In her speech at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park, her last as head of state, the outgoing President said her reform programs “now offer more economic opportunities and support the aspirations of our heroes who all dreamt of a national vision of attaining prosperity, freedom and justice for all.”
The President said the revolution against Spanish colonizers by our national heroes that include Andres Bonifacio nurtured this dream and gave birth to a sense of nationalism and a dream of a better life for Filipinos.
In 1963, the President said peasants also started to be emancipated from a feudal bondage from rich landlords when her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, worked hard for the promulgation of the Land Reform Law.
With the martyrdom of then Senator Benigno Aquino, the President said Filipinos also peacefully reclaimed their liberties during the 1986 People Power Revolution and reaffirmed their commitment to freedom and democracy under the leadership of his widow, the late President Corazon Aquino.
Since the start of her administration in 2001, the President said poverty alleviation became the centerpiece of her 10-point agenda the so-called BEAT THE ODDS.
BEAT THE ODDS stands for a Balanced budget; Education for all; Automated elections; Transportation and digital infrastructure; Terminate hostilities with the MILF and NPA; Heal the wounds of EDSAs I, II and III; Electricity and water for all; Opportunities for livelihood and ten million jobs; Decongestion of Metro Manila; Develop Subic-Clark.
She said the implementation of these pro-poor programs were all achieved through economic reforms that resulted to a lower budget deficit, better economic growth and generated much needed funds to finance vital infrastructure projects such ports, seaports, airports, bridges, highway networks and the roll-on roll-off ferry system.
The President said the May 2010 automated elections also delivered the most modern and open election that will lastingly change the face of Philippine politics such as the earliest proclamation in history of the President and Vice President last Wednesday.
In the course of her speech, beneficiaries thanked the President for her numerous programs, including Grade 5 pupil Joan Duya of Porac, Pampanga who said she no longer has to walk two hours to school after the President directed the establishment of a classroom in her barangay. The President said it was the 100,000th classroom built under her term.
Julia Baco of Gutalac, Zamboanga del Norte, who was able to send her three children to school, were among the one million poor families who benefited from the successful implementation of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), one of the President’s flagship programs on poverty reduction and social development.
Matson Paskial of Dupax del Norte, Nueva Vizcaya, a construction worker for the Bitong-Belance Nueva Vizcaya Road, said he saw residents of other nearby towns send their farm produce to the nearest market because of the new roads.
Russel Brian Dizon, a 22-year-old jobless nurse who gained a training scholarship has found employment in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry which the President said has become a $7-billion industry providing 500,000 high-paying jobs.
Alan Amanse, a former fisherman earning only P100 per day, is now a whale shark interactor in the flourishing tourism industry in Sorsogon.
The President said the 100 percent electrification of all barangays, which now stood at more than 99 percent, will be achieved come September.
The President said these beneficiaries are among the millions of Filipinos who benefited and gained employment from BEAT THE ODDS.
“Ito ang handog natin sa ika-112 anibersaryo ng ating pagkabansa. Malaking karangalan at pribiliheyo ang maglingkod sa sambayanan bilang Pangulo. Ihahabilin natin ang siyam na taong paglago at pag-angat. Sa inyong lahat na nagging kasamahan ko sa mahirap ngunit makasaysayang landas, maraming maraming salamat. Mabuhay tayo, mabuhay ang Pilipinas, (This is our gift the nation on its 112th year. I have been honored to have served you as President. Long Live the Philippines.),” the President said. (PND)
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