Delivered July 23, 2001, Batasan Pambansa (House of
Representatives) Complex, Quezon City
His excellency president Ramos, Senate President Drilon
and the other senators, Speaker De Venecia and the other Congressmen and Congresswomen,
the justices of the Supreme Court, the members of the diplomatic corps, mga
maralitang tagalungsod nanonood ngayon sa video wall at sa TV; Mga maraming
nakikinig sa radyo; mahal kong kababayan:
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 malacañang.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Unity for the country's recovery will set the stage for
national mobilization needed to undertake the great and difficult tasks
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
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
The first is an economic philosophy for the 21st century.
Under this philosophy, the way to fight poverty is to create jobs, not
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 BIR and Customs showcases in this fight against graft and
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 LOT 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
We adhere to a freely convertible peso and market
exchange rates. However, we support the central bank's measures to curb
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
As a sign of this, i will support legislation to amend
the charter of the Ombudsman so he can accept the services of private
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
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
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
Bañz. 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
Sa lahat ng mabibigay ko sa bayan, kabuhayan,
karunungan, tahanan at pagkain para sa masa ang ipagmamalaki ko nang higit sa
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
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.