Arroyo: Continue fighting for freedom from poverty
MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rallied Filipinos on Wednesday to continue fighting for the country’s freedom from the shackles of poverty as the nation commemorates its 121st Independence Day.
“… (K)ung ang henerasyon ng ating mga ninuno ay ipinaglaban ang kalayaan, ang ating henerasyon ay ipagpatuloy nating ipaglaban ang kalayaan sa kahirapan ng ating bansa,” Arroyo said in her speech during the wreath laying ceremony at the monument of former president Emilio Aguinaldo at the Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan.
(Our forefathers fought for independence, our generation must fight for freedom from poverty).
The outgoing Pampanga 2nd District congresswoman also said she hopes that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte would realize its goal of reducing the poverty rate to 14 percent in 2022.
The nationwide poverty incidence in the country was at 21 percent in the first half of 2018, according to the Philippines Statistics Authority.
Arroyo said she is hopeful that the trend of reducing the poverty rate, which was sliced to 26 percent (from 39 percent) at the end of her term, will be sustained more than two decades later.
“Kung makakamit ito, tagumpay ito ng buong henerasyon (It will be the success of the entire generation if such is realized),” Arroyo, an economist, added.
Arroyo also reminded every citizen of their responsibility to preserve the country’s independence for future generations.
“Malinaw na hindi tumitigil ang pag-alaga sa kasarinlan, at walang katapusan ang pagtatayo ng malaya’t maunlad na bansa. May tungkulin ang bawat Pilipinong nagtatamasa ng ating kalayaan na pangalagaan ito para sa kanyang henerasyon at sa mga sumusunod pang salinlahi,” Arroyo said.
(Nurturing independence and an independent, prosperous nation should never end. Every Filipino reaping the benefits of independence and freedom must help protect such for the benefit of future generations.)
“At sa panahon natin ngayon, lalong kailangan ang pagkakaisa ng sambayanan sa pamumuno ng Pangulong Duterte,” she added.
(Filipinos at this time need to be more united as a nation under the leadership of President Duterte.)
The lawmaker further recounted how her father, the late President Diosdado Macapagal, in 1962 changed the date of Philippine Independence Day from July 4, 1946, to June 12, 1898.
The first date was when the United States of America granted independence to the Philippines, while the second was the date Aguinaldo declared the country free from Spanish conquerors. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
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