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Arroyo to Cabinet: Run pro-poor programs

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 11:33:00 10/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered all
Cabinet agencies to draft employment and livelihood programs for the poor and the middle class to cushion the impact of the global financial crisis, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said.

Before she left for China on Thursday, Ermita said the President instructed him to meet with the Presidential Management Staff and assign a region to each Cabinet member to oversee the implementation of the projects.

Arroyo wants the programs prepared and tabled for discussion for the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday next week, a day after she returns to the country, Ermita said.

“The President has left instructions to the Cabinet to implement pro-poor programs in all regions. The generation of employment and livelihood opportunities for targeted income groups is the country’s best preparation in thwarting the problems brought about by the global credit crunch,” Ermita said in a news conference after the President’s chartered flight left the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“The programs that the President instructed to be drawn up will target not only the very poor, but will include the middle class, as well as those whose livelihood will have to be supported because of the financial and economic crisis that we have,” he said.

Ermita said Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Labor, Department of Agriculture (DA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) would be at the forefront of the initiatives.

He said these agencies would tap their contingency funds or savings for the projects, but could avail of additional funds from the national government if necessary.

It was the latest measure announced by the Arroyo government to aver the impact of a meltdown in the United States, which has sent shock waves around the world.

Arroyo has backed plans to increase the deposit insurance coverage to P1 million from P250,000, and the setting up of a P100 billion fund from the private sector and government financial institutions to allow government to realign infrastructure funds to social services when necessary.

The President has also announced a contingency plan for Overseas Filipino Workers, as well as an increase in the volume of palay (rice grain) that the National Food Authority would be buying from farmers.

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Written by joelguinto

ThuUTC2008-10-23T03:50:56+00:00UTC10bUTCThu, 23 Oct 2008 03:50:56 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am10

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