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Sacrifice short-term needs with long-term requirements, says Aquino

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President Benigno S. Aquino III asked the members of the 122-strong League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) on Saturday to “sacrifice your short-term political goals with long-term requirements of attaining progress and prosperity for all people, especially the poorest of the poor.”

In his address at the second-day of the 58th general assembly of the LCP held at the Century Park Hotel, the President said he is aware that most of the mayors will be seeking reelection in the next few years. “But I ask you to sacrifice your political goals by working on programs that will have long-term benefits for our people.”

Among those who attended the LCP meeting were Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and the President’s running mate in the May 2010 elections, former Senator Manuel "Mar" Roxas II.

The President recalled his recent visit to the coastal town of Bani in Pangasinan, now a relocation site for victims of storms "Emong" and "Ondoy," where he saw the beauty of genuine cooperation and collaboration among the different sectors, including the national and local governments.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development provided P70,000 assistance per household while the Bureau of Mines and Geosciences certified the suitability of the site for relocation. Local and national governments poured resources into the project and the people themselves built their units.
He also cited the fast expansion of Convergys which expanded its facility in San Lazaro, Sta. Cruz, Manila within three months and is now putting up another facility in Muntinlupa that would generate 10,000 jobs for Filipinos.

According to the President, he met yesterday with the executives of General Electric, which recently broke ground for its new plant in the country. He said the company committed to set up shop in the country during their meeting at the United Nations last year.

“There are a lot of opportunities for our country and we must be fast in grabbing them. But like in one boat, we must all row in harmony and in unison, otherwise we will not get anywhere,” the President told the city executives.

The President said he would keep his doors open to hear the problems, concerns and other suggestions from the mayors on how to propel the country to greater heights.

He urged the mayors to be ingenious in their implementation of major projects, citing as an example the use of coco coir in containing soil erosion and rip-rapping the slopes of the entire stretch of Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway, which originally cost P2 billion but this actually cost P500 million with the coco coir, he said.

“If we use our funds more prudently and wisely then we have more funds left for other projects,” the President said.

He concluded saying that by 2016, “When I look back after stepping down with my head held high, I can proudly say that our country has truly gone a long way.” (PNA)




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