4th SONA of P-noy (Highlights)
REMEMBER JESSE ROBREDO
Millions of Filipinos grieved when Jesse Robredo passed. For almost two decades, he served and led Naga with skill, compassion, and humility. One of the hardest things I ever had to do as President was to deliver the news to Leni, after the tragedy. Apart from grieving, I could not avoid blaming myself for what happened to Jesse. Maybe if I had not asked him to join my Cabinet, he would still be alive today. Maybe if he had remained in Naga, he would still be with us. Maybe there would still be a Jesse Robredo in public service today.
PROBLEMS AT IMMIGRATION, NIA, CUSTOMS
PNoy cites his problems in the Bureau of Immigration, the National Irrigation Administration, (NIA) and Bureau of Customs. That's why he fired the chiefs of immigration and NIA. I'd run out of patience, he says. 'If you are a good, conscientious employee of the BI, NIA, Customs, or any other government agency, I hope that you do even more. It is not enough to lie low and hide inside your cubicle; to prevent wrongdoing is part of your duty. You are in the right, so there is no need to hide; please make it easy for me to find people like you; I will raise you up as praiseworthy examples, that we may fully transform the flawed culture of your agencies. ECONOMIC GAINS
Aquino trumpets economic gains for the past year. He cites the Philippines' 7.8% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2013, the fastest in East and Southeast Asia. He also cites the Philippines' first-ever investment grade rating. The Philippines won an investment grade from two international credit rating agencies which acknowledged the country's efforts in trimming the budget deficit and shoring up revenue collections. TOURISM
PNoy says 4.3-M foreign tourists visited the Philippines in 2012, a record-high and a 21.4% increase from 2010. Domestic travelers reached 37.5-M in 2012, breaching the original 2016 target of 35.5-M. He says he’s confident the country will achieve its new target of 56-M domestic tourists this year. PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS
Aquino says the public has lost confidence in projects government earlier entered into due to past controversies. Aquino says his government has no plans to add to the list of questionable contracts. He cites several projects awarded 'without shortcuting the process': Laguindingan airport and Daang Hari-SLEX expressway. He says more projects are underway such as airports in Tacloban, Bicol, Bohol, and Puerto Princesa. MRT AND LRT SUBSIDIES
Increase MRT and LRT fares – as much as aircon bus fares – so the subsidy they’re eating up can be channeled to other things. PRIORITY BILLS
Among the priority bills are the Cabotage bill, Fiscal Incentives Rationalization bill, the Land Administration bill, and the proposed P2.268-trillion national budget for 2014.
BANGSAMORO PEACE PROCESS
This is my commitment: Whatever we agree upon, the national government can and will implement. We need to trust each other, he says, dismissing cynics and saboteurs. PNoy calls on Congress to pass the Bangsamoro transition law before the end of 2014, to ensure the setting up of the Bangsamoro regional government in 2016.
We have finished multi-hazard mapping in 28 hazardous areas. Since we launched Project NOAH, we have put up 525 automated water levels and rain gauges in 18 major river basins. We’re better prepared now than before. We're relocating informal settlers and punishing companies that block waterways.
Ondoy: 3,600 cubic meters per second, water from Sierra Madre. Waterways in NCR could only handle 1,000-plus cubic meters. P6.2 billion budget to address flooding in Metro Manila.
PNoy asks public to ask themselves: "Ano ang iniaambag ko sa solusyon?"
HOUSING FOR COPS, SOLDIERS
The government has built 21,800 houses for cops and soldiers. For the second phase, we have already built 26,050 houses for them. At least 3 military camps will...
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