Aquino asks Filipinos for help to attain reforms

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Monday, December 30, 2013

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III urged Filipinos on Monday to stay along the straight path and help him achieve much-needed reforms.

In his New Year's message, the President also said the remaining traces of corruption are about to fall due to good governance under his watch.

(Video courtesy of RTVMalacang)

"Papasok na naman po tayo sa panibagong taon sa pagtahak sa tuwid na daan; at kumbaga po sa larong basketball, papasok na rin tayo sa last two minutes. Sa natitirang yugto ng ating termino, wala tayong sasayanging sandali; bawat makabuluhang ambag ng Pilipino ay magpapanalo sa laban natin tungo sa pag-asenso," he said.

"Malinaw po, dahil sa mas maayos na pamamalakad, natitibag na ang mga huling balwarte ng katiwalian; at patuloy tayong nakakapaglatag ng pagkakataon para sa ating mga kababayan," he added.

The President also reiterated the support of his Bosses -- the people -- for staying the straight path is important as well.

He added it is important that they stayed along the straight path so they will have a legacy to leave to the next generation.

"Kayo na aming mga Boss ang nagkukumpas ng direksyong ating tatahakin. Magpatuloy lang po tayo sa pagkakapit-bisig, mula sa kabataang umaasang makaambag at dumamay sa paghubog ng mas magandang lipunan hanggang sa mga nakakatanda na may obligasyong magpamana ng maunlad na kinabukasan sa susunod na henerasyon," he said.

This year, the President said Filipinos managed to overcome several challenges, including those brought by calamities.

"Bilang bayan na may kolektibong layunin, nagpakita tayo ng pambihirang gilas ngayong taon sa kabila ng patung-patong na pagsubok na ating pinagdaanan. Talagang marami po tayong napagtagumpayan ngayong 2013," he said.

He also said that justice is close at hand as far as the Priority Development Assistance Fund row is concerned, even as the government has set up mechanisms to make sure only the people benefit from taxpayers' money.

On the other hand, he noted that the first synchronization of the elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao with the national polls was successfully held this year.

The government also made progress in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with the signing of an annex on power sharing for the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Also, the President cited several pieces of good news, including:

* The Technical and Educational Skills Development Authority's Training for Work Scholarship Program benefited 576,748 students from July 2010 to November 2013, with 62.4 percent of graduates finding jobs, compared to 28.5 percent from 2006 to 2008.

* A 29-notch improvement in Transparency International's Corruption Index in the last three years, from 134th place in 2010 to 105th in 2013.

* The Philippines has the highest recorded Gross Domestic Product growth in Southeast Asia. For the first time, the Philippines achieved investment grade status from three prominent credit ratings agencies.

* A lower unemployment rate this year as the government addresses the jobs and skills mismatch.

* The continuation of the Training and Apprenticeship Program, to fill up vacancies in the job market.

Meanwhile, the President said there are still obstacles to hurdle in the crucial last part of his term.

He also said some groups are "desperate" and are trying to thwart the progress made under his watch.

"Batid nating hindi basta basta titiklop ang mga latak ng lumang sistema. Habang lumalapit tayo sa ating tagumpay, lalo rin naman silang magiging desperado at magtatangkang idiskaril ang ating agenda," he said.

But he also said the Filipinos have shown their toughness in the face of calamities.

"Alam din po nating mayroon pang mga kalamidad na susubok sa ating katatagan bilang bayan. Pero lagi nating handang patunayan, manggulo man ang masasamang loob, yanigin man tayo ng lindol, o hagupitin ng bagyo, nangingibabaw pa rin ang lakas ng ating bayanihan," he said.

For 2014, Aquino asked Filipinos to always be on the side of what is right and just. He also said the government is always ready to listen to suggestions on how to make reforms permanent and long-term. (SDR/Sunnex)

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