PGMA enjoins Filipinos anew to unite behind new leaders; thanks the people for supporting her administration

June 23, 2010 10:21 pm 

MANILA, June 23 – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo once again called on the Filipino people to unite and support President-elect Benigno Aquino III and Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay as she also thanked the Filipino people for supporting her nine years of presidency.

“Tonight I call on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I am optimistic and I am hopeful about our future yet until every Filipino child is born to a family free of poverty. We cannot rest. We must always set our sights on the future, and keep an eye on improving our economy, investing in people and building bridges — not just bridges of iron and steel, but bridges between people, generations, and government,” the President said in her farewell address to the nation Wednesday, a week before she steps down from office after nine years as the country’s head of state.

Stressing that the gains of her administration were built on the efforts of previous leaders, she said it is prudent that “each successive government must build on the successes and progress of the previous one.”

“Advance the programs that work, leave behind those that don't,” she added.

She expressed confidence that she is turning over to the new government a nation much stronger than nine years ago. “But I leave that for history to judge,” she said.

The President said among the major achievements of the Arroyo administration was the successful conduct of the first-ever fully automated polls last May which she described as a “historic election… It was open and it was modern” which resulted in the proclamation of winners in hours and days rather than weeks and months.

“The face of politics in our nation has changed forever,” she stressed.

The President also said the country has changed from nine years ago when she assumed the presidency, when the nation was reeling from political intrigue and a distressed economy.

She said she buckled down to work to reform the economy and invest in the people.

“Along the way we had to make unpopular choices such as raising taxes but we did so against the odds for a very simply reason. We had to have new money for more and better health care, education, and job creation. We needed new and better roads, bridges, ports and a technology backbone to attract new businesses and investors to create new jobs. Through hard work, determination and a clear plan of action we helped achieve many of these objectives. As a result we have had 37 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth even against the head winds of a major global recession,” she said.

Moreover, the President said the skylines have changed, roads, bridges, and Ro-Ro ports were built.

“This is the face of change. Eighty-five percent of our people now have access to PhilHealth insurance. Over a hundred thousand new classrooms have been built and 9 million jobs have been created. We developed the call center industry almost from scratch. Today we have almost 500,000 centers and BPO jobs when only 5,000 existed when i took office yet these accomplishments are merely part of the continuum of history,” she added.

She said these achievements were achieved because of the people who are the backbone that drives the nation forward everyday:.

“We are a nation of industrious and hard working people. I thank each and everyone for your contribution to have the Philippines achieve our potential,” she stressed..

“From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for giving me the honor and privilege of serving you. Malaking karangalan ang makapaglingkod sa sambayanan bilang Pangulo. Sa inyong lahat na napagsilbihan ko sa mahirap ngunit makasaysayang landas, maraming, maraming salamat (It is a big honor to serve the people as President. To all of you who I served in a difficult but historic path, thank you very much),” she ended. (PNA) LAP/FPV

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