Arroyo: RP ‘safer, more secure’
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:51:00 03/06/2009
MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo claimed the country has become “safer and more secure” as she winds down her nine years in office.
“The Philippines we see today is very different than the Philippines I inherited eight years ago. We have a country that is safer and more secure,” Arroyo said in a speech during a luncheon she hosted in Malacañang in celebration of women’s month.
“We have an economy that is stronger and able to withstand shocks such as the global financial crisis is throwing at us,” she said.
Arroyo has served eight years as president, coming to power in 2001, when, as vice president, she replaced former president Joseph Estrada, who was ousted by a military-backed popular revolt.
In 2004, she won a fresh six-year mandate under a cloud of doubt amid allegations she used the military to cheat in the elections.
Arroyo stressed the role of women in developing what she called the three “Es” –environment, economy, and education.
“Napakalaki ng magagawa ng kababaihan upang mapagtagumpayan ang pagsubok na hinaharap ng bansa mula sa pandaigdigang krisis ng ekonomiya at sa climate change [Women can do so much to help the country overcome the challenges posed by the global economic crisis and climate change],” she said.
Arroyo noted how the mother of her former finance secretary Jose Camacho, Narda, started waste management programs in the 1980s, even before the world became aware of global warming.
She pointed out that the Philippines stands to bear the brunt of global warming even as it contributes only one percent of green house gas emissions.
“We are not a climate maker, but we’re a climate taker, so it is in our interest to make sure that global warming is arrested,” she said.
Arroyo said the Philippines was number in the world in gender equality in terms of literacy rate, and shared the number one spot in the world in terms of female enrolment in elementary, secondary, and tertiary schools.
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