMAIN NG MGA KATUTUBO SA MAHIGIT TATLUNDAAN ANIMNAPUNG LIBONG EKTARYA NG LUPAIN.

TUNGKOL SA PAGKAIN SA BAWAT MESA:

SELF-RATED HUNGER ACCORDING TO THE SURVEYS HAS GONE DOWN TO 6.6.% COMPARED TO 12.7% JUST BEFORE I BECAME PRESIDENT.

MAYROON TAYONG PIRMIHANG SUPPLY NG BIGAS SA HALAGANG LABING ANIM NA PISO BAWAT KILO PARA SA MAHIHIRAP.

AT AYON SA MASUGID NA PAGMONITOR NI MAR ROXAS, ANG ATING SECRETARY OF TRADE, MULA NOONG AKO'Y NAGING PANGULO, NANATILING P8.50 ANG HALAGA NG PANGMASANG SARDINAS, P11 ANG MANTIKANG LAPAD, P23 ANG MANTIKANG LONG-NECK, P28 ANG PUTING ASUKAL, P23 ANG BROWN SUGAR, P28 ANG KONDENSADA, P115 ANG BABOY, P90 ANG MANOK, AT P160 ANG BAKA. MATATAG ITONG MGA PRESYO MULA NANG AKO'Y NAGING PANGULO. DAHIL DITO, NGAYON PINAKAMABABA ANG ATING INFLATION RATE SA LOOB NG DALAWAMPUNG TAON.

MALAMANG ITO AY DAHIL ANG AKING ADMINISTRASYON SA TULONG NG KONGRESO AY TAUN-TAON GUMUGUGOL NG DALAWAMPUNG BILYONG PISO PARA SA MAKATAONG MODERNISASYON NG AGRIKULTURA.

NAMAHAGI TAYO NG HALOS KALAHATING MILYONG EKTARYA SA ILALIM NG REPORMA SA LUPA. MAS MARAMI PA TAYONG MAGAGAWA SA TATLUMPU'T WALONG BILYONG PISONG INILAAN PARA DITO NG DESISYON NG KORTE SUPREMA TUNGKOL SA NAKAW NA YAMAN.

I CONGRATULATE THE SUPREME COURT FOR FINALLY GRANTING WHAT HAS TAKEN MUCH TOO LONG TO MATERIALIZE: AUTHORIZING THE ALLOCATION AND USE OF PRIVATE LOOT FOR LAUDABLE PUBLIC PURPOSES.

HINIHILING KO SA KONGRESO NA MAGLAAN NG BAGAHI NITONG PONDO BILANG KABAYARAN SA MGA NAGING BIKTIMA NG PAGLABAG SA KARAPATANG PANTAO NOONG MARTIAL LAW.

MAS MALAKI RIN ANG MAITUTULONG NG GOBYERNO SA MGA MAGSASAKA NG NIYOG NGAYON NA NARESOLBA NA PABOR SA MAGSASAKA ANG KASO NG COCO LEVY. UULITIN KO ANG SINABI KO NOON PANG 2001, SISIGURUHIN KO NA MAKIKINABANG SA COCO LEVY AY ANG MGA MALILIIT NA MAGNYO-NIYOG. HINDI KO SILA PABABAYAANG MADEHADO.

I SAID THAT THERE COULD BE A MILLION NEW JOBS IN AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES. WE HAVE PROVIDED MORE THAN HALF OF THAT NUMBER TWO-THIRDS INTO MY TERM.

NGUNIT UPANG MABUO ANG ISANG MILYON, KAILANGAN ISABATAS NATIN ANG PANUKALANG GAMITIN ANG BUKIRIN BILANG KOLATERAL SA UTANG PARA LUMAWAK ANG DAAN SA RURAL CREDIT AT KAPITAL.

TO THE COUNTLESS INCENTIVES THAT CONGRESS HAS GRANTED TO BUSINESS, I'VE MATCHED SIMILAR PROGRAMS TO GIVE A SIMILAR BREAK TO THE WORKER IN THE FACTORY AND IN THE FARM.

I DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS AND SOCIAL POLICY. THOSE WHO HAVE LESS IN LIFE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO SCRAMBLE FOR CRUMBS AT THE FEET OF THOSE WITH TOO MUCH ON THE TABLE.

BILANG PAKIKIPAG-UGNAYAN SA MGA PINAKAMAHIRAP NG ATING BANSA HINGGIL SA PINAKAMALUBHANG MGA PROBLEMA NATIN, DINALAW KO ANG MGA DI-KILALANG BARANGAY.

NAWASAK ANG AKING PUSO NANG NARINIG KONG NAMATAY ANG CALISAAN QUADRUPLETS.

LALONG NAKUMBINSI AKONG PAG-IBAYUHIN ANG MGA SERBISYONG PANGKALUSUGAN, GAYA NANG MABUTI NATING PAGLABAN SA SARS.

NGAYON ANG MGA GAMOT NA MADALAS GAMITIN NG MAHIHIRAP AY NABIBILI SA KALAHATING PRESYO SA MGA OSPITAL NG GOBYERNO.

SA PHILHEALTH INSURANCE NAMAN, BAGO AKO NAGING PANGULO, ISA'T KALAHATING MILYONG MARALITA ANG SAKOP. NGAYON, HALOS PITONG MILYON NA.

GUSTO KONG PALAWAKIN ANG MGA ITO, ANG MURANG GAMOT, AT DAPAT HANGARIN NATIN NA LAHAT NG DUKHA AY MASAKOP SA PHILHEALTH. AND TO FINANCE THE UNIVERSAL COVERAGE OF PHILHEALTH, I ASK CONGRESS TO PASS THE BILL ON THE INDEXATION OF SIN TAXES.

TUNGKOL SA TRABAHO:

SINABI KO NOONG 2001 NA UPANG DUMAMI ANG TRABAHO, KAILANGANG ISA-AYOS ANG KLIMA PARA SA PAMUMUHUNAN.

OUR ECONOMY GREW BY 4.4 PERCENT GNP LAST YEAR AND 5.6 PERCENT IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR. ONLY CHINA AND VIETNAM DID BETTER.

ANG KAHIRAPAN AY UNTI-UNTING NAGAGAPI. SELF-RATED POVERTY AGAIN ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY, IS AT ITS LOWEST PERCENTAGE OF THE POPULATION IN THE LAST 16 YEARS.

FOREIGN INVESTMENTS ROSE 26 PERCENT IN THE FIRST QUARTER COMPARED TO THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR.

BUT WE NEED TO REDUCE THE RISK OF LIVING, NOT TO MENTION DOING BUSINESS HERE. WHICH IS WHY YESTERDAY'S ROGUES MUST GO TO JAIL.

WE CAN REDUCE BUSINESS COSTS BY PROVIDING BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE: ROADS, TRANSPORT AND A MORE EFFICIENT AND RATIONALIZED POWER SECTOR.

OUR ROAD PROGRAM IS SYMBOLIZED BY THE LONG-AWAITED EXPANSION OF THE NORTH EXPRESSWAY.

ON MASS TRANSPORT, TOWARDS THE END OF THIS YEAR, WE WILL COMPLETE THE LOOP OF THE LIGHT RAILWAY SYSTEM OF METRO MANILA -- FROM SANTOLAN IN PASIG TOWARDS AURORA BOULEVARD IN CUBAO, AND ON TO QUIAPO TO BLUMENTRITT ON TO EDSA IN PASAY AND BACK TO CUBAO.

HINDI TUMAAS ANG PASAHE MULA NOONG UNA KONG STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS. KAYA MGA JEEPNEY DRIVERS, NAGPAPASALAMAT AKO, HINDI KO KAYO PABABAYAAN.

TO REDUCE TRANSPORT COSTS FROM MINDANAO TO LUZON, WE SET UP THE NAUTICAL HIGHWAY, A SYSTEM WHERE THE CARGO TRUCK ITSELF TRAVELS STRAIGHT TO ITS DESTINATION, MAKING INTER-ISLAND CROSSINGS ON FERRIES, RATHER THAN LOADING AND UNLOADING AT EVERY PORT. THIS HAS REDUCED BY 30 PERCENT THE TRANSPORT COSTS OF PRODUCTS FROM MINDANAO LIKE COPRA, RICE, CORN AND VEGETABLES.

NAGBIGAY TAYO NG KORYENTE SA MAHIGIT TATLUNLIBOT AT ANIM NA RAANG BARANGAY. WHILE IN METRO MANILA, A CONSUMER USING A 100 KILOWATT HOURS PAID P526.48 LAST MAY. TODAY, HE PAYS P423.20, A DROP OF OVER A 100 PESOS OR 20 PERCENT. HIS CASE IS ONE OF ALMOST 2 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS BENEFITTING FROM THE LIFELINE RATE PROGRAM OF THE ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISION. ANOTHER 119 ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE FRANCHISE AREAS WILL ALSO SOON REDUCE THEIR RATES UNDER THE LOAN CONDONATION PROGRAM OF THE ELECTRIC POWER REFORM ACT THAT YOU, CONGRESS PASSED IN 2001. THAT IS WHY, BELIEVE ME WHEN I SAY THAT FROM HAVING THE SECOND MOST EXPENSIVE POWER IN ASIA-PACIFIC, WE NOW RANK SEVENTH.

BUT WE WILL NEED 6,000 MEGAWATTS MORE OF POWER OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. THAT IS WHY WE NEED TO PASS THE TRANSCO BILL TO MAINTAIN A FAVORABLE RANKING AS WE TAKE ON THIS ADDED CAPACITY.

WHEN WE REDUCE BUSINESS COSTS, THE LAST SHOULD BE WAGES, AND THE FIRST SHOULD BE RED TAPE.

KAYA NAGSASAGAWA AKO NG SORPRESANG PAGBISITA SA MGA TANGGAPAN NG GOBYERNO, UPANG PASIGLAHIN ANG TALAGANG NAGSISIKAP AT GISINGIN KUNG SINO ANG NATUTULOG SA TRABAHO.

PINALAKAS NATIN ANG PAMBANSANG EKONOMIYA -- AGRIKULTURA, MALILIIT NA NEGOSYO, PABAHAY -- UPANG ANUMANG MANGYARI SA DAYUHANG EKONOMIYA, MATATAG PA RIN ANG PILIPINAS.

NAGLAAN TAYO NG SAMPUNG BILYONG PISO PARA SA MURANG PAUTANG SA MALILIIT NA NEGOSYO. NAGAMIT NA ITO, KAYA DADAGDAGAN MULI NATIN NG HIGIT PA SA SAMPUNG BILYON.

ANG INTEREST RATES AY PATULOY NA BUMABABA.

GOOD MONETARY POLICY AND FISCAL DISCIPLINE AND BALANCE ARE THE KEY.

OUR REVENUES SURPASSED THE TARGET BY 21 BILLION PESOS IN THE FIRST FIVE MONTHS OF THIS YEAR, DRIVEN BY INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AND HELPED BY LIFESTYLE CHECKS, AND 50 INDICTMENTS AND DISMISSALS FOR GRAFT AND CORRUPTION.

THUS, WE HELD THE BUDGET DEFICIT IN CHECK AT 22 PERCENT BELOW CEILING.

I THANK CONGRESS FOR PASSING OUR E-PROCUREMENT LAW BECAUSE IT HELPS US HOLD DOWN EXPENDITURES. NOW, I ASK CONGRESS TO COMPLETE THE PASSAGE OF THE BILLS ON EXCISE TAX RATIONALIZATION AND THE NATIONAL REVENUE AUTHORITY.

BUT WE MUST REDUCE CORRUPTION NOT ONLY AMONG APPOINTIVE BUT ALSO AMONG ELECTIVE OFFICIALS.

WITH FULL FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO MY GOVERNMENT, THE REGISTRATION, COUNTING, AND TRANSMISSION OF VOTES IN THE MAY 2004 ELECTIONS WILL BE COMPLETELY COMPUTERIZED.

NOW, I ASK CONGRESS TO INSTITUTE REFORMS IN CAMPAIGN FINANCE TO LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD AND WIDEN THE CHOICE OF THE ELECTORATE FOR WORTHY CANDIDATES.

THE STRENGTH OF OUR INVESTMENT CLIMATE ALSO RESTS IN GREAT PART ON THE REALITIES OF THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT AND ON HOW WE TURN THOSE REALITIES TO OUR ADVANTAGE.

OUR COUNTRY HAS COME MUCH CLOSER TO RE-ATTAINING ITS STRATEGIC IMPORTANCE IN GEOPOLITICS AS AN ACTIVE AND RESPECTED VOICE IN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS.

THE FILIPINO IS NOW RECOGNIZED AS A TRULY GLOBAL WORKER, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD.

WE HAVE HAD THE SMALLEST NUMBER OF STRIKES IN THE LAST 21 YEARS.

INCREASINGLY, THE PHILIPPINES IS BEING RECOGNIZED AS AN IDEAL SITE FOR CRITICAL OPERATIONS REQUIRING A HIGH-QUALITY, ENGLISH-EDUCATED WORK FORCE.

EIGHT MILLION FILIPINOS LIVE AND WORK ABROAD, IN JOBS WHERE THEY ENJOY THE UNBEATABLE COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGES OF AN ENGLISH SPEAKING EDUCATION, ADVANCED SKILLS AND A UNIQUELY CARING NATURE.

THE FILIPINO WILL WORK ANYWHERE BECAUSE HE IS NOT AFRAID. LIKE MANNY PACQUIAO, GIVEN THE CHANCE TO COMPETE, HE WILL TAKE IT AND HE WILL WIN. IT WAS ONLY FITTING THAT BECAUSE OF YOUR WORK IN CONGRESS, OVERSEAS FILIPINO WORKERS WERE GIVEN THE OVERSEAS VOTING RIGHT.

IT WAS ALSO FITTING THAT I PUT IN A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON OUR RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES, WHERE THREE MILLION FILIPINOS LIVE AND WHERE I MADE A VISIT AS THEIR ONLY STATE VISITOR FOR THE YEAR. THE BENEFITS OF OUR ENGAGEMENT WITH THE U.S. VASTLY OUTWEIGH ANY CONCERNS ABOUT SOVEREIGN SUBORDINATION. WE SHOULD HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO DEAL WITH OTHER COUNTRIES AS EQUALS -- HOWEVER RICH, HOWEVER STRONG, BE THEY CHINA, JAPAN, THE MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN UNION OR THE UNITED STATES.

WE HAVE REACHED OUT TO GOOD FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS-SUCH AS PRIME MINISTER MAHATHIR OF MALAYSIA, AND PRESIDENT MEGAWATI OF INDONESIA -- WITH THE MESSAGE THAT WE MUST WORK TOGETHER ESPECIALLY WHERE DEMOCRACY AND SECURITY ARE CONCERNED.

ANG PANGULUHAN AY LAGING NAHAHARAP SA MABIBIGAT NA SULIRANIN.

TERRORISM, DRUGS, SARS, OFWS, MINDANAO, POVERTY, CORRUPTION, INVESTMENTS, DESTABILIZATION -- THESE COME TO MIND AS WE REVIEW THE CRISES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE PAST YEAR.

THEY SUM UP THE PROBLEMS WE FACED AND THE EXTRAORDINARY RESPONSES THAT WE MADE, SURPRISING EVEN OURSELVES AND REVIVING FAITH IN OUR FUTURE.

BARANGAY VACANTE, ALCALA, PANGASINAN GOT THE SARS, TOOK THE HIT, FOUGHT ON AND VALIANTLY OVERCAME THE CRISIS.

BARANGAY INUG-UG, PAGALUNGAN, MAGUINDANAO POLITELY ASKED THE MILF AND THE MILITARY TO LEAVE AND TAKE THEIR FIGHT ELSEWHERE, THEREBY MAKING THEIR COMMUNITY A SANCTUARY OF PEACE.

SI SONNY AYAO, UMAYAW SA GIYERA AT NAGING COMMUNITY ORGANIZER KAHIT NA S'YA AY NAGING MNLF SA EDAD NA LABINDALAWA, AT PAGKATAPOS MAGING MUJAHIDEEN SA LOOB NG DALAWAMPU'T PITONG TAON.

THE FILIPINOS OF KUWAIT, ISOLATED BY WAR BUT REFUSING TO ABANDON THEIR JOBS, TOOK CARE OF THEMSELVES AND THE PEOPLE AROUND THEM DURING THE IRAQ CONFLICT.

TEACHER JOSETTE BIYO OF ILOILO, WORLD CHAMPION IN SCIENCE AND MATH TEACHING, HAS A PLANET IN THE SOLAR SYSTEM NAMED AFTER HER.

LUZ LOZADA, 72 YEARS OLD, NG SAN ISIDRO, DAVAO DEL SUR -- HINIRANG NA NATATANGING MAGSASAKA. SHE IS THE IMAGE MODEL OF HYBRID RICE TECHNOLOGY, THE SYMBOL OF OUR AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION.

POLICE OFFICERS CAYETANO GANNABAN AND RAUL GRAZA FOUGHT OFF 20 REBELS IN A FIREFIGHT IN QUINAPONDAN, EASTERN SAMAR.

POLICE COLONEL BOYSIE ROSALES, KILABOT NG MGA DRUG LORDS, TUMANGGI SA SUHOL NA P35 MILLION.

HINAHANGAAN KO ANG GILAS NG MARAMING PILIPINO, ANG MALALIM NATING KABAN NG KABAYANIHAN AT TALINO, ANG ATING MATIBAY NA KALOOBAN UPANG MABUHAY, MAGLINGKOD AT MANGIBABAW.

ANG ATING PANGARAP AY WALANG KABAWAS-BAWAS -- ISANG MATATAG NA REPUBLIKANG HINDI MATITINAG NG MAKASARILING INTERES, YUMAYABONG SA MGA GUMAGANANG INSTITUSYON NG PAMAMAHALA, NAGLILINGKOD SA ISANG MASIPAG NA LIPI SAANMAN ITO KAILANGAN UPANG MAIBIGAY SA KANILA ANG KARAPAT-DAPAT NILANG TANGGAPIN.

A LIFE OF LEADERSHIP IS A DIFFICULT ONE, WITH FEW PAUSES FOR COMFORT AND RELIEF. THESE DAYS, I FIND THAT RARE MOMENT OF JOY IN THE COMPANY OF MY FAMILY -- ESPECIALLY MY GRANDDAUGHTER, MIKAELA.

JUST AS I WILL DO EVERYTHING TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FUTURE WILL BE KIND TO MIKAELA AND HER GENERATION, SO MUST WE ALL STRIVE TO TURN OUR FEARS INTO A RESOLVE TO DO RIGHT NOT JUST BY OURSELVES, BUT BY OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.

NASA GIYERA TAYO. GIYERA LABAN SA TERORISMO. GIYERA LABAN SA KATIWALIAN. GIYERA LABAN SA KASAKITAN. GIYERA LABAN SA DROGA. GIYERA LABAN SA DISTABILISASYON.

SA ATING SAMA-SAMANG PAKIKIPAGLABAN AT PAGTUTULUNGAN, TAYO AY MANGINGIBABAW AT MAGWAWAGI.

NO AGTUTUNOS TAYO NGA AGTRABAHO, AGBA LEYGI TAYO.

ABE-ABENG MAKILABAN AMPON MAG-OBRA, MANGIBABO TAMU.

SA ATONG PANAGHIUSA SA PAGTRABAHO UG PAGBUNTOG SA MGA KAAWAY, MOLAMPOS GAYOD KITA.

SA ATON PAG-INUPOD SA MGA ULUBRAHON KAG SA PAKIPAG-AWAY, KITA GID ANG MAGPANGIBABAW.

KASIHAN NAWA NG DIYOS ANG PILIPINAS.

MARAMING SALAMAT SA INYONG LAHAT.

Sona 2002 Speech text

IN THE CORRIDORS OF POWER, IN THE PALACE WHERE I WORK, PAST PRESIDENTS OF THE REPUBLIC SIT IN THEIR PORTRAITS IN JUDGMENT OF ME. .IN THIS GALLERY OF THE HIGHEST PUBLIC SERVANTS, NONE SITS IN STERNER JUDGMENT THAN THE MAN WHO FIRST LED ME BY THE HAND INTO THE PALACE AS A TEENAGER.

IN A COUNTRY WHERE A MAN'S WORTH WAS MEASURED BY HIS PROPERTY, HE WAS BORN IN A NIPA HUT, INTO A FAMILY THAT TILLED LESS THAN A HECTARE OF LAND.

AFTER YEARS OF HARD STRUGGLE AND BRILLIANT ACHIEVEMENT, MY FATHER TOOK HIS OATH AS PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES ON GROUND MADE HALLOW BY THE MARTYRDOM OF OUR NATIONAL HERO. A HERO WHOSE NAME HE WOULD HONOR, AND WHOSE IDEALS HE WOULD PURSUE.

INDEED, IN A DEMOCRACY, A MAN MAY RISE TO THE NATION'S HIGHEST SERVICE BY DINT OF ENERGY AND INTELLIGENCE ALONE, WITHOUT REGARD TO WEALTH AND CONNECTIONS OF WHICH MY FATHER HAD NONE.

IT WAS JOSE RIZAL WHO WROTE: "A LIFE NOT DEDICATED TO A GREAT IDEAL IS USELESS; A MERE PEBBLE IN THE FIELD THAT FORMS NO PART OF AN EDIFICE."

THE WORDS OF DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL ECHOED THIS THEME AS HE ASSUMED THE MANTLE OF NATIONAL LEADERSHIP FORTY YEARS AGO: "NO PRESIDENT CAN BUILD THE WHOLE EDIFICE OF A NATION. ALL THAT HE IS CALLED UPON TO DO IS TO ADD A FINE STONE TO THAT EDIFICE, SO THAT THOSE WHO SHALL COME AFTER HIM MAY ADD OTHER FINE STONES THAT WILL GO FOR A STRONG AND ENDURING STRUCTURE."

MODEST WORDS FROM A MODEST MAN WHO WOULD YET CHANGE FOR ALL TIME HOW A FEUDAL SOCIETY WOULD COME TO VIEW A VITAL INSTITUTION-LAND REFORM.

MY COUNTRYMEN , THE FINE STONE I SHOULD LIKE TO ADD TO THE EDIFICE OF OUR NATION, RIGHT ABOVE THE STONE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE THAT MY FATHER LEFT BEHIND , IS A STRONG REPUBLIC.

TWO ESSENTIAL FEATURES MARK OUT A STRONG REPUBLIC. THE FIRST IS INDEPENDENCE FROM CLASS AND SECTORAL INTERESTS SO THAT IT STANDS FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE RATHER THAN OF A POWERFUL MINORITY. THE SECOND IS THE CAPACITY, REPRESENTED THROUGH STRONG INSTITUTIONS AND A STRONG BUREAUCRACY, TO EXECUTE GOOD POLICY AND DELIVER ESSENTIAL SERVICES -THE THINGS THAT ONLY GOVERNMENTS CAN DO.

THE RESULTS OF THESE TWO FEATURES-GOOD POLICIES AND EMPOWERED INSTITUTIONS-IS FASTER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SOCIAL REFORM. A STRONG REPUBLIC TAKES CARE OF THE PEOPLE AND TAKES CARE OF THEIR FUTURE. THUS, A STRONG REPUBLIC IS THE BEDROCK OF THE VICTORY WE SEEK OVER POVERTY WITHIN THE DECADE.

DURING THESE PAST EIGHTEEN MONTHS, OUR EFFORTS TO BUILD THE STRONG REPUBLIC HAVE BEEN DIFFICULT, WITH BOTH DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL CONDITIONS EXTREMELY HARSH. AT HOME, THE POOR WERE PITTED AGAINST THE RICH TO FURTHER INFLAME OUR NATION'S SOCIAL DIVISIONS

ABROAD, THE CONTRACTING ECONOMIES OF OUR MAIN TRADING PARTNERS WERE FURTHER AGGRAVATED BY THE TENSIONS GENERATED BY THE GLOBAL WAR AGAINST TERRORISM.

MEANWHILE, ONE SHOCKING CORPORATE SCANDAL AFTER ANOTHER SEVERELY ERODED PUBLIC FAITH IN THE MOST PROMISING SYSTEM FOR CONDUCTING ECONOMIC ACTIVITY-THE FREE MARKET.

THESE WERE THE LARGE LONG-TERM CRISES OF SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM ITSELF, WHOSE RESOLUTION AWAITS EVENTS WELL BEYOND ONE SMALL NATION'S ABILITY TO INFLUENCE IN THE SHORT TERM.

BUT AS I REPORT ON THE STATE OF THE NATION TODAY, I CAN SAY THIS: THE IMMEDIATE CRISES HAVE BEEN RESOLVED.

THIS RESOLUTION WAS ACHIEVED BY FOCUSING ON THREE THINGS.

FIRST, BY SHOWING TANGIBLE RESULTS IN THE DELIVERY OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES. THUS, IN MY STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS LAST YEAR, I DID SOMETHING NEVER DONE BEFORE: I DETAILED A LONG LIST OF MEASURABLE TARGETS THAT WOULD SHOW A GOVERNMENT ON THEMOVE, MARKING PROGRESS BY SWIFT SURE STEPS , DESPITE THE TURBULENT STATE OF DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL AFFAIRS.

HALIMBAWA , TARGET NATIN NOONG ISANG TAON: DALAWANDAANG LIBONG EKTARYA PARA SA LAND REFORM. NAKAMIT NATIN: DALAWANDAAN AT LIMPAM PUNG LIBONG EKTARYA. CONGRATULATIONS SA MGA PROVINCIAL TOPNOTCHERS: NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, AT SULTAN KUDARAT, ITONG MGA PROBINSIYA BAWAT ISA AY MAY HIGIT PITONG LIBONG EKTARYA.

TARGET NATIN: DALAWAMPUNG BILYONG PISO PARA SA MODERNISASYON NG AGRIKULTURA. NAKAMIT NATIN: DALAWAMPU'T APAT NA BILYON.

TARGET NATIN: SANDAAN AT LIMAMPUNG LIBONG PAMILYANG MARALITANG TAGALUNSOD NA MAKATITIYAK SA LUPANG TINITIRIKAN. NAKAMIT NATIN: SANDAAN AT WALUMPUNG LIBO..

TARGET NATIN: SANDAAN AT LIMAMPUNG LIBONG PAMILYANG MAHIHIRAP NA MAGKAROON NG PABAHAY. NAKAMIT NATIN: SANDAAN AT LIMAMPUNG LIBO NA NGA .

TARGET NATIN: SANLIBONG ROLLING STORES NA MAGBEBENTA NG BIGAS NA P14 PER KILO. NAKAMIT NATIN: 1,500 ROLLING STORES.

TARGET NATIN: IBABA SA KALAHATI ANG PRESYO NG GAMOT NA MADALAS BILHIN NG MAHIHIRAP. NAKAMIT NATIN: MAHAHANAP ANG MABABANG PRESYONG GAMOT SA MGA PARMASYA NG 80 HOSPITAL NG PAMAHALAAN AT SA MGA OUTLET NG UNILAB. BUT SAD TO SAY, EXCEPT FOR UNILAB, THE WIDER DISTRIBUTION NETWORK OF COMMERCIAL DRUGSTORES-UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE MULTINATIONAL DRUG COMPANIES-WILL NOT SELL OUR CHEAPER MEDICINES. WE ARE STUDYING PUNITIVE MEASURES TO CORRECT THIS UNFAIR , UNJUST, AND HEARTLESS SITUATION.

TARGET NATIN: LIMANDAANG LIBONG MARALITA PARA SA HEALTH INSURANCE. NAKAMIT NATIN: APAT NA MILYON.

TARGET NATIN: PAGDATING NG 2004, MAY ESKWELA SA BAWAT BARANGAY. MAY 1,612 NA BARANGAY NA WALA PANG ESKWELA. NAKAMIT NATIN: 1,005 NA MALAPIT NANG MATAPOS, BUKOD PA SA 285 SCHOOLBUILDINGS NA HUMAHALAGANG P100 MILLION GALING SA ALOKASYON NI SENATE PRESIDENT FRANKLIN DRILON.

TARGET NATIN: KOMPLETONG LIBRO SA PANGUNAHING SUBJECTS SA GRADES ONE TO FOUR AT SA FIRST AT SECOND YEAR HIGH SCHOOL. NAKAMIT NATIN: MAGKAKAROON NGAYONG TAON NG 54 MILLION BOOKS PARA SA LABING-ANIM NA MILYONG ESTUDYANTE.

TARGET NATIN: PAG-IBAYUHIN ANG PAGTUTURO NG MATHEMATICS. NAKAMIT NATIN: DAGDAG NA ORAS PARA SA MATH SA BAGONG CURRICULUM.

TARGET NATIN: MAS MARAMING GURO. NAKAMIT NATIN: LABINLIMANG LIBONG BAGONG GURO.

TARGET NATIN: DAGLIANG TRABAHO PARA SA DALAWAMPUNG LIBONG OUT-OF-SCHOOL YOUTH. NAKAMIT NATIN: TATLUMPUNG LIBO.

AT NOONG ISANG TAON, DINALA KO ANG TATLONG BATANG KUMATAWAN SA ADHKAIN NG PAYATAS. SABI NILA, ANG KAILANGAN NILA AY EDUKASYON, KABUHAYAN, PABAHAY. HIGIT APAT NA DAAN NG BATANG TAGA- PAYATAS AY ISKOLAR NA NGAYON, KASAMA NA SI JAYSON, ERWIN AT JOMAR. HALOS WALUNDAANG PAMILYA ANG NABIGYAN NG KABUHAYAN KASAMA ANG PAMILYA NILA. MAY PITONG DAANG PAMILYANG BINIGYAN NG KARAPATANG BILHIN ANG LUPANG KANILANG TINITIRAHAN. INAATASAN KO ANG DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES NA APURAHIN ANG PAG-AYOS NG NATITIRANG PROBLEMA SA LUPA NG MGA RESIDENTE NG PAYATAS.

THIS IS JUST THE TIP OF OUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS, ALL IN THE JUST THE FIRST YEAR OF THE TEN-YEAR FIGHT I PROJECTED AGAINST POVERTY. I AM SUBMITTING THE ENTIRE ICEBERG TO CONGRESS IN A COMPREHENSIVE PERFORMANCE REPORT. FOR GOOD MEASURE, IT HAS BEEN PUBLISHED AND NATIONALLY CIRCULATED. THESE WERE OUR COMMITMENTS. WE DELIVERED ON THEM. A STRONG REPUBLIC DOES WHAT IT SAYS.

IT TAKES CARE OF THE PEOPLE AND TAKES CARE OF THEIR FUTURE.

OUR SECOND FOCUS TO ACHIEVE THE RESOLUTION OF THE IMMEDIATE CRISES WAS THE PRESERVATION AND DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLIC AGAINST FORCES THAT SEEK TO DESTROY ITS UNITY AND TEAR THE FABRIC OF ITS SOCIETY, NOT LEAST IN THE NAME OF IDEAS THAT HISTORY HAS ALREADY PASSED BY.

THE TURNING POINTS ARE CLEAR.

THIS YEAR, MAY 1 PASSED PEACEFULLY.

THIS YEAR, OUR SOLDIERS RESCUED GRACIA BURNHAM AND FINISHED OFF HER TERRORIST CAPTOR.

THIS YEAR, WHAT USED TO BE CAMP ABUBAKAR BECAME AN AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY OF NEW HOPES AND DREAMS, WHERE OUR FLAG FLIES AND OUR SOLDIERS PROTECT THOSE WHO HAVE RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES.

BEYOND THE SYMBOLIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THESE ACCOMPLISHMENTS, WE HAVE BROUGHT BACK INTER-FAITH SOLIDARITY, ENERGIZED BY THE INVALUABLE INITIATIVE OF SPEAKER JOSE DE VENECIA, AND SEALED PEACE AGREEMENTS WITH THE MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT.

WE ACHIEVED ALL OF THESE BACKED BY THE VALOR, PROFESSIONALISM, AND RESTRAINT OF OUR SOLDIERS AND POLICE. I SALUTE OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, AT THE FOREFRONT OF OUR REPUBLIC'S EFFORTS TO FIGHT TERROR AND ENFORCE PEACE.

THE THIRD FOCUS TO RESOLVE THE CRISES AND BUILD A STRONG REPUBLIC WAS TO RESTORE MACROECONOMIC STABILITY AND WIN BACK INVESTOR CONFIDENCE.

THE LINCHPIN WAS TO CONTROL OUR FISCAL DEFICIT. IF EDSA 2 HAD NOT HAPPENED, THE GOVERNMENT WOULD SIMPLY HAVE GONE BANKRUPT WITH A DEFICIT OF P245 BILLION. BUT WE CONTROLLED IT, BROUGHT IT DOWN TO P147 BILLION AND AGAINST ALL ODDS , TURNED OUR INTERNATIONAL CREDIT RATING FROM RISKY TO STABLE. IT WAS HARD WORK , HERE AND ABROAD , TO REKINDLE GLOBAL INTEREST IN OUR COUNTRY , BUT WE DIDIT.

THE ADOPTION OF STRONG ADMINISTRATIVE MEASURES, INCLUDING FIGHTING SMUGGLING AND GRAFT AND CORRUPTION, WILL ENABLE US TO CLOSE THE GAP IN OUR REVENUE TARGETS FOR THIS YEAR.

THE BASIC MACRO SIGNS INDICATE THAT THINGS ARE UNDER CONTROL. INFLATION IS AT A LOW, DRIVEN DOWN BY STABLE FOOD PRICES AND NOW BY DECLINING POWER COSTS.

NANG AKO AY NAGING PANGULO, ANG PRESYO NG GALUNGGONG AY OTSENTA PESOS ANG KILO. NOONG ISANG LINGGO , NAKABILI AKO SA PALENGKE NG SESENTA PESOS LAMANG. ANG PRESYO RIN NG BIGAS NA BINIBILI NG MAHIHIRAP AY NANANATILING P16 ANG KILO SA PALENGKE, AT P14 SA MGA ROLLING STORE , GAYA PA RIN NANG ISANG TAON.

INTEREST RATES ARE ALSO AT A LOW, AND OUR PESO IS STABLE. FROM P56 TO THE DOLLAR, IT IS NOW A LITTLE OVER P50.

INTERNATIONALLY , THE PHILIPPINES IS BACK ON THE MAP.
WE ARE THE THIRD BEST PERFORMING ECONOMY IS ASIA AND THE BEST IN SOUTHEAST ASIA.

AS A RESULT OF OUR DECISIVE ACTION AFTER SEPTEMBER 11, THE PHILIPPINES IS NOW A RECOGNIZED PLAYER IN WORLD AFFAIRS. THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES WAS THE FIRST HEAD OF GOVERNMENT TO EMPHASIZE THE INTERCONNECTION BETWEEN THE WAR AGAINST TERRORISM AND THE WAR AGAINST POVERTY. NOW, NATIONS LARGE AND SMALL EMBRACE THIS INTERCONNECTION.

WE HAVE GAINED POWERFUL ALLIES IN OUR DOMESTIC WAR AGAINST TERRORISM. I AM CERTAIN THAT OUR INCREASED INTERNATIONAL VISIBILITY WILL CONTINUE GENERATING CAPITAL INFLOWS FOR THE PHILIPPINES.

WHERE WE HAVE FALLEN SHORT OF ACHIEVING WHAT WE INTENDED, IT HAS NOT BEEN FROM MISDIRECTION OR A LACK OF TRYING. AFTER ALL, IT HAS REALLY BEEN ONLY ONE YEAR AND A HALF.

IN ANY EVENT , I PROMISE TO WORK EVEN HARDER IF THAT IS POSSIBLE, AND DO EVEN BETTER BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. I CANNOT GROW TALLER BUT I CAN ALWAYS GET BETTER.

MY WORKING AGENDA FOR THE COMING YEAR WILL FOCUS ON CREATING AND IMPROVING JOB OPPORTUNITIES. CITIZENS WITH REWARDING JOBS PAYING DECENT WAGES CONSTITUTE NOT JUST A STONE IN THE EDIFICE BUT THE VERY FOUNDATION OF A STRONG REPUBLIC.

WE NEED INVESTMENTS TO GENERATE JOBS, AND TO DRAW IN INVESTMENTS, WE WILL ADDRESS CERTAIN PROBLEMS IN THE SHORT TERM: KATIWALIAN, PEACE AND ORDER , AND THE COST OF POWER.

BILANG PANGULO, TINATANGGAP KO ANG PAHAYAG NG MGA NEGOSYANTE NA DAPAT SUGPUIN ANG KATIWALIAN SA BANSA.

NOONG ISANG TAON NGA SA AKING STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS, SINABI KO NA, NA AALISIN NATIN ANG MGA HADLANG SA ATING PRODUCTIVITY, KAGAYA NG MAHAL NA KORYENTE AT KATIWALIAN.

AT DAHIL AKO AY NALUKLOK SA PAGKAPANGULO DALA NG MALAWAKANG GALIT SA ANOMALIYA, ALAM KONG KAILANGAN WAKASAN ANG KATIWALIAN. NANINIWALA RIN AKO NA PINAHIHINA NG KATIWALIAN ANG DALOY NG PUHUNAN SA ATING BANSA.

KAYA NOONG ISANG TAON, SINABI KO NA ANG KABINETE KO AY KAILANGAN GUMAWA NG KONKRETONG RESULTA SA PAGLABAN SA KATIWALIAN. PINAPAALALA KO SA KANILA NGAYON NA SA MGA SUMUSUNOD NA ARAW, MAGBIGAY NG KANILANG ULAT SA NATURANG MGA RESULTA.

BUT EVEN NOW I CAN TELL YOU THAT OUR NEW E-PROCUREMENT PROGRAM IS SAVING BILLIONS AND MINIMIZING ANOMALIES.

EVEN NOW THE PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-GRAFT COMMISSION IS DOING ITS BEST TO ENSURE THAT GOOD GOVERNANCE IS CARRIED OUT. INAATASAN KO ANG PAGC NA GUMAWA RIN NG ULAT TUNGKOL SA KANILANG TRABAHO.

TUNGKOL NAMAN SA KATIWALIAN SA MGA KORTE, INAATASAN KO ANG DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE NA KASUHAN YUNG PROSECUTOR NA TINULOY PA IYONG KASO KONTRA SA KIMBERLY-CLARK KAHIT NAGKAROON NA NG AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE ANG COMPLAINANT. KAYA TULOY ANG KIMBERLY CLARK AY DINALA IYONG KANYANG ASIA OPERATIONS SA THAILAND EMBES NA SA PILIPINAS. INAATASAN KO RING KASUHAN NG DOJ IYONG PROSECUTOR NA GINAWANG ACCESSORY LAMANG EMBES NA PRINCIPAL IYONG ILANG MGA NAGKIDNAP KAY ROWENA TIU. AT INAATASAN KO RIN ANG DOJ NA KASUHAN PATI NA RIN ANG MGA HUWES NA GUMAGAWA NG KATIWALIAN.

NOONG ISANG TAON, SINABI KO NA GAGAWIN NATING SAMPLE ANG B.I.R. AT CUSTOMS SA PAGLABAN SA KATIWALIAN.

THIS IS STILL A CONTINUING EFFORT. TAX EVASION IS A WHITE-COLLAR CRIME AND THE RESPONSE IS A WHITE COLLAR RESPONSE-SYSTEMS IMPROVEMENT, AUDIT, PROSECUTION. BUT SMUGGLING IS SOMETHING ELSE. IT IS DONE BY HOODLUMS AND CRIMINAL GANGS. BUT THE PUNISHMENT FOR BOTH MUST BE THE SAME: BLUE-COLLAR TIME. KALABOSO.

INDEED, CRIMINAL GANGS AND HOMEGROWN TERRORISTS HAVE EXPLOITED THE POISONED POLITICAL ATMOSPHERE TO SPREAD POISONS OF THEIR OWN: KIDNAPPING, GAMBLING, DRUG-DEALING AND RAMPANT SMUGGLING.

YOU HAVE SEEN POLITICAL WILL IN THE HARSH INTERPRETATION OF COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY WITH REGARD TO ILLEGAL GAMBLING. THAT DRACONIAN APPLICATION WAS A DRESS REHEARSAL FOR ENFORCING COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY IN THE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT CHALLENGES OF KIDNAPPING, DRUG-DEALING, AND SMUGGLING.

I AM DETERMINED TO BUILD A STRONG REPUBLIC BY BREAKING THE BACK OF TERRORISM AND CRIMINALITY.

IN THE YEAR 2000, DESPITE ALL THE REPORTS OF RAMPANT SMUGGLING, ONLY P16 MILLION WORTH WAS CONFISCATED. BUT, LAST YEAR, IN A SHOW OF POLITICAL WILL, MY ADMINISTRATION SEIZED P1.2 BILLION WORTH OF SMUGGLED GOODS, INCLUDING MORE THAN A MILLION BAGS OF SMUGGLED RICE, AS COMPARED TO MUCH LESS THAN A HUNDRED THOUSAND THE YEAR BEFORE.

I CONGRATULATED THE COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS BUT TOLD HIM ALSO: GO BEYOND GETTING SMUGGLED GOODS AND GET ME THE BIG TIME SMUGGLERS. I HAVE INSTRUCTED THE DOJ TO CHARGE THESE BIG-TIME SMUGGLERS NOT JUST WITH SMUGGLING BUT ALSO WITH ECONOMIC SABOTAGE-A NON -BAILABLE CAPITAL OFFENSE.

CRIMINAL SYNDICATES WILL BE TREATED AS WHAT THEY ARE, DIRECT THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY. CRIMINALS ARE CRIMINALS, WHETHER OF THE COMMON KIND OR THE KIND THAT KILL IN THE NAME OF POLITICAL ADVOCACIES. THEY WILL FEEL THE FULL BRUNT OF THE ARSENAL OF DEMOCRACY. FREEDOM, TOO, IS ENTITLED TO SELF-DEFENSE.

I HAVE GIVEN VERY CLEAR ORDERS TO SPARE NOTHING IN HUNTING DOWN KIDNAPPERS.

WE WILL GO BY SCORECARDS AND TRACK PROGRESS BY COUNTING BEANS, IF WE HAVE TO.

REMEMBER MARY GRACE ROSAGAS OF URATEX WHO WAS KIDNAPPED FROM UP. REMEMBER HER AUNT CONNIE WONG WHO WAS KILLED BY THE KIDNAPPERS. REMEMBER ROWENA TIU WHO WAS KIDNAPPED IN LA UNION. REMEMBER THE OWNER OF LIANA SUPERMARKET. REMEMBER THE WHISPERS ABOUT THE KIDNAPPING OF THE GRANDDAUGHTER A BIG BANKER AND THE SON OF A STEEL MAGNATE. WE HAVE TAKEN DOWN THE SYNDICATES RESPONSIBLE FOR KIDNAPPING THEM AND 52 OTHER VICTIMS AND IN THE PROCESS 170 KIDNAPPERS WERE KILLED OR CAPTURED.

THE IDEAL RESPONSE TO KIDNAPPING WAS IN THE CASE OF ROWENA TIU,.. SHE WAS RESCUED IN 8 DAYS, THE RANSOM MONEY WAS RECOVERED, AND HER KIDNAPPERS WERE ARRESTED AND ARE NOW FACING TRIAL. THAT IS WHY HERS WAS THE FIRST AND LAST KIDNAPPING TO TAKE PLACE IN REGION 1 IN MY ADMINISTRATION.

I WANT TO SMASH THE OTHER 21 SYNDICATES IN THE SAME WAY. WE ARE GETTING A CLEARER PICTURE OF THE LEADERSHIP, MEMBERSHIP AND AREA OF OPERATIONS OF THESE SYNDICATES. I NOW WANT THEIR LINKAGES AND MODUS OPERANDI. I AM OVERSEEING HOW THEY ARE BEING WATCHED, TRACKED AND INFILTRATED. WE WILL START WITH THE TWO BIGGEST SYNDICATES, THE BUCALA AND FAJARDO GANGS. I HAVE CHALLENGED THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE TO ELIMINATE THEM WITHIN A YEAR.

I HAVE TOLD THE PNP THAT THEY MUST START WITH THE CLEANSING OF THEIR OWN RANKS. YOU REMEMBER THE FRONT PAGE PHOTOGRAPH OF THAT SHOOTOUT LAST SATURDAY. IN THE FRONT SEAT NEXT TO THE DRIVER WAS A PNP ACADEMY GRADUATE WHO WAS AWOL FROM THE POLICE FORCE. HE WAS THE PLANNER, THE NEGOTIATOR OF THE GANG. THE RASCALS AMONG THEM DISGRACE THE UNIFORM AND PAINT IN THE SAME BROAD BRUSH THE MAJORITY WHO DO THEIR DUTY WELL.

I SALUTE THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE POLICE WHO SCORNED TO BE BRIBED AND CONFISCATED 500 KILOGRAMS OF SHABU IN QUEZON PROVINCE LAST YEAR, AND CAUGHT THE BIGGEST FISH SO FAR IN THE DRUG TRADE.

I SALUTE THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO RAIDED THE SHABU FACTORIES IN BATANGAS, ZAMBALES, SAN JUAN, VARSITY HILLS, AND OTHER PLACES, SEIZING A TOTAL OF P5 BILLION WORTH OF ILLEGAL DRUGS AND LAB EQUIPMENT IN THE LARGEST DRUG BUSTS EVER IN OUR HISTORY OF CRIME FIGHTING.

WITHIN A MONTH, WE SHALL ORGANIZE THE NEW DANGEROUS DRUGS BOARD AND THE PHILIPPINE DRUG ENFORCEMENT AGENCY WHICH CONGRESS HAS JUST CREATED. AND I THANK SENATOR BARBERS FOR SPONSORING THE BILL IN THE SENATE. WITH THE DRUG MENACE NOW ELEVATED TO THE LEVEL OF A NATIONAL SECURITY PROBLEM AND NO LONGER JUST A POLICE PROBLEM, I AM INSTRUCTING THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES TO FIELD MILITARY RESOURCES FOR INTELLIGENCE AND TO FIELD SOLDIERS IN DRUG RAIDS IN SUPPORT OF CIVILIAN LAW ENFORCEMENT. DRUG LORDS WILL BE TREATED AS ENEMIES OF THE STATE!

IN THIS WAR WITH THE DRUG TRADE THERE WILL BE NO COMPROMISE AND NO QUARTER, NOT FOR FEAR OR FAVOR.

INDEED, WE ARE AT WAR: AT WAR WITH THE TERRORISTS, AT WAR WITH THE KIDNAPPERS, AT WAR WITH THE DRUG LORDS-- AND WE ARE DETERMINED TO WIN DECISIVE VICTORIES ON ALL FRONTS.

THE GLOBAL ANTI-TERRORIST COALITION IS A HISTORICAL WATERSHED. THIS NEW GLOBAL CONSENSUS HELPS US IMMENSELY IN FINALLY BREAKING THE CYCLE OF TERRORISM AND CRIMINALITY. TO THAT END, WE SHALL ENHANCE OUR STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES THROUGH CONTINUING TRAINING EXERCISES TO SHARPEN OUR SOLDIERS' CAPABILITIES TO MOVE AND COMMUNICATE, TO FIX AND FINISH OFF THEIR TARGETS.

I AM HAPPY TO LET YOU KNOW THAT YESTERDAY WE CAPTURED THE MASTERMIND OF THE GENSAN BOMBINGS THAT KILLED AND MAIMED 80 PERSONS A FEW MONTHS AGO. THIS MAN THAT WE CAPTURED YESTERDAY IS CONSIDERED THE NUMBER ONE EXPERT TERRORIST BOMBER.

WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE . EVEN A STALEMATE WILL BE A DEFEAT. FOR WHAT IS AT STAKE IS OUR COUNTRY AS A VIABLE PROPOSITION IN THE WORLD ECONOMY. AND WE MUST BE VIABLE IF WE ARE TO WIN THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL WAR , THE WAR AGAINST POVERTY.

I ASK THE NEWLY ELECTED BARANGAY CAPTAINS TO TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN THIS WAR. TO BE THE FRONTLINERS IN THIS FIGHT IN YOUR COMMUNITIES.

AND AS WITH WAR IN THE PAST, SO WILL IT BE WITH THIS WAR. . AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, I AM TAKING A DIRECT HAND IN THE WAR AGAINST THE ENEMIES OF THE REPUBLIC. THIS WAS HOW I DID IT WITH THE ABU SAYYAF, LEADING TO THE DEATH OF ABU SABAYA. THIS IS HOW I WILL DO IT WITH THE CRIMINAL GANGS.

NAKASALALAY DITO ANG PAMAMAYANI NG ATING REPUBLIKA. OUR STRONG REPUBLIC.

AT STAKE IN THIS WAR IS THE VERY LIFE OF SOCIETY, THE VERY POSSIBILITY OF BASIC RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES, WHICH HAVE BEEN UNDER ATTACK FOR TOO LONG.

THE RIGHT TO WORK IN PEACE IS AS BASIC AS THE RIGHT TO LIFE AND LIBERTY, AND WHEN BOTH ARE IN DANGER THEIR PRESERVATION BY ALL LAWFUL MEANS BECOMES NOT JUST A HIGHER RIGHT BUT AN OVERRIDING DUTY. AND THAT DUTY I WILL DISCHARGE.

THIS IS A WAR WE WILL WAGE ON BEHALF , AND WITH THE RAGE , OF ALL THE VICTIMS: THOSE WHOSE BUSINESSES WERE RUINED BY EXTORTION, THOSE HELD DOWN BY POVERTY IN FEAR, THOSE WHOSE LIVES WERE SNUFFED OUT BY ADDICTION, AND THOSE TAKEN HOSTAGE AND KILLED. TO THEM, I SAY : WE SHALL REDEEM YOUR PAIN. WE SHALL REDEEM YOUR LOSS.

I ENDORSE TO THE COLLECTIVE WISDOM OF CONGRESS, WITH A GREAT SENSE OF URGENCY, A NEW BILL THAT WILL STRENGTHEN OUR LEGAL ARMORY IN THIS WAR: THE ANTI-TERRORISM BILL. WHEN PASSED INTO LAW, THIS BILL WILL PLUG THE LOOPHOLES BY WHICH CRIMES SPREAD AND DEMOCRACY IS UNDERMINED. CONGRESS WILL ALSO NOTE A REALLOCATION OF RESOURCES IN THIS YEAR'S BUDGET TO ENHANCE THE REPUBLIC'S CRIME-FIGHTING CAPABILITIES.

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER CRITICAL BILLS LINKED CLOSELY TO THE OVERALL RUN OF SOCIAL , ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL REFORM. I WILL HOLD MORE MEETINGS WITH THE LEGISLATIVE-EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT ADVISORY COUNCIL, OR LEDAC, TO PUSH THIS MOMENTUM OF REFORM.

WE MUST TEAM UP, AS I SAID LAST YEAR, TO ENACT A LAW MAKING FARM LAND ACCEPTABLE AS LOAN COLLATERAL, IN ORDER TO REMOVE A BIG DETERRENT TO INVESTMENTS IN AGRICULTURE.

WE MUST PASS THE SPECIAL PURPOSE VEHICLE ACT IN ORDER TO ENCOURAGE ASSET MANAGEMENT COMPANIES TO PUT BACK INTO PRODUCTIVE CIRCULATION ASSETS NOW TIED UP IN PROBLEMATIC LOANS.

WE MUST PASS A LAW TO GIVE OVERSEAS FILIPINOS THE RIGHT TO VOTE, CONSISTENT WITH THE CONSTITUTION. WE MUST PASS THE BILL THAT WILL GIVE EQUAL RESPECT AND RECOGNITION TO THE OVERSEAS FILIPINO'S DUAL CITIZENSHIP, CONSISTENT WITH OUR NATIONAL HONOR. THESE ARE THE LEAST RETURNS FOR THE ENORMOUS CONTRIBUTION OF OUR OVERSEAS FILIPINOS TO THE NATIONAL WELFARE.

WE MUST PASS THE TRANSCO FRANCHISE BILL TO MAKE OUR ELECTRIC SERVICE MORE EFFICIENT AND MORE RELIABLE.

EVERYWHERE I GO, I ASK PEOPLE ABOUT THEIR ELECTRIC BILL. THIS IS NOT JUST A PET CONCERN FOR THE MOMENT. I THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME.

YOU HAVE SEEN YOUR RECENT ELECTRIC BILLS. YOU KNOW THEY HAVE GONE DOWN. BECAUSE I BROUGHT DOWN THE PPA.

I DID NOT INVENT THE PPA. I MERELY INHERITED IT. BUT MY ADMINISTRATION CHOSE TO CONFRONT AND STARE IT IN THE FACE AND FIND THE SOLUTIONS.

BEFORE I BECAME PRESIDENT, WE HAD THE SECOND MOST EXPENSIVE POWER RATES IN ASIA. NOW WE HAVE GONE DOWN TO NUMBER 6 . THIS IS THE FIRST FRUIT OF A COMPREHENSIVE TEN-POINT PLAN WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE TO REDUCE POWER COSTS.

WE HAVE BROUGHT ELECTRICITY FOR THE FIRST TIME TO THE BARANGAYS OF BALUD, MASBATE, OF LAKE LANAO, AND 1,500 OTHER BARANGAYS.

WE HAVE IMPROVED THE ELECTRIC SERVICE IN BORACAY, BY TAKING OVER THE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE. TO OTHER ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES, I ASK YOU: BE EFFICIENT IN YOUR OPERATIONS AND IMPROVE YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE.

TO THE ELECTRIC UTILITIES, I ASK YOU: BE TRANSPARENT IN YOUR PROCUREMENT AND CONTRACTS WITH YOUR AFFILIATES.

TO NAPOCOR AND MERALCO I ASK YOU; STOP BICKERING AND INSTEAD WORK TOGETHER TO GIVE PRICE INCENTIVES TO LARGE USERS SO THAT EXCESS POWER CAN BE UTILIZED, ECONOMIC ACTIVITY CAN BE ENCOURAGED, AND JOBS CAN BE CREATED.

THE RESULTS OF THE REVIEW OF THE CONTRACTS OF INDEPENDENT POWER PRODUCERS ARE IN. WE HAVE THREE MONTHS TO CARRY OUT THE CONCRETE COURSES OF ACTION STEMMING FROM THIS REVIEW THAT WILL FURTHER EASE THE BURDEN ON OUR PEOPLE.

SOON WE SHALL HAVE THE FIRST-EVER WHOLESALE ELECTRICITY SPOT MARKET IN ASIA, WITHOUT THE PITFALLS OF CALIFORNIA. . IN DUE TIME , WE WILL GIVE ELECTRIC CONSUMERS THE POWER TO CHOOSE THEIR ELECTRICITY SUPPLIERS.. WE ARE GIVING YOU THE POWER OF CHOICE.

THE POWER OF CHOICE WILL LEAD TO LOWER PRICES AND BETTER SERVICE.

WITH CHEAPER POWER WILL COME A MORE COMPETITIVE ECONOMY, AND MORE INVESTORS.

WE KNOW WHERE WE ARE GOING AND HOW TO GET THERE; WE ARE PLANTING THE MILESTONES ALONG THE WAY TO A STRONG REPUBLIC AND A PROSPEROUS COUNTRY .

A REPUBLIC DOES NOT EXIST BY THE MERE FACT OF DECLARING ITSELF TO BE SO.

A REPUBLIC MUST BE SO IN FACT, IN REALITY, AND ESPECIALLY IN THE DIFFERENCE IT MAKES FOR THE BETTER IN THE LIVES OF ITS CITIZENS.

IT IS NOT A GIVEN BUT A TASK, A PROJECT UNDERTAKEN BY AN ENTIRE SOCIETY FOR ITS PROGRESS AND PRESERVATION.

A REPUBLIC IS LIKE A SHIELD THAT NEEDS A STRONG ARM TO HOLD IT UP.

A REPUBLIC IS A ROOF, AND WALLS, THAT NEED TO BE CONSTRUCTED.

A REPUBLIC IS AN EDIFICE TOWARDS THE BUILDING OF WHICH EACH MUST GIVE THE FINEST STONE WITHIN THEIR ABILITY TO SHAPE. IN THE END, THIS STONE IS THE ONLY THING BY WHICH ONE WILL BE REMEMBERED.

LIKE MY FATHER, I AM WORKING ON MY STONE. THE STONE OF THE STRONG REPUBLIC. AND I INTEND TO BE WELL REMEMBERED.

LEGIONS OF ORDINARY FILIPINOS, MANY OF THEM STUDENTS, CAME , STOOD AND CLAMORED AT EDSA, FOR A BETTER GOVERNMENT

IT IS TO THEM I LOOK FOR VALIDATION.

I KNOW THAT IT IS TO ME THAT THOSE MANY FILIPINOS ARE LOOKING FOR THE VINDICATION OF THEIR DECISION TO GO TO EDSA. I SHALL NOT DISAPPOINT THEM.

IT IS FOR THEM THAT I AM WORKING HARD ON THAT STONE THAT WILL FIT JUST ABOVE MY FATHER'S, ADDING SECURITY TO SOCIAL JUSTICE, AND PROSPERITY TO THE PROMISE OF SOCIAL EQUALITY IN WHICH HE BELIEVED SO MUCH.

ANG MALAKAS NA REPUBLIKA AY PARA SA MAHIHINA , PARA SA MAHIHIRAP , PARA SA WALANG TRABAHO , PARA SA NAGUGUTOM , PARA SA NANGANGANIB ; PARA SA AGRABYADO , PARA SA MGA API!. YAN ANG MALAKAS NA REPUBLIKA PARA SA KANILA.

TOWARD THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THIS STRONG REPUBLIC, I SHALL BRING TO BEAR THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE EXECUTIVE, AND CALL UPON LOCAL GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, TO ADD THEIR OWN. THIS IS OUR COMMON STRUGGLE, IT SHALL BE OUR SHARED VICTORY.

I HOPE TO GET FROM CONGRESS AT LEAST THE SAME COOPERATION IT EXTENDED TO ME LAST YEAR.

THE JUDICIAL BRANCH NEEDS NO REMINDER OF ITS KEY ROLE IN THE UNSPOKEN COMPONENT OF JUSTICE, FAIRNESS, INTEGRITY AND TRUTH IN THE EQUATION OF LAW AND ORDER .

IT HAS BEEN EIGHTEEN MONTHS OF PUTTING OUT SMALL FIRES AND SOOTHING HURT FEELINGS, WHILE TAKING WHAT I HOPE HAVE BEEN GIANT STEPS FORWARD IN THE ECONOMY.

BUT NOW THE TIME HAS COME. NOW WE MUST DEVOTE OURSELVES ENTIRELY TO TAKING MORE OF THOSE GIANT STEPS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THE STRONG REPUBLIC.

AS I LOOK BACK, DOWN THE ROAD ON WHICH I CAME, I SEE, WITH SOME REGRET, THE SHARDS OF BROKEN FRIENDSHIPS. BUT I CONSOLE MYSELF BY LOOKING FORWARD TO A TIME WHEN THESE BROKEN FRIENDSHIPS WILL HEAL AND GRIEVANCES WILL BE FORGOTTEN IN THE COLLECTIVE SATISFACTION OF OUR COMMON SUCCESS.

IN THE END , WE ARE ONE NATION UNDER GOD , ONE PEOPLE , WITH ONE ASPIRATION : A COUNTRY AS GOOD AS IT CAN GET!

FOR A COUNTRY TO BE AS GOOD AS IT CAN GET, MANY OF THE RIGHT DECISIONS ARE TOUGH DECISIONS. I HAVE MADE SOME OF THE TOUGHEST. AND I WILL MAKE EVEN MORE TOUGH DECISIONS IN THE YEAR TO COME. BECAUSE THE EASY WAY OUT MAY POSTPONE THE PAIN BUT ONLY PROLONG THE PROBLEM. THE TOUGH DECISIONS WHICH ARE THE RIGHT DECISIONS, BECAUSE THEY SERVE THE PEOPLE , ARE THE SOURCE OF OUR HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.

IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF:

I LED OUR NATION IN MAKING THE WORLD RECOGNIZE AND RESPECT OUR ECONOMIC DISCIPLINE.

I LED OUR SOLDIERS IN DEFEATING THE ABU SAYYAF.

I LED OUR GOVERNMENT IN MEETING THE TARGETS WE SO BRAVELY SET FOR THE WELFARE OF OUR PEOPLE.

NOW I WILL LEAD OUR COUNTRY TOWARDS THE STRONG REPUBLIC ……

STAY WITH ME. SAMAHAN NIYO AKO! ITAYO NATIN ANG MATATAG AT MALAKAS NA REPUBLICA!

MARAMING SALAMAT SA INYONG LAHAT.

Sona 2001 The Paper Boat

KAMAKAILAN, MAY SUMULAT SA AKING TATLONG BATANG TAGA-PAYATAS, SINA JAYSON, JOMAR AT ERWIN. GINAWA NILANG PAPER BOATS ANG LIHAM AT PINALUTANG SA PASIG RIVER PATUNGO SA MALACAŅANG.

ITO ANG SINULAT NG SAMPUNG TAONG GULANG NA SI JOMAR PABALAN: "SANA PO AY MABIGYAN NG PERMANENTENG TRABAHO ANG TATAY KO PARA HINDI SIYA MAHIRAPAN."

SABI NAMAN NI JASON VANN BANOGAN, SAMPUNG TAONG GULANG: "SANA PO MATULUNGAN NINYO AKO NA MAKATAPOS SA PAG-AARAL KO HANGGANG KOLEHIYO, KASI PO ANG NAGPAPAARAL SA AKIN AY ANG LOLA KO LAMANG."

AT ANG TANGING NAIS NI ERWIN DOLERA, WALONG TAONG GULANG: IPASARA ANG PAYATAS DUMPSITE, AT BIGYAN NG LUPA ANG KANYANG PAMILYA.

NAPAKALINAW, NAPAKASIMPLE ANG HILING NG MGA ANAK NG PAYATAS: TRABAHO. EDUKASYON. SARILING TAHANAN. IDAGDAG NA RIN: PAGKAIN SA BAWAT MESA. ITO ANG MITHIIN NG MASA.

AND THIS, IN COMMON SENSE AND PLAIN TALK, IS THE CORE OF MY VISION.

A VISION FOR THE FUTURE MUST BE ROOTED IN THE PAST.

A REVOLUTION GAVE BIRTH TO THE FIRST REPUBLIC IN ASIA.

A SENSE OF NATIONHOOD WAS BORN BUT ALSO THE DREAM OF A BETTER LIFE FOR ALL FILIPINOS. ANDRES BONIFACIO, THE POOR MAN, THE GREAT PLEBEIAN WHO STARTED THIS REVOLUTION, NURTURED THIS DREAM.

IN 1963, ANOTHER POOR MAN ROSE. HE ROSE TO THE MOST POWERFUL POSITION IN THE LAND AND RISKED EVERYTHING TO FULFILL THE POOR MAN'S DREAM.

INSPIRED BY THE GREAT PLEBEIAN, MY FATHER, PRESIDENT DIOSDADO MACAPAGAL, PROMULGATED THE LAND REFORM LAW TO EMANCIPATE THE PEASANT FROM A FEUDAL BONDAGE TO THE SOIL.

IN 1986 FILIPINOS PEACEFULLY RECLAIMED THEIR CIVIL LIBERTIES IN THE PEOPLE POWER REVOLUTION. UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF CORAZON AQUINO, WE REAFFIRMED OUR COMMITMENT TO FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY ON A MERE STRETCH OF HIGHWAY -- WITH HARDLY A DROP OF BLOOD SHED OR A SHOT FIRED IN ANGER.

SIX MONTHS AGO, ON THAT SAME HIGHWAY, PEOPLE ROSE UP TO RESTORE MORALITY AS THE FIRST INSTITUTION OF SOCIETY AND AS THE ANIMATING PRINCIPLE OF JUSTICE AND THE RULE OF LAW.

THUS, WE SEE, THE HISTORIC PILLARS OF A NATIONAL VISION: PROSPERITY, FREEDOM, JUSTICE.

ITO ANG MGA LAYUNING IPINAGLABAN NG BAYAN MULA NANG ITO'Y ISILANG: KASAGANAAN, KALAYAAN, KATARUNGAN.

WE ALSO SEE IN OUR GREAT HISTORY A PROGRESSIVE ADVANCEMENT TOWARDS THE ULTIMATE GOAL TO TRANSFER POWER OVER THE STATE FROM THE TRADITIONAL ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL BOSSES TO THE PEOPLE.

LAST MAY ONE, THE POOR RAISED THEIR VOICES IN ANGER AND THEIR FISTS IN FURY. IMPRISONED IN POVERTY, SHACKLED TO SHAME, DENIED JUSTICE IN SOCIETY, THEY PERSONALLY DELIVERED THE MESSAGE THAT, 100 YEARS AFTER THEY REVOLTED TO ESTABLISH THIS NATION, THEY HAD YET TO PARTAKE OF THE NATIONAL DREAM.

DINIG NA DINIG KO ANG PAHAYAG NILA, AT NAPAKUMBABA AKO. HINDI BA'T NASA BALIKAT KO ANG TUNGKULING MAMUNO SA PAKIKIBAKA LABAN SA SALOT NG KAHIRAPAN? AKO NA SIYANG ANAK NG TINAWAG NA "POOR BOY FROM LUBAO"?

I TAKE THIS DUTY UPON MY SHOULDERS.

I DO SO WITHOUT FEAR OR FOREBODING OF FAILURE.

FOR I KNOW THAT THE GREATEST OBSTACLE WE AS A NATION MUST OVERCOME IS INSIDE US. THE ENEMY TO BEAT IS OURSELVES: WHEN WE SPREAD DIVISION RATHER THAN UNITY; WHEN WE PUT OURSELVES ABOVE COUNTRY AND PROFIT ABOVE FAIRNESS; WHEN WE THINK THE WORST OF THOSE WITH WHOM WE SHOULD BE WORKING FOR THE COMMON GOOD, AND WHEN WE WALLOW IN DESPAIR RATHER THAN RISE TO ACHIEVEMENT --INDEED, WHEN WE MAKE POLITICS REPLACE PATRIOTISM IN OUR COUNTRY'S HOUR OF NEED.

LET US, HERE IN THE HOME OF DEMOCRACY, THEREFORE RESOLVE, TO GRAB HOLD OF THIS ENEMY WITHIN, AND BEAT HIM.

THE INTERNAL ENEMY ENGAGED, THE BATTLE WILL NOT BE EASY. WE INHERITED VERY DIFFICULT PROBLEMS.

FROM 2.5 MILLION JOBLESS FOUR YEARS AGO, UNEMPLOYMENT NOW STANDS AT FOUR MILLION. FROM A BUDGET SURPLUS IN 1997 UNDER PRESIDENT RAMOS OF MORE THAN A BILLION PESOS, MY GOVERNMENT INHERITED A DEFICIT EXCEEDING 140 BILLION PESOS. IN THE SAME PERIOD, POVERTY INCIDENCE ROSE FROM 36.8 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION IN 1997 TO 40 PERCENT IN THE YEAR 2004.

AND, UNLIKE THE SITUATION IN 1997 WHEN A BATTERED ASIA COULD STILL LEAN ON THE STRENGTH OF THE ADVANCED ECONOMIES, TODAY OUR MAIN TRADING PARTNERS LIKE JAPAN AND AMERICA ARE SLOWING DOWN AS WELL.

BUT WE WILL PREVAIL. WE WILL PREVAIL BECAUSE THE MAINSTREAM OF OUR NATION IS UNITED.

IN THE MAY ELECTIONS, THIS ADMINISTRATION RECEIVED A SOLID MANDATE TO CARRY ON WITH THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNANCE AND REFORM.

I DO NOT VIEW THIS MANDATE AS A CHOICE BETWEEN PERSONALITIES OF THIS ADMINISTRATION AND THOSE OF THE OPPOSITION.

I SEE IT RATHER AS A VOTE FOR ALL OF US -- ADMINISTRATION AND OPPOSITION -- TO ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES, STOP LOOKING BACK, AND MOVE FORWARD, MOST ESPECIALLY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST MASS POVERTY.

HINALAL TAYO UPANG LABANAN ANG KAHIRAPAN, HINDI ANG ISA'T-ISA.

OUR CHALLENGE IS CLEAR: SUGPUIN ANG KAHIRAPAN.

IN THIS SPIRIT, I APPEAL TO EVERYONE HERE TODAY TO UNDERTAKE SOMETHING UNCONVENTIONAL BUT MUCH TO BE DESIRED IN THESE ESPECIALLY HARD TIMES.

FROM TODAY, LET US SET ASIDE BICKERING AND POLITICKING FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR. WE MAY CONGRATULATE OURSELVES ON OUR FORBEARANCE AT THE NEXT STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS.

SA HALIP NG ALITAN, ISANG TAON TAYONG MAGTULUNGAN SA IKABUBUTI NG TAONG BAYAN.

THIS IS OUR DUTY. THIS IS OUR MANDATE. THIS IS OUR MISSION.

UNITY FOR THE COUNTRY'S RECOVERY WILL SET THE STAGE FOR NATIONAL MOBILIZATION NEEDED TO UNDERTAKE THE GREAT AND DIFFICULT TASKS AHEAD.

WHAT ARE THESE TASKS?

WHEN I BECAME PRESIDENT LAST JANUARY, I TOLD THE PEOPLE ABOUT MY VISION OF WINNING THE WAR AGAINST POVERTY WITHIN THE DECADE.

TO SUCCEED, THE TEMPLATE OF OUR NATIONAL AGENDA MUST REVOLVE AROUND FOUR COMPONENTS -- APAT NA ELEMENTO NG PAKIKIBAKA SA KAHIRAPAN.

THE FIRST IS AN ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY OF FREE ENTERPRISE APPROPRIATE TO THE 21st CENTURY. PAGNENEGOSYO UPANG DUMAMI ANG TRABAHO. NOT A PITILESS FREE-FOR-ALL BUT FREE ENTERPRISE WITH A SOCIAL CONSCIENCE.

THE SECOND COMPONENT IS A MODERNIZED AGRICULTURAL SECTOR FOUNDED ON SOCIAL EQUITY. PALALAGUIN ANG KITA AT ANI NG MARALITANG TAGABUKID.

THE THIRD COMPONENT IS A SOCIAL BIAS TOWARD THE DISADVANTAGED TO BALANCE OUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN. PAGKALINGA SA MGA BAHAGI NG LIPUNAN NA NAIIWANAN NG KAUNLARAN.

AND THE FOURTH COMPONENT IS TO RAISE THE MORAL STANDARDS OF GOVERNMENT AND SOCIETY. MORALIDAD SA GOBYERNO AT LIPUNAN BILANG SALIGAN NG TUNAY NA KAUNLARAN.

PAGNENEGOSYO, PAGPAPAUNLAD NG AGRIKULTURA, KALINGA SA NAGIGIPIT NA SEKTOR, AT MORALIDAD SA GOBYERNO AT LIPUNAN -- ITO ANG MGA SANDATA NATIN SA DIGMAANG-BAYAN LABAN SA KAHIRAPAN.

I HAVE THEREFORE ORGANIZED MY INTERPRETATION OF THE STATE OF THE NATION ALONG THESE FOUR COMPONENTS OF OUR NATIONAL ANTI-POVERTY IDEOLOGY.

THE FIRST IS AN ECONOMIC PHILOSOPHY FOR THE 21st CENTURY. UNDER THIS PHILOSOPHY, THE WAY TO FIGHT POVERTY IS TO CREATE JOBS, NOT DESTROY THEM.

TO CREATE JOBS, WE WILL ATTRACT INVESTMENTS. TO ATTRACT INVESTMENTS, WE WILL ATTEND TO MACRO MEASURES AND CONCERNS.

IN ADDRESSING MACRO CONCERNS, WE WILL FOCUS ON LONG-TERM STRUCTURAL ISSUES. WE STARTED WITH THE REFORM OF THE POWER SECTOR, AND I CONGRATULATE THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE HERE AND WHO WERE IN THE PREVIOUS CONGRESS FOR THIS ACCOMPLISHMENT. NOW, WE WILL TURN TO OTHER BASICS LIKE INFRASTRUCTURE, PRODUCTIVITY, AND THE SAVINGS RATE.

IN FOCUSING ON INFRASTRUCTURE, WE WILL HARNESS THE PRIVATE SECTOR VIA THE BUILD-OPERATE-AND-TRANSFER LAW. OUR PRIORITIES INCLUDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES FOR HIGH-SPEED PRODUCTIVITY AT LOW COST, ROADS TO TARGET TOURIST DESTINATIONS, INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE MODERNIZATION OF AGRICULTURE, MASS TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR METRO MANILA, AND COMMUTER AND TRANSPORT SYSTEMS TO DISPERSE COMMUNITIES TOWARDS SUBIC-CLARK AND CALABARZON.

WE WILL MINIMIZE BOTTLENECKS TO PRODUCTIVITY, SUCH AS THE HIGH COST OF POWER, DETERRENTS TO INVESTMENTS IN AGRICULTURE, OVERLY CONFRONTATIONAL LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, AND CORRUPTION AND RED TAPE AT THE NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVELS.

TO REDUCE THE COST OF POWER, WE WILL BEGIN IMPLEMENTING THE POWER SECTOR REFORM LAW WHICH THE PREVIOUS CONGRESS JUST PASSED.

TO REDUCE DETERRENTS TO INVESTMENTS IN AGRICULTURE, I ASK CONGRESS TO ENACT A LAW MAKING FARM LAND ACCEPTABLE AS LOAN COLLATERAL.

TO REDUCE EXCESSIVE FRICTION IN LABOR AND MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, WE WILL GO THE EXTRA MILE TO WORK FOR INDUSTRIAL PEACE, AND TO WORK WITH LABOR AND BUSINESS TO RETRAIN WORKERS FOR THE FAST-CHANGING TECHNOLOGIES OF THE NEW ECONOMY.

TO REDUCE CORRUPTION IN THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, CABINET SECRETARIES WILL HAVE TO DELIVER TANGIBLE RESULTS WITHIN 12 MONTHS IN FIGHTING GRAFT. OUR NEW E-PROCUREMENT PROGRAM WILL SAVE BILLIONS AND MINIMIZE ANOMALIES. AND I GAVE THE REINFORCED PRESIDENTIAL ANTI-GRAFT COMMISSION ADDED TEETH TO INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE MOTO PROPIO CORRUPTION IN HIGH PLACES. AND WE WILL MAKE THE B.I.R. AND CUSTOMS SHOWCASES IN THIS FIGHT AGAINST GRAFT AND CORRUPTION.

TO REDUCE CORRUPTION AMONG ELECTIVE OFFICIALS, WE WILL HELP HONEST PEOPLE GET ELECTED BY FINANCING THE FULL COMPUTERIZATION OF ELECTIONS. WE HAVE RELEASED TWO BILLION PESOS OF THE NEEDED 3.4 NEEDED FOR COMPUTERIZATION. I ASK CONGRESS TO ADD ANOTHER 500 MILLION IN THE 2002 BUDGET. LET US MAKE THE POLLS OF MAY 14, 2001 THE LAST NATIONAL ELECTIONS THAT USE PRIMITIVE METHODS OF VOTER IDENTIFICATION AND BALLOT TABULATION.

TO REDUCE RED TAPE IN THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, WITHIN 12 MONTHS, ALL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES WILL IMPLEMENT MEASURES TO CUT IN HALF THE NUMBER OF SIGNATURES REQUIRED FOR THEIR SERVICE. HOUSING PERMITS SHALL ONLY NEED 45 APPROVALS, INSTEAD OF 188.  IF LEGISLATION IS REQUIRED TO EFFECT THIS EFFICIENCY, THE AGENCIES CONCERNED WILL DRAFT APPROPRIATE BILLS FOR MY ENDORSEMENT TO CONGRESS.

I CONGRATULATE THE LTO FOR ISSUING LICENSES IN HALF AN HOUR. I CONGRATULATE THE NBI FOR ISSUING CLEARANCES IN ONE DAY.

I ASK OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS LIKEWISE TO STREAMLINE THEIR OPERATIONS AND SLASH RED TAPE. THERE MUST BE CONTINUITY BETWEEN NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THEIR EFFORTS TO BE INVESTOR-FRIENDLY.

WE WILL ADDRESS ISSUES RELATED TO THE SAVINGS RATE, SO THAT THE COST OF DOMESTIC CAPITAL CAN BE REDUCED. THESE ISSUES ARE TIED UP WITH THE STRENGTH OF THE FINANCIAL AND FISCAL SECTORS.

WITH REGARD TO THE FINANCIAL SECTOR, I ASK CONGRESS TO AMEND THE BSP CHARTER AND THE BANKING ACT TO IMPROVE SUPERVISION AND PROMOTE FINANCIAL PRUDENCE. THESE AMENDMENTS SHOULD TAKE US OUT OF THE MONEY-LAUNDERING LIST.

WE ADHERE TO A FREELY CONVERTIBLE PESO AND MARKET EXCHANGE RATES. HOWEVER, WE SUPPORT THE CENTRAL BANK'S MEASURES TO CURB SPECULATION.

TO THOSE SPECULATING AGAINST THE PESO, I ONLY HAVE THIS TO SAY: HAVE YOU NO PITY FOR THE COMMON PEOPLE, HAVE YOU NO LOVE FOR YOUR COUNTRY? MAKONSYENSYA NAMAN KAYO.

INSTEAD OF SPECULATING, LET US FURTHER STRENGTHEN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR. WE WILL DESIGN INNOVATIVE POLICIES TO DEVELOP OUR CAPITAL MARKET. WE WILL SET UP A SECONDARY HOUSING MORTGAGE MARKET, AN ASSET MANAGEMENT COMPANY, AND A PROVIDENT FUND FOR OVERSEAS FILIPINOS. WE WILL SIMPLIFY AND CLARIFY THE SYSTEM OF INCENTIVES. WE WILL INTERPRET INVESTMENT LAWS IN FAVOR OF THE INVESTOR.

AND I ASK CONGRESS TO ENACT LAWS ON CAPITAL MARKET REFORM SUCH AS THE PERSONAL EQUITY RETIREMENT ACT, THE INVESTMENT COMPANY ACT, THE SECURITIZATION ACT, AND AMENDMENTS TO THE SECURITIES REGULATION CODE.

WITH REGARD TO THE FISCAL SECTOR, WE WILL CONTROL THE BUDGET DEFICIT BY COLLECTING TAXES VIGOROUSLY AND SPENDING MONEY PRUDENTLY. FOR THE LONGER TERM, I ASK CONGRESS TO ENACT A LAW PROVIDING FOR A GROSS INCOME TAX.

ALISIN NA NATIN ANG MGA TAX DEDUCTION NA NAGIGING SANHI LAMANG NG KATAKUT-TAKOT NA CORRUPTION.

THE STRENGTH OF THE FINANCIAL AND FISCAL SECTORS PARTLY LIES IN HOW WE USE THE REALITIES IN THE GLOBAL AND REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT TO OUR BENEFIT. THUS WE WILL ENHANCE OUR RELATIONS WITH THE UNITED STATES, WHOSE ECONOMIC AND MILITARY POWER CONTINUES TO MAKE IT IMPORTANT AS A FACTOR IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE REGION AND IN THE NATION. WE WILL ALSO STRENGTHEN BILATERAL ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL RELATIONS WITH JAPAN, OUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE AND A MAJOR TRADING PARTNER. AND MORE AND MORE, WE WILL DESIGN FOREIGN POLICY AND FOREIGN TRADE POLICY IN THE CONTEXT OF ASEAN. AND I ASK CONGRESS TO ENACT A LAW GIVING OVERSEAS FILIPINOS, WHO CONTINUE TO PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN THE COUNTRY'S ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STABILITY, GIVING THEM THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

PREPARING OUR GROWTH SECTORS OF THE FUTURE ENABLES US TO TAP THE OPPORTUNITIES OF THE 21st CENTURY.

WE WILL PROMOTE FAST-GROWING INDUSTRIES WHERE HIGH-VALUE JOBS ARE MOST PLENTIFUL. ONE OF THEM IS INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY, OR ICT, OUR ENGLISH LITERACY, OUR APTITUDE AND SKILLS GIVE US A COMPETITIVE EDGE IN ICT FILIPINO WORKERS ARE RANKED NUMBER ONE IN THE FIELD, NUMBER ONE AMONG KNOWLEDGE WORKERS. AND ANALYSTS POINT TO TWO DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AS THE LIKELY WORLD CENTERS FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT AND DATA MANAGEMENT IN THIS DECADE: INDIA AND THE PHILIPPINES. WE WILL LIVE UP TO THAT FORECAST.

AS A FIRST STEP, LET US DECLARE THAT TECHNOLOGY IS THE FOUNDATION OF FUTURE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, AS CHINA DID IN 1998. ICT WILL JUMPSTART OUR OLD STALLING ECONOMY AND MAKE IT LEAPFROG INTO THE NEW ECONOMY.

HIGH-SPEED CONNECTIVITY AT LOW COST WILL INCREASE THE USE OF ICT IT IS ALSO THE WAY FOR SMART AND GLOBE TO PROPERLY INTERCONNECT. THEN WE WILL FINALLY HEAR THE LAST OF THOSE ANNOYING WORDS, "NETWORK BUSY."

OUR RULES WILL PROMOTE RATHER THAN REGULATE ICT, BUT IN TURN, I ASK CELLULAR PHONE COMPANIES TO STOP CHARGING ON DROPPED CALLS, THIS IS BOTH IRRITATING AND UNFAIR TO THE PUBLIC.

I ASK CONGRESS TO ENACT LAWS TO ADDRESS INTERNET PRIVACY AND SECURITY, ALLOW FOR MULTI-MEDIA CONVERGENCE, AND CREATE A DEPARTMENT OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY.
TO PREPARE OUR YOUTH TO BE THE NEXT GENERATION OF KNOWLEDGE WORKERS, WE WILL UPGRADE MATH AND SCIENCE TEACHING IN BASIC EDUCATION.

WE WILL TAKE A HARD LOOK AT EDUCATION AND ASK: IS IT PREPARING THE YOUTH FOR THE JOBS OF THE NEW ECONOMY? OR IS IT JUST-KEEPING-THEM-OFF-THE-STREETS-UNTIL-THEY-ARE-THROWN-THERE JOBLESS AFTER GRADUATION? IF THEY FINISH SCHOOL AT ALL.

TO INCREASE THE CHANCES OF FILIPINO CHILDREN FINISHING SCHOOL, WE WILL MINIMIZE THE COST OF GOING TO SCHOOL. WHEN WE STOPPED THE COLLECTION OF MISCELLANEOUS FEES LAST ENROLLMENT DAY, 900,000 MORE STUDENTS ENROLLED THAN ANTICIPATED. AND TO REDUCE THE TIME AND MONEY SPENT TO ACTUALLY TRAVEL TO SCHOOL, I WANT A SCHOOL BUILDING IN EVERY BARANGAY BY 2004. IBIG NATING TUMALAS ANG ULO NG MGA ESTUDYANTE, AT HINDI MALASPAG ANG PAA.

TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION AS REQUIRED BY THE NEW ECONOMY, WE WILL INCREASE THE NUMBER OF TEXTBOOKS PER STUDENT AS WELL AS THE QUALITY OF INSTRUCTION. THIS YEAR ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS WILL HAVE TEXTBOOKS FOR PRIORITY SUBJECTS IN GRADES ONE TO FOUR AND IN THE FIRST AND SECOND YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL.  AND THEY WILL HAVE BETTER PAID AND THEREFORE BETTER MOTIVATED TEACHERS NOT TO MENTION MORE TEACHERS BECAUSE SOUND FISCAL MANAGEMENT ENABLED US TO PROVIDE A SUPPLEMENTAL BUDGET OF 1.5 BILLION PESOS TO HIRE MORE TEACHERS AND INCREASE THEIR PAY WITHOUT INCREASING OUR DEFICIT.

ASIDE FROM ICT, WE ALSO HAVE THE COMPETITIVE EDGE IN TOURISM IN THE NATURAL WONDERS OF OUR COUNTRY AND THE NATURAL WARMTH OF OUR PEOPLE. WE WILL PROVIDE THE ROADS TO THOSE WONDERS AND THE MEANS TO TAKE THE TOURISTS THERE. THUS, WE WILL CONTINUE TO LIBERALIZE THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY.

THE SECOND COMPONENT OF OUR NATIONAL AGENDA TO FIGHT POVERTY IS THE MODERNIZATION OF AGRICULTURE FOUNDED ON SOCIAL EQUITY.

NASA BUKID ANG NAKARARAMING MARALITA, KAYA PAYAYAMANIN NATIN ANG PAGSASAKA AT PANGINGISDA.

THERE CAN BE A MILLION NEW JOBS IN AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES. WITHIN THE YEAR, THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SHALL BEGIN TO IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM TO GENERATE THEM. WE WILL APPROACH THIS WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY. I DO NOT WANT THE ONE MILLION NEW JOBS TO COME IN THE LONG TERM. I WANT A TIMETABLE. I WANT TO IDENTIFY ACCOUNTABILITIES. I WANT MILESTONES.

HINDI ITO PANGAKONG MAPAPAKO DAHIL NAKASALALAY RITO ANG KABUHAYAN NG MILYUNG-MILYONG MARALITANG PILIPINO.

MGA KABABAYAN KONG MAGSASAKA, ANG INYONG PANGULO MISMO ANG MAGBABANTAY SA KAGALINGAN NINYO.

STARTING TOMORROW I WILL HOLD OFFICE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, UNTIL I CAN GET A CLEAR AND DEMONSTRABLE PICTURE OF OUR AGRICULTURAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR OUR FIRST 100 DAYS AND I CAN SEE THE PROGRAM FOR THE MILLION NEW JOBS GET OFF THE GROUND, AND I CAN SEE THAT SHORT-TERM GOALS ARE IN SYNCH WITH THE GOALS OF FARMER GROUPS AND AGRIBUSINESS.

UPANG LUMIKHA NG ISANG MILYONG TRABAHO SA KANAYUNAN, TUTUPARIN NATIN SA WAKAS ANG AGRICULTURAL AND FISHERIES MODERNIZATION ACT O AFMA.  HINDI BABABA SA DALAWAMPUNG BILYONG PISO ANG GAGASTUSIN UPANG MAPALAKAS ANG KITA, ANI AT HULI NG MAGSASAKA AT MANGINGISDA. KASAMA NA RITO ANG MGA SUMUSUNOD: ANIM NA BILYON SA PATUBIG; DALAWANG BILYON SA POST-HARVEST FACILITIES; DALAWANG BILYON SA IMPRASTRAKTURA; DALAWANG BILYON SA PAUTANG; AT DALAWANG BILYON SA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

THERE IS MONEY -- AND THERE WILL BE MONEY -- AND THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SHALL DEMONSTRATE ITS CAPACITY TO USE THESE FUNDS.

SA ANIM NA BILYONG PISO SA PATUBIG AT DALAWANG BILYON SA POST-HARVEST MULA APARRI HANGGANG JOLO, MAKAKALIKHA TAYO NG WALONGDAANG LIBONG TRABAHO. SA PAGBUKAS NG DALAWANGDAANG LIBONG EKTARYA NG BAGONG LUPANG MASASAKA MAKAKALIKHA ITO NG DALAWANGDAANG LIBONG TRABAHO. SA GANITONG PARAAN MALILIKHA ANG ISANG MILYONG TRABAHO SA KANAYUNAN.

NGUNIT DAPAT TIYAKIN ANG MERKADO NG PRODUKSYON NG MGA BAGONG MAGTATRABAHO SA AGRIKULTURA AT PANGINGISDA PATI NA RIN NG KASALUKUYANG MAGSASAKA AT MANGINGISDA.

PARA SA KAGINHAWAAN NG TAONG-BAYAN, DAPAT HINDI NAGKUKULANG ANG BIGAS. SABI NGA NG AFMA, SIKAPIN NATING MAGKAROON NG RICE SELF-SUFFICIENCY. IN THE MEANTIME, WE WILL REMOVE THE MONOPOLY OF THE NFA IN IMPORTATION. IF A SHORTAGE SEEMS LIKELY, WE WILL ALLOW THE FARMERS THEMSELVES TO IMPORT RICE, BASTA MAGBAYAD SILA NG CUSTOMS DUTIES. GAGAMITIN NAMAN ANG BINAYARANG BUWIS PARA SA MODERNISASYON NG RICE PRODUCTION.

MURANG BIGAS AT MASAGANANG MAGSASAKA -- ITO ANG HANGAD NATIN PARA SA MASA.

MAS MALAKI PA ANG MATUTULONG NG GOBYERNO SA MGA MAGSASAKA NG NIYOG ORAS NA MARESOLBA PABOR SA MAGSASAKA ANG KASO NG COCONUT LEVY. KAPAG MANGYARI ITO, GAGAMITIN ANG PONDO PARA SA MODERNISASYON NG MGA NIYUGAN. PINAWALANG-BISA KO ANG KAUTUSAN SA COCONUT LEVY MULA SA DATING ADMINISTRASYON UPANG HINDI MADEHADO ANG MAGSASAKA. HINDI TAYO HIHINTO HABANG HINDI NAKIKINABANG ANG MANGNYO-NIYOG SA COCO LEVY FUND.

TO FIGHT POVERTY, AGRICULTURAL MODERNIZATION WILL BE SOCIALLY EQUITABLE. WE SHALL REDEEM IN EARNEST THE PROMISE OF LAND REFORM, A COMMITMENT THAT SPANS SEVERAL PRESIDENTS. ISA PA ITONG PANGAKONG HINDI DAPAT MAPAKO.

BAWAT TAON, MAMAHAGI ANG GOBYERNO NG (DALAWANGDAANG) LIBONG EKTARYA PARA SA REPORMA SA LUPA: 100,000 OF PRIVATE LAND AND 100,000 HECTARES OF PUBLIC LAND, INCLUDING 100 ANCESTRAL DOMAIN TITLES FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.

WE WILL BRING OUR WAR AGAINST POVERTY TO RURAL MINDANAO, ESPECIALLY THE AREAS MOST AFFECTED BY THE PAST CONFLICTS. WE HAVE HELPED MORE THAN HALF OF THE 27,000 EVACUEE FAMILIES RETURN TO THEIR FARMS AND REHABILITATE THEIR HOMES. THE REST WILL GO BACK HOME THIS YEAR. IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS, WE WILL SPEND 500 MILLION PESOS FROM THE OPEC FUND FOR COMMUNITY PROJECTS IN THESE AREAS.

IF THE LONG-DELAYED MALMAR IRRIGATION DAM IS NOT COMPLETED BY SEPTEMBER, I WILL TRANSFER ITS CONSTRUCTION TO THE ARMY ENGINEERING BRIGADE.  THIS DAM IS SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT WILL IRRIGATE 3,000 HECTARES IMMEDIATELY, WITH ANOTHER 10,000 TO FOLLOW NEXT YEAR.

WE WILL MAKE MINDANAO THE GATEWAY TO ASEAN BY PUTTING BACK ON TRACK THE EAST ASEAN GROWTH AREA.

INSHALA, MAHIMO TINU-OD ANG SAAD SA MINDANAO UBOS SA AKONG ADMINISTRASYON.

THE THIRD COMPONENT OF OUR NATIONAL AGENDA IS A SOCIAL BIAS TO BALANCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

THIS SOCIAL BIAS CONSISTS IN IMMEDIATE MEASURES FOR THE POOR AS WELL AS IMPROVING AND ENSURING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE MASSES.

BUKOD SA MAGBUBUKID, MARALITANG TAGA-LUNGSOD ANG MALAKING SEKTOR NA KAILANGAN ANG DAGLIANG TULONG.

UPANG AGAD SILANG MATULUNGAN, NABIGYAN NA NG ATING ADMINISTRASYON ANG KARAPATANG BUMILI NG LUPANG TINITIRAHAN SA MAHIGIT WALUMPUNG LIBONG PAMILYANG MARALITA. AND WE WILL WORK DOUBLE TIME TO GIVE SECURITY OF LAND TENURE TO 150,000 URBAN POOR FAMILIES EVERY YEAR. SANDAAN AT LIMAMPUNG LIBONG PAMILYA TAUN-TAON ANG MAGKAKAROON NG KARAPATAN NA BUMILI NG SARILING TIRAHAN. GINAGAWA KO ITO DAHIL NALULUNGKOT AKO 'PAG MAY NAKIKITA AKONG SQUATTER SA SARILING BAYAN.

DAPAT DIN TUGUNAN ANG KARAINGAN NG MADLA SA MAHAL NA BILIHIN AT KULANG NA SAHOD. UMAASA AKONG MAGPAPASYA ANG KONGRESO O WAGE BOARD SA NARARAPAT NA SWELDO. PANSAMANTALA, NANANAWAGAN AKO SA MGA NEGOSYANTENG MAY KAKAYAHAN: MAGBIGAY NA KAYO AGAD NG EMERGENCY COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE. MAAARI NAMAN ITONG I-CREDIT KAPAG MAY BAGONG SAHOD O ALLOWANCE MULA SA BATAS O SA WAGE BOARD.

SA KABILANG DAKO, KUMIKILOS ANG GOBYERNO UPANG MAPIGILAN ANG PAGTAAS NG PRESYO NG MGA PANGUNAHING PANGANGAILANGAN NG MANGGAGAWA. BINABANTAYAN ANG PRESYO NG LANGIS, AT SALAMAT NAMAN NA BUMABA ITO NOONG BIYERNES. PINAGSISIKAPAN DIN NG GOBYERNONG HUWAG ITAAS ANG PASAHE, LALO NA ANG LRT.

DAHIL PRESYO NG BIGAS AY NAPAKAIMPORTANTE SA MGA MANGGAGAWA, MAGPAPASADA TAYO NG ISANLIBONG ROLLING STORES. ANG MGA MANGGAGAWA AT MARALITA AY MAKAKABILI DITO NG BIGAS SA HALAGANG LABING-APAT NA PISO SA HALIP NA LABING-WALO BAWAT KILO.

BABABA DIN ANG PRESYO NG GAMOT. SA LOOB NG ISANG TAON HAHATIIN NATIN ANG PRESYO NG GAMOT NA MADALAS BILHIN NG MADLA.

AT UPANG IWASAN ANG MALAKING GASTOS SA PAGPAPAGAMOT, ITONG TAON, ILALAHOK SA NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ANG KALAHATING MILYONG MARALITANG TAGA-LUNGSOD. SA GANOONG PARAAN, ANG INSURANCE ANG MAGBABAYAD NG PAGPAPAGAMOT.

AT UPANG MAIWASAN ANG PAG-UPA NA NAGBABANTANG TUMAAS, TINUTULUNGAN NATIN NA MAGKAROON NG SARILING TAHANAN ANG MGA MANGGAGAWA AT MARALITA. HANDA NA ANG SAMPUNG LIBONG TAHAHAN SA IBA'T-IBANG LUGAR PARA LUMIPAT NA RITO ANG MANGGAGAWA AT MARALITA. PINONDOHAN NA RIN NATIN ANG PAGTAYO NG LABING-WALONG LIBO PANG TAHANAN. TAUN-TAON, MAGTATAYO NG SANDAANG LIBONG TIRAHAN PARA SA MANGGAGAWA AT LIMAMPUNG LIBONG PABAHAY PARA SA HIGIT NA MARALITA. NAKAHANDA SA GOVERNMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ANG DALAWAMPUNG BILYONG PISO PARA SA PABAHAY NG MANGGAGAWA.

ITAGA NINYO: DALAWAMPUNG BILYONG PISO PARA SA MGA TAHANAN NG MASA. ITO ANG HANDOG NG GOBYERNO PARA SA SEGURIDAD NG PAMILYANG PILIPINO.

UPANG MAPATAKBO NG MABUTI ANG MGA PROGRAMANG ITO, HINIHILING KO SA KONGRESO NA LUMIKHA NG KAGAWARAN NG PABAHAY. A DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING WILL NOT ONLY BUILD HOMES FOR THE POOR, IT WILL ALSO SPARK THE HOUSING INDUSTRY AND CREATE JOBS.

HINIHILING KO RIN SA KONGRESO NA SA TAX REFORM NA GAGAWIN NINYO, DAMIHAN ANG KATEGORIYA NG MANGGAGAWANG HINDI NA KAILANGANG MAGBAYAD NG BUWIS.

MAYROON TAYONG ESPESYAL NA PROYEKTO PARA SA MGA KABATAANG MARALITA NG METRO MANILA NA HINDI NA MAKAPAG-ARAL, NGUNIT WALANG TRABAHO. THIS IS THE EMERGENCY EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM. BAWAT TAON, DALAWAMPUNG LIBONG OUT-OF-WORK, OUT-OF-SCHOOL YOUTH ANG BIBIGYAN NG DAGLIANG TRABAHO. MAAARI MAGTAGPI NG BUBONG, MAG-AYOS NG RAILING, MAG-GWARDYA SA ESKWELA NG KANILANG BARANGAY, MAGLINIS NG KALSADA O ESTERO, O IBA PANG DAGLIANG TRABAHO.

THE SOCIAL BIAS IN OUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN INVOLVES ENSURING THE QUALITY OF LIFE OF THE MASSES.

SA SULAT NI ERWIN NA TAGA-PAYATAS -- 'YUNG BINANGGIT KO KANINANG PAG-UMPISA NG DISKURSO -- HINILING NIYA NA IPASARA ANG DUMPSITE. TALAGA NAMANG DAPAT NANG MAGKAROON TAYO NG BAGONG SISTEMA SA PAG-AASIKASO NG BASURA. BASURA ANG SANHI NG MARAMING PROBLEMA SA SIYUDAD: MASAMANG HANGIN, PAGLAGANAP NG SAKIT, TRAPIK, AT IBA PA. TAPUSIN NA NATIN ITO. INATASAN KO ANG METRO MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NA BAGO MAKALIPAS ANG ISANG TAON, MAGLUNSAD NG PROGRAMA UPANG AYUSIN ANG PROBLEMA NG BASURA.

SUYANG-SUYA NA RIN TAYONG LAHAT, LALO NA ANG MADLA, SA TRAPIKO NG METRO MANILA. BABAWASAN ANG TRAPIK SA TULONG NG MASS TRANSIT. NAGTATAYO TAYO NG LIMANG BAGONG LINYA NG MASS TRANSIT PARA MAKAPAGBIGAY-GINHAWA SA HALOS APAT NA MILYONG PASAHERO. TATLONG LINYA MATATAPOS SA 2004, ISA SA 2005, AT ISA PA SA 2006. THESE FIVE MASS TRANSIT SYSTEMS ARE BEING PRIORITIZED BECAUSE THEY WILL ADD 119 KILOMETERS OF RAILWAY PROJECTS. DURING CONSTRUCTION, I EXPECT THE MMDA TO MINIMIZE THE RESULTING CONGESTION, AND I EXPECT IT TO MINIMIZE THE CURRENT CONGESTION WITHIN SIX MONTHS.

MASYADONG MASIKIP ANG METRO MANILA, KAYA MISERABLE ANG BUHAY SA SLUM AREAS. MAGKAKAROON NG MABILIS NA TRANSPORTASYONG MAGDURUGTONG NG MGA KARATIG-REHIYON SA KAMAYNILAAN. ANG NASISIKIPAN NA SA MAYNILA, MAKAKALIPAT BALANG ARAW SA MAALIWALAS NA LALAWIGAN.

WE WILL DECONGEST METRO MANILA BY ATTRACTING COMMUNITIES NORTH TOWARDS SUBIC-CLARK, AND SOUTH TOWARDS CALABARZON AND BATANGAS PORT. WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS NOT BY DEMOLISHING SHANTIES BUT BY BUILDING COMMUTER AND TRANSPORT SYSTEMS TO BETTER HOMES.

WHETHER IN METRO MANILA OR IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, WE WILL MAKE MICROFINANCE A CORNERSTONE IN OUR FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY. ANG IBIG SABIHIN NITO AY MALILIIT NA PALUWAGAN PARA SA MALILIIT NA NEGOSYO. KAKALISENSIYA LANG NG OPPORTUNITY MICROFINANCE BANK, ANG UNANG MICRO-LENDING PROGRAM SA BANSA NA NAGING BANGKO. BAWAT TAON, DADAGDAGAN NATIN NG TATLONGDAANG LIBONG MARALITANG KABABAIHAN ANG MAKIKINABANG SA PALUWAGANG PROGRAMA NG MICROFINANCE.

PANAHON NA UPANG MAKINABANG ANG MALILIIT SA INIIMPOK NG BAYAN. AT UMASA KAYO, NAGBABAYAD ANG MASA. IN MICROFINANCE, THE REPAYMENT RATE IS 98 PERCENT.

WALA PANG KORYENTE ANG MARAMI NATING BARANGAY. KAYA ARAW-ARAW, GABI-GABI, MAGKAKABIT NG KORYENTE SA APAT NA BARANGAY. SA GANOON, WALUMPU'T-LIMANG PORSYENTO NG BARANGAY AY MAGKAKAILAW NA SA LOOB NG ISANG TAON.

WITH EXPORTS SLOWING DOWN DUE TO THE WORLD DOWNTURN, WE WILL STRENGTHEN THE DOMESTIC MARKET. WE WILL INTENSIFY EFFORTS TO PROMOTE SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES OR SMEs ESPECIALLY IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. LAST FRIDAY I INAUGURATED THE SME BOARD IN THE PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE. TO HELP SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES, I WILL RESTORE THE POLICY OF PROVIDING GOVERNMENT GUARANTEE FOR THEIR BANK LOANS.

THE FOURTH COMPONENT OF OUR NATIONAL AGENDA IS IMPROVING MORAL STANDARDS AND THE RULE OF LAW.

WE NEED EVERY OUNCE OF RESOURCE TO WAGE THIS WAR ON POVERTY. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE ANYTHING TO WASTE OR GRAFT AND CORRUPTION.

FIRST WE MUST STRENGTHEN JUSTICE AND THE ENFORCEMENT OF LAW AND ORDER.

THIS PERTAINS TO TWO LEVELS. AT THE LEVEL OF PRINCIPLE, THIS ADMINISTRATION AFFIRMS ITS COMMITMENT TO THE PRINCIPLE THAT NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW.

THUS, OUR POLICY IS TO SUPPORT THE FAIR AND SPEEDY TRIAL OF ALL THE ACCUSED INVOLVED IN THE CASES AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA.

IF THERE WERE TIMES THAT I SHOWED CONCERN FOR THE PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT, IT IS NOT A SIGN OF DIMINISHED DETERMINATION TO SEE JUSTICE DONE.

RATHER, IT IS OUT OF SENSITIVITY TO THE FEELINGS OF THE SEGMENTS OF OUR MASA WHO HAVE CONTINUED TO IDENTIFY WITH HIS PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

BUT AS I SOMETIMES EXTEND A HAND COVERED BY A VELVET GLOVE, INSIDE IT IS AN IRON HAND WHERE JUSTICE AND THE RULE OF LAW ARE CONCERNED.

AS A SIGN OF THIS, I WILL SUPPORT LEGISLATION TO AMEND THE CHARTER OF THE OMBUDSMAN SO HE CAN ACCEPT THE SERVICES OF PRIVATE PROSECUTORS.

THE SECOND LEVEL PERTAINS TO OUR SENSE THAT JUSTICE PREVAILS AND THE RULE OF LAW WORKS IN OUR DAILY LIVES.

A RE-ENERGIZED POLICE WILL STAMP OUT THE CRIMES THAT HAVE PLAGUED OUR BUSINESSES, TERRORIZED THE COMMON FOLK, AND EMBARRASSED OUR COUNTRY. IN THE ECONOMICS OF FIGHTING CRIME, THE MORE RESOURCES DEVOTED TO CRIME PREVENTION, THE LESS THE AMOUNT OF CRIME. OUR ADMINISTRATION WILL SPEND TO MODERNIZE AND PROFESSIONALIZE THE POLICE. WE WILL START WITH ONE BILLION PESOS.

ALTHOUGH THE NUMBERS SAY THAT INDEX CRIMES IN THE FIRST SEMESTER WERE DOWN 14 PERCENT SINCE A YEAR AGO, WE ARE DETERMINED TO STAMP OUT VIOLENT CRIMES ALTOGETHER. THE ONGOING REORGANIZATION OF THE POLICE IS PART OF THE EFFORT TO ADD VIGOR TO ITS ANTI-CRIME DRIVE. THE NEW NATIONAL ANTI-CRIME COMMISSION WILL TIGHTEN COORDINATION AMONG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES AS WELL AS WITH THE CHINESE-FILIPINO COMMUNITY. WE ARE GIVING SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE KIDNAP-FOR-RANSOM SYNDICATES. I WANT THE BULK OF THEM TO BE BEHIND BARS BEFORE THE YEAR IS OVER, SO THAT EVERY FILIPINO WILL AT LAST FEEL SAFE IN HIS HOME, IN HIS WORKPLACE, AND IN HIS STREETS.

ON THE DRUG FRONT, I ASK CONGRESS TO ENACT A LAW REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF DRUGS IN A SUSPECT'S POSSESSION FOR HIM TO BE CHARGED WITH DRUG TRAFFICKING.

WE WILL UPHOLD LAW AND ORDER THROUGH A HOLISTIC RESPONSE CONSISTING OF POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, PSYCHOSOCIAL AND SECURITY COMPONENTS. WE WILL MEET THE DEFENSE AND SECURITY CHALLENGES OF THIS ERA. TO ACHIEVE THIS END, WE HAVE EARMARKED ADDITIONAL FUNDING IN SEVERAL BILLIONS OF PESOS FOR THE AFP MODERNIZATION PROGRAM.

WE HAVE GIVEN THE ARMED FORCES AND THE POLICE THE LEEWAY TO FIGHT A TREACHEROUS AND ELUSIVE ENEMY IN BASILAN. BUT IT MUST END, AND IT WILL END SOON, FOR GOOD. THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ABU SAYYAF HAS STARTED TO FALL. THE CRACKDOWN HAS NEUTRALIZED 130 OF THEM. MANY OF THEM HAVE COME DOWN FROM THEIR MOUNTAINS BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN ABANDONED BY THEIR LEADERS. ITAGA NINYO SA BATO: TATAPUSIN NATIN ITO.

ON THE PEACE PROCESS, WHILE THE AFP STANDS READY TO PROTECT OUR PEOPLE AT A MOMENT'S NOTICE, WE WILL CONTINUE TO TALK WITH THE MORO ISLAMIC LIBERATION FRONT AND THE NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT AS LONG AS ALL SIDES MAINTAIN GOOD FAITH. OUR CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT WITH THE MILF LAST MONTH ENCOURAGED US IN THIS.

TO ATTAIN OUR FULL POTENTIAL AS A NATION, LET US COME TO TERMS WITH THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES IN MINDANAO. LET US FORGE CONSENSUS ON A JUST, LASTING, AND HONORABLE PEACE IN ONE COUNTRY. PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT ARE INSEPARABLE TWINS. BUT OUR FRAMEWORK MUST NOT COMPROMISE CONSTITUTIONALITY, NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY. INSTEAD, LET US RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE A MULTI-ETHNIC SOCIETY WHICH SHOULD BE FOUNDED ON SOCIAL JUSTICE FOR ALL AND INSTITUTIONALIZED ACCOMMODATION OF ETHNIC TRADITIONS. THIS WOULD FINALLY INTRODUCE A NEW CULTURE IN OUR NATION'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS MINDANAO.

WE WILL ALSO INTRODUCE A NEW CULTURE IN GOVERNANCE: A CULTURE OF PLAIN TALK AND COMMON SENSE.

CABINET SECRETARIES WILL DO LESS CLUSTER AND INTER-AGENCY COMMITTEE WORK SO THEY CAN CONCENTRATE ON RUNNING THEIR DEPARTMENTS. LESS MEETINGS, MORE ACTION, MORE TANGIBLE RESULTS WHETHER IN GENERATING JOBS, IMPROVING PEACE AND ORDER, OR FIGHTING GRAFT.

I THROW FULL SUPPORT BEHIND BIR COMMISSIONER RENE BA"EZ.  HE HAS UNDERTAKEN A MISSION MANY BELIEVE IMPOSSIBLE: OVERHAULING THE BIR WHICH ACCOUNTS FOR 80 PERCENT OF OUR TAX REVENUES.

RENE HAS BEEN THREATENED. HE HAS BEEN BLOCKED BY RESTRAINING ORDERS AT EVERY TURN. AFTER THE SUPREME COURT RULED IN HIS FAVOR, HE WAS ACCUSED OF THE VERY CORRUPTION HE IS STAMPING OUT.

THIS MAN NEEDS FRIENDS, WHO SHARE HIS GOALS, AND I KNOW HE WILL FIND THEM IN THIS YOUNG CONGRESS.

THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS IS EXCEEDING COLLECTION TARGETS. BUT THE ANTI-SMUGGLING DRIVE MUST BE RELENTLESS. SO MUST THE DRIVE AGAINST THE HARASSMENT OF LEGITIMATE BUSINESSMEN DOING LEGITIMATE IMPORTS. I CALL ON ALL CONCERNED TO HELP END THE OPEN DRAWER SYNDROME.

BUT THE GOVERNMENT CANNOT DO IT ALONE. IT CANNOT DO IT ALONE IN CUSTOMS, IT CANNOT DO IT ALONE IN FIGHTING GRAFT, IT CANNOT DO IT ALONE IN FIGHTING POVERTY. I'M NOT A MIRACLE WORKER. ALL OF US MUST DO OUR SHARE. WE HAVE TO THINK FILIPINO, BUY FILIPINO, INVEST FILIPINO. I INVITE THE TAIPANS AND OTHER BUSINESS PEOPLE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TO START PUMP-PRIMING THE ECONOMY BY INVESTING ONCE AGAIN IN THE PHILIPPINES. I INVITE YOU TO CREATE JOBS, ACCELERATE PROGRESS, AND THEREBY ADDRESS THE ROOT CAUSES OF THE CRIME AND UNREST THAT SO MUCH ALARM US.

SA MADALING SALITA, MGA KABABAYAN, MAGKAISA TAYO AT MAGTULUNG-TULONG UPANG LABANAN ANG SALOT NG KAHIRAPAN AT ISULONG ANG KASAGANAAN, KAPAYAPAAN, AT KATARUNGAN SA BAYAN. MAGKAISA TAYO. LABANAN ANG KAHIRAPAN.

MARAMI NA AKONG SINABI TUNGKOL SA GAGAWIN KO. SUBALIT MABIBIGKAS SA ILANG SALITA LAMANG ANG PAKAY NG LAHAT NG MGA PLANO, PROGRAMA AT PANUKALANG TINUKOY KO: TRABAHO, EDUKASYON, SARILING TAHANAN, PAGKAIN SA BAWAT MESA.

SA LAHAT NG MABIBIGAY KO SA BAYAN, KABUHAYAN, KARUNUNGAN, TAHANAN AT PAGKAIN PARA SA MASA ANG IPAGMAMALAKI KO NANG HIGIT SA LAHAT.

LAHAT NG ITO AY PARA SA MGA KABATAANG TULAD NILA JAYSON, JOMAR AT ERWIN, AT SA MAGIGING ANAK NILA DAHIL TUNGKULIN NATIN ITO SA MGA DARATING NA HENERASYON.

MGA KABABAYAN, NAIS KO PONG IPAKILALA SA INYO ANG MGA ANAK NG PAYATAS. ETO SINA JASON, JOMAR, AT ERWIN.

SALAMAT SA INYO, JASON, JOMAR AT ERWIN. SALAMAT AT SUMULAT KAYO SA AKIN NG MGA LIHAM NA GINAWA NINYONG BANGKANG PAPEL AT PINALUTANG SA PASIG.

JASON, JOMAR AT ERWIN, PAKINGGAN NIYO AKO.

PAPARAMIHIN NATIN ANG MGA KABABAYANG MAY TRABAHO. PAPARAMIHIN NATIN ANG MGA BATANG MAKAPAG-AARAL SA KOLEHIYO. PAPARAMIHIN NATIN ANG MGA KABABAYANG MAY SARILING TAHANAN. PAPARAMIHIN NATIN ANG PAMILYANG MAY PAGKAIN SA MESA. ANG PANGARAP NINYO AY PANGARAP KO RIN. GAGAWIN KO ANG LAHAT UPANG MATUPAD ANG PANGARAP NATIN.

MGA KABABAYAN: TULUNGAN NINYO AKONG TUPARIN ANG PANGARAP NILA JASON, JOMAR, AT ERWIN. MAGKAISA TAYO UPANG LAHAT NG KABATAAN -- KASAMA ANG KANILANG MAGULANG -- AY MAGKAROON NG BAGONG BUHAY AT BAGONG PAG-ASA SA HINAHARAP.

TRABAHO. TAHANAN. EDUKASYON. PAGKAIN SA BAWAT MESA.

SALAMAT, JAYSON, JOMAR AT ERWIN PINAALALA NINYO SA AKIN ANG NAPAKAHALAGANG TUNGKULIN KO.

PINAALALA NINYO SA AMING LAHAT KUNG BAKIT KAMI AY NARITO NGAYON SA BULWAGANG ITO.

MGA SENADOR AT KONGRESISTA: IPANGAKO NATIN SA KANILA, SA HARAP AT SA TULONG NG POONG MAYKAPAL, NA SA MGA SUSUNOD NA ARAW, BUWAN AT TAON, TAYONG MGA HINALAL, TAYONG MAY PANANAGUTAN SA KANILANG KINABUKASAN AY HANDANG MAGSAKRIPISYO AT MAGKAISA PARA SA KABUTIHAN, KAUNLARAN, KATATAGAN NG BAYAN AT SA KINABUKASAN NG KABATAAN.

JASON, JOMAR, AT ERWIN, HINDI NAMIN KAYO BIBIGUIN.

I AM NOT A MIRACLE WORKER. BUT I WILL DO WHAT IS RIGHT AND I WILL DO MY BEST. LET US ALL DO WHAT IS RIGHT, LET US ALL DO WHAT IS BEST AND GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST.

MARAMING SALAMAT SA INYONG LAHAT.

"BHABYRON-ALMA-JOHN JADE"

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