National News: PNoy Starts LP Speech by Attacking Ex-President Arroyo
Almost two years since assuming the presidency, President Aquino still blames his predecessor for her alleged corruption that his administration has to hurdle before achieving progress.
President Benigno Simeon Aquino III delivers a message at the Liberal Party Provincial Convention at Natures Village Hotel, Talisay City. Governor Alfredo G. Marañon, Congresswoman Rizza Hontiveros,DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas- President,Liberal Party, Quezon Representative Lorenzo “Erin” Tañada III-LP Executive Vice-President,Congressman Alfredo Albee Benitez 3rd District of Negros Occidental, Provincial Chairman, Liberal Party of Negros Occidental and Mayor Eric Saratan of Talisay City listen. *(Jun de los Reyes/NDB photo)
Aquino attacked former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the start of his speech delivered at the oath-taking ceremonies of 230 new LP members as highlight of the party’s provincial convention in Nature’s Village Resort and Hotel in Talisay City Saturday.
Although the President did not mention Arroyo’s name, he said that every day his administration still uncovers a lot of corruption done by the previous administration that needs to be fixed. "Araw-araw kasi ang dami naming nadi-diskubreng "ano ba itong iniwan sa ating gulo na kailangan nating ayusin at kumpunihin, ano?’" he said. kumpunihin, ano?’" he said.
One of these is the "Tulay ng Pangulo" program, which allegedly involves 400 anomalous bridges costing P11 billion, he said.
Under this project, the Arroyo administration had ordered 400 "pre-fabricated" bridges from a foreign company and then determined only later which bridge already purchased is to be used in which area, he said.
"Ang problema ho pre-fabricated ‘yung tulay. Nagpagawa muna ng tulay tapos maghahanap ng lugar kung saan uubra ‘yung tulay na pinagawa. Ang punto ho, ‘di ba, sukatin muna natin: ano ba ang paglalagyan, pagpaplanuhan niyan? Saan ba tama ilalagay ito? Tapos magkakaroon ng sukat, magkakaroon ng iba-ibang specification depende doon sa kondisyon, ‘di ba?" he said.
The good thing was that Aquino was able to persuade the foreign company into allowing the government to pay only those bridges that have been used, thereby saving funds, he said.
He added that the contract for the said bridge projects was signed only on June 28, 2010, or two days before he assumed the presidency on June 30, he said.
The President also enumerated the gains of his administration. He said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is now better equipped and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is now better prepared in responding to those affected by calamities.
The National Housing Authority (NHA) also targets the completion of 8,000 houses by August to be occupied by residents from calamity-stricken areas, he said.
Before, the country was importing 1.3 million tons of rice, but now the Department of Agriculture announced that the country will not only be self-sufficient in rice by 2013, it will export rice next year, Aquino said.
As for the Conditional Cash Transfer program that only had 800,000 members in the previous administration, it now has 3 million families as members as of last March, he said.
His target is to reach 4.6 million poor families to benefit from the program, he said. The previous administration has also left 36,000 sub-villages (sitio) without electricity, that would have cost P36 billion to connect to the grid, he said.
But through the NEA and the Department of Energy, P1.3 billion pesos has been set aside to fund the electrification of 1,300 sub-villages, he said. But due to its good performance, NEA was able to connect 1,520 sub-villages with just P814 million pesos.
This year, NEA is given almost P3 billion to connect more sub-villages to the grid, he said.
The President vowed that when he steps down in 2016, his successor would have fewer problems to solve.* (DBDangcalan)