OF THE ELEVENTH CONGRESS
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Joseph Ejercito Estrada, President of the Republic of the Philippines,
with the nation, the world, and God as my witness, do hereby reaffirm
unwavering commitment to democracy.
by my solemn oath to defend the Constitution as president. I will
uphold freedom in all its various forms; including the freedom of
of the press, of worship, of assembly, and of choice. None of these
are under threat.
who fear the loss of freedom do not share my faith in the strength of
constitution, in the sturdiness of our institutions, in the passion of
our people to preserve their freedom, and in their determination and
to defend it. Freedom may have been lost before. It will never be lost
again. Our people will see to that. I as president will stake my own
may I remind our people that liberty without responsibility is license,
that freedom does not confer the right to violate the law or the rights
of others, that freedom without responsibility is the formula for
anarchy, and lawlessness.
paranoid will take that last statement as a hidden threat. The rest
see it as a self-evident principle, accepted throughout the ages, and
neither apology nor defense. Yet, given a choice between freedom and
I will choose to err on the side of freedom.
paraphrase Voltaire: I may not agree with what you say, but I will
to the death your right to say it. But that does not mean I waive the
to argue with you! That is as much my constitutional right as it is
all doubts be erased. Democracy, freedom and the constitution are alive
and well in this country.
to other issues.
I am blessed with many friends, I have no cronies.
turned down, and will continue to turn down, all requests for a
bail-out of financially-strapped companies, as I did in the case of
Airlines, owned by Mr. Lucio Tan.
sequestered shares of Mr. Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. in San Miguel
are under litigation and will stay as such until the case is resolved.
There is no deal involved here with Mr. Cojuangco.
extradition process involving Mr. Mark Jimenez will proceed in the
course of events, without obstruction.
are no secret deals with the Marcoses.
this answers your immediate concerns.
handa na ba kayong makinig sa aking talumpati?
NAGAGALAK IPAHAYAG SA INYO NA ANG ATING BANSA AY NAKAAHON NA SA KRISIS
ANG ISA SA MARAMING DAHILAN KUNG BAKIT DAPAT NATIN IPAGDIWANG ANG UNANG
KAARAWAN NG AKING ADMINISTRASYON.
aking inagurasyon sa Luneta noong ika-30 ng Hunyo 1998, mahigpit kong
na "Huwag n’yo akong subukan!" Nguni’t ang sumubok sa akin ay hindi ang
taong-bayan kundi ang matinding bagyo na tumama sa ating ekonomiya.
ako’y hinirang na maging kapitan ng barko ng ating sambayanan, ito ay
palubog na sa maalong dagat ng "Asian crisis". Sabi ko sa aking
sarili: ang ganda naman ng "timing" ng aking pagsakay. Hinahampas ng
at alon ang barko. At lalong masama, kakaunti na lang ang gasolina sa
tangke. Paano natin ngayon dadalhin ang barkong ito sa ligtas na lugar
hanggang makalipas ang malupit na panahon?
na lang, ang aming "team" ng mga kilalang dalubhasa sa
linya ay nagkaisa sa pagpapasya kung paano lulutasin ang mga problemang
ating hinaharap noon. Sa pamamagitan ng aming pagtutulungan, pagsisikap
at mga tamang pamamalakad, napaayos namin ang paggalaw ng barko. Nang
ang araw, ang karamihan ng mga ibang barko ay nakalubog pa rin at
pang umahon, nguni’t ang barko ng Pilipinas ay nakalutang na sa liwanag
marami na ang nagkarga ng gasolina sa ating barkong Pilipinas, dahil
nilang sumama sa ating paglakbay sa darating na milenio. Malayo na ang
kaya nating maabot. Kaya tayo ay susulong na ngayon!
I fulfill my Constitutional mandate to address Congress on the first
of its regular session. By tradition, I am to dwell on the State of the
me start with a sincere apology to all those who expected or wished to
see me fail. I am sorry to disappoint them.
pleased to report that our nation is rising, growing, and
This is in contrast to the situation I described to you last year, and
which I vowed to reverse. Ako’y natutuwang ipahayag na ang ating
ay umaangat, umuunlad, at lumalakas. Ito ay kabaligtaran ng kalagayan
ating ekonomiya na aking binigkas dito noong isang taon. Nakaraan na
krisis ng ekonomiya.
year, when I first addressed this august body, our nation was in an
crisis. Today, we are out of it.
year, I told you that our aim was to help the country escape the
We did it.
1998, most of our Asian neighbors sank into recession. In contrast, our
country managed a modest but positive growth of one-tenth of one
(0.1%) in our Gross National Product. However, our Gross Domestic
dipped by one-half of one percent (0.5%) during the year. In the first
quarter of this year, our GNP abruptly surged upward by 2% and our GDP
by 1.2%. Last year, we were struggling to keep ourselves from sinking.
Today, we are sailing towards the high seas again.
is time once more to pay tribute to a special class of Filipinos: our
workers. They as a group kept our GNP growth at positive rates even
the worst of times. They continue to be our economic saviors.
year, I expressed my hope of keeping inflation at a single-digit rate.
We did it.
1998, the inflation rate was at a full-year average of 9.7%. It
further to a SIX-month average of 8.4% in the first half of 1999. In
alone, inflation was down to 5.8%. Inflation, as you know, is a vicious
enemy of the poor. By increasing prices, it erodes whatever little
power they have. In contrast, inflation favors those who already have
and foreign exchange assets. This is why this administration is
vigilant in watching this indicator.
year, I said that without undermining the independence of the Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas, we would support the lowering of interest
We did it.
the past twelve-month period alone, the benchmark 91-day Treasury-bill
rate dropped steeply from 14.9% on the first auction on July 6, 1998 to
8.4% last Monday. This is its lowest level in more than twelve years.
lending rates have also dropped to pre-crisis levels.
steep declines in both government paper and commercial lending rates
from the combination of borrowing restraints by the fiscal sector and
easing of monetary policies by the Bangko Sentral.
year, I lamented the devaluation of the peso as imposing burdens on our
people. I inferred that we should strengthen our currency. We did it.
the beginning of 1998, the peso plunged to an all-time low of P45.42 to
$1. At the beginning of my administration, it was at P42.04. Since
the peso has strengthened dramatically. It has stabilized within a
of P37 to P39 to the dollar. This was achieved largely by leaving the
alone. And the market responded with a show of confidence: it sent
of dollars of loans, investments, and export orders to the Philippines.
The Bangko Sentral intervened only occasionally to prevent wild
swings and to forestall speculative attacks, not to set the trends or
of the exchange rate.
year, I committed to more effective and efficient tax collection. We
the ravages of the Asian crisis on tax collections, total revenues
to P462 billion in 1998, of which tax revenues constituted P416
or P4 billion higher than in 1997. For the first four months of 1999,
collections reached P126 billion, or 3.2% higher than in 1998. Customs
collections amounted to P23.1 billion, and non-tax revenues, P14.1
does not mean that we are happy with our tax effort. We need to improve
not only our collection performance but the tax structure itself, and
our existing tax laws.
year, we found the government in a deeper fiscal hole than the public
been made to believe. We committed to reduce the government deficit.
time, we didn’t do it.
is not that we failed. We deliberately shifted course.
a time when the economy was threatened by recession, the previous
had decided on a 25% across-the-board forced savings on the
of the government. This was like administering the medicine for high
pressure to a patient with low blood pressure. Lalong lulubha ang
at baka mamatay pa ng hindi oras. (My favorite doctor, The First
always makes sure that my blood pressure is normal. Especially when I’m
reading the newspapers.)
scrapped the forced cut-backs and did exactly the opposite. We not only
ensured that public services would continue at adequate levels. We also
engaged in vigorous pump-priming. Our aim was not to save but to spend.
This was to counteract the slowdown in private consumption and
expenditures. In other words, to raise the country’s declining
pressure rather than let it sink further.
logic was simple. A time of growth and threats of inflation calls for
budgets or surpluses, to prevent further inflation. But a time of
and deflation calls for budget deficits, to jump-start a recovery.
towards the end of 1998, we increased the budget deficit to P50
or 1.8% of GNP. For the first five months of 1999, we incurred, as
a deficit of P45.3 Billion, still within the 1999 programmed deficit of
P68.4 billion (or 2.2% of target GNP). For the next two years, we
to reduce our deficit to 1.1% and 0.4% of GNP, and eventually attain a
balanced budget in the year 2002 and surpluses thereafter. In other
I will not end my term with a deficit.
problem we faced was how to finance the deficit. Borrowing locally
have raised interest rates at a time when we wanted them to go down.
abroad was too costly. Monetary expansion would have triggered
and a run on the peso. Foreign exchange controls were untenable.
taxes or cutting government expenditures would have led to a deep
seemed like there was no way out. But we found one anyway. Substantial
funds were located right under our noses – the Foreign Currency Deposit
Units, or FCDUs – so we borrowed from them, on a short term basis, at
a result, we brought down interest rates. We brought down the inflation
rate. And we strengthened the peso. Experts say these all cannot happen
at the same time, because they are inconsistent with one another. But
did it. And we emerged out of the regional crisis ahead of most of our
all these "inside stories" to make a point. Those who make a career and
a business out of hitting me are saying that the improvement in the
economic performance was due to pure luck, to good weather, or to
but Erap. Tsamba lang daw. Kung gumanda ang takbo ng ekonomiya,
kinalaman si Erap. Nguni’t kung bumagsak ang ekonomiya, kasalanan ni
Mali naman iyan. Our recovery was due to the innovative way we
situations and made bold decisions.
success was the result of effective governance. It was a matter of
the right policies, being supported by competent and dedicated cabinet
members, respecting the freedom of the market, managing and budgeting
resources right, and acting quickly before the danger grew or the
a prominent Filipino economist, Dr. Bernardo Villegas, recently wrote:
-- and I quote -- "The economic team of the present administration
its first year has been superior in cohesiveness, effectiveness and
in purpose when compared to the equivalent teams during the first years
of [the previous administrations] … President Estrada’s first economic
team is among the best in Asia." (End of quote.)
governance by a team-powered administration also explains the rapid
of the country’s international credit standing. I am sure you know the
definition of a banker: he is a person who lends you his umbrella when
it stops raining. Credit markets are even more jittery.
when the global market gobbles up $1.2 billion worth of Republic of the
Philippines Global Bonds for budget support, from the first country to
float such an issue after the Asian crisis; and when the market buys up
the $400 million of Bangko
Sentral bonds issued for
management purposes; and when the Eurobond flotation of the national
raises $383 million: -- obviously, the world believes that in the
it has stopped raining. We are getting a shower of umbrellas!
is not to mention the billions of dollars of inflows in medium and
loans from bilateral sources, banks and financial institutions; from
World Bank and the Asian Development Bank; from Japan’s Export-Import
and Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund; and from the International
Fund, among others.
pang tanda ng pagbangon ng ating ekonomiya ay ang pagbaba ng
rate mula thirteen point three percent (13.3%) noong Abril nang
taon hanggang eleven point eight percent (11.8%) nitong nakaraang Abril
dahil sa isang milyon, animnaraang libong (1.6 M) bagong trabahong
gagawin namin ang lahat para ibaba ang unemployment rate sa less than
percent (10%) sa susunod na taon at sa around six point seven percent
bago magtapos ang aking administrasyon. ang ating target ay makalikha
mula sa anim na milyon (6 M) hanggang anim na milyon at apatnaraang
(6.4 m) trabaho sa buong panahon ng akng panunungkulan.
the meantime, our exports are zooming up at double-digit rates, our
of current accounts are in surplus, and our gross international
are at all-time highs, currently amounting to $14 billion.
all these developments, it is no wonder that in the space of only one
the other Asian countries and, indeed, much of the world, have come to
recognize the presidency of the Philippines as among the leaders of the
region. This is indeed a long way from the skepticism that greeted this
presidency when it began. In APEC, in ASEAN, and in other regional and
international forums, the current leadership of the Philippines enjoys
a high level of respect. Our international prestige is on the
The dramatic rebound in the stock market is a strong indication of
And the people, according to the latest surveys, give the president a
heads of the IMF and the World Bank also have had good words to say.
James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, said: -- and I quote --
"What is clear is the Philippine situation is vastly different
Korea, Thailand and Indonesia… I think you all know you are weakened
less than anyone else in the region with the exception of Singapore."
(End of quote.) and Mr. Michel Camdessus, managing director of the IMF,
said he considered the Philippines as a model for countries in the
last Thursday, the IMF Executive Board completed the fourth review
our standby arrangement. This will now allow us to draw about $214
which will further increase our gross international reserves. The IMF
directors also praised the Bangko Sentral, headed by Governor
Singson for the last six years, for the successful implementation of
policy through the turbulence of the past two years.
is ironic that while foreign experts and the foreign press give good
of our performance, and while investors pour money into our economy,
quarters in our local media are undermining public confidence in our
Samantalang ang mga dayuhang ekonomista at manunulat ay pinupuri ang
pag-ahon ng ating ekonomiya, ang ilan naman sa ating mga peryodista ang
siyang unang sumisira dito ng walang basehan.
the past year, the main imperative that faced us was to survive the
Now, we turn to pursuing our vision.
are those, in fact, who say that we have no vision. They claim, for
that we have no programs to fight poverty: the central pledge of my
they are wrong. It is not the government that is lacking in programs.
is our critics who are lacking in perception. it is not I who has no
It is they who have no insight.
poverty an intolerable social shame. it cries out not for marginal
but for a total approach. For me, the war on poverty is not just a
but a passion. I deplore the fact that the past economic programs of
country were mostly upside-down. Baligtad. They aimed at
the apex and neglected the base.
own belief is the opposite. Uplifting the rich leaves the poor behind.
But uplifting the poor lifts everyone, including the rich.
me make this clear. My vision is not just the alleviation of poverty
its ultimate eradication. Alleviation is temporary. Eradication is
Alleviation is limited. Eradication is total. The proper response to
problem of poverty is not superficial treatment but total structural
Hindi maaring puksain ang kahirapan sa pamamagitan ng
at papahid-pahid lamang. Kailangan ay baguhin ang buong sistema.
that "eradication" is unattainable in real life. But getting as close
it as possible is worth the effort. it is true that Jesus Christ said:
"the poor you will always have with you," but he did not
had to be the majority. My vision is to drive poverty away from the
and into the periphery of our concerns, to make it a marginal rather
a mainstream problem.
our war on poverty is not just one program of government. It is the
business of the government itself. It is built into and embedded in our
total economic and social programs. It defines and drives the
the content, and the heart and soul of our entire strategy of
ating kampanya laban sa kahirapan ay hindi isang programa lamang ng
Ito ang sentro ng patakaran at pagkilos ng pamahalaan. Nakatatak ito sa
kabuuan ng bawa’t programang pangkabuhayan at pang-lipunan. Ito ang
at lakas sa diwa at puso ng pagkilos at pamamalakad ng pamahalaan.
is essential for our war on poverty that the economy develop in
but this is not enough. It is also important that development efforts
re-directed towards the poor, towards the base of our society. In my
years of public service, I have always decided for the greater good of
the greatest number. With this conviction, I can never go wrong.
example, our war on poverty is in the fundamental and strategic shift
focus of the government towards agriculture and the development of the
rural areas, where two-thirds of our poor people live.
ating pagkilos para maging moderno ang ating agrikultura – para tumaas
ang ani ng ating mga bukirin at pangingisda at dumami ang mga
sa kanayunan – ay isang paraang hindi pa nasubukang gawin ng alinmang
Nakapaloob dito ang paglalaan ng sapat na pondo para sa produksiyon ng
pagkain, food security, irigasyon, farm-to-market roads, at
facilities. Nitong nakaraang taon, nabigyan natin ng patubig ang
dalawampung libong (20,000) ektarya ng lupa at nakapagtayo tayo ng
daan at limampung (250) kilometro ng farm-to-market roads. Siniguro
makakuha ng tulong pinansyal ang ating mga magsasaka, mangingisda, at
na negosyante. Palalawakin natin ang mga lupang sakop ng irigasyon mula
forty-seven point two percent (47.2%) noong 1998 hanggang sixty-three
(63%) sa taong 2004.
past year, we laid the foundation for the full implementation of the
and Fisheries Modernization Act. This law aims at transforming
agriculture and fisheries into technologically advanced and globally
sectors. Recently, I ordered that the importation of equipment,
fertilizers, and other inputs of agriculture be allowed at zero tariff,
as authorized by this law. This coming year, our proposed budget will
a p21.8 billion fund to support the implementation of this act.
war on poverty is also in the emphasis on expanding the linkages
farms and markets, and between rural and urban areas, through roads,
transport, telecommunications, and other infrastructure. Last year, we
built or upgraded 582 kilometers of roads and 10,069 lineal meters of
We provided electricity to 1,221 barangays. We installed 165,000 new
lines. Our target is to see 100% of our national arterial roads
and 100% of our bridges made permanent by the end of my term. We will
our ports to international standards, and develop 36 feeder ports.
war on poverty is in the acceleration of the land redistribution
under the agrarian reform program. We distributed more than 266,000
of land to 175,000 landless farmers, including land owned by the
rural elite. By the end of the term, we expect to complete all
redistribution mandated by the law.
war on poverty is in the restructuring of our health programs to lower
the price of medicines and to provide preferential attention to the
is also in the highly augmented flow of budgetary funds to the Local
Units. As a single recipient unit, lgus will get a total of P131.2
or 20.1%, of the P651 billion budget we will propose. This increase is
consonant with our commitment to implement the devolution of powers and
functions from the national to the local governments.
war on poverty is in the massive portion of our budget -- amounting
P118 billion for the year 2000 -- that we give to education and to the
programs we are undertaking to meet our increasing need for classrooms,
desks, books, and teachers. Our longer-term aim is to increase the
standards of excellence of our entire educational system.
war on poverty is in our initiatives to provide more resources for
housing for the poor. From July 1998 to March 1999, we provided 127,886
units of housing assistance which benefitted some 74,000 households. We
intend to provide decent housing for our teachers, policemen and
war on poverty is in the provision of more resources and revitalized
to uplift and improve the welfare of women, the youth, the indigenous
the disabled, and the elderly, and other disadvantaged sectors of our
war on poverty is in our program to moderate the growth of the
which is presently the highest in Southeast Asia. It is in our efforts
to protect the environment, to ensure that our development is
One landmark achievement here is the passage by Congress of the Clean
war on poverty is invading even the capital market. It is in the
of Small-Denominated government bonds that allow small savers to
to national development while earning interest at higher rates than the
banks would pay them. It is in the collaborative efforts that the Bangko
Sentral, the Department of Finance, and the Securities and Exchange
Commission will undertake with the private sector to develop and
the sophistication and reach of our capital markets.
will propose certain changes in our tax laws to make our financial
more efficient and to bring down transaction costs. The documentary
tax on quick-turnover transactions will be abolished. The gross
tax on banks and financial institutions will be removed, to reduce
costs. And the availment of write-offs on loan loss reserves will be
war on poverty is particularly intense in the obsessive efforts of the
government to promote and encourage investments, both domestic and
Here, another basic pro-poor shift is taking place. We are reorienting
our preferences towards industries, enterprises and technologies that
people as against those that require capital. This is only logical,
that we are a labor-abundant and a capital-short country. Small and
industries will take center-stage. One of our important thrusts is a
called DRIVE, or Developing Rural Industries and Village Enterprises.
these shifts will take place in a free market environment. all
in industries, whether large or small, upstream or downstream, capital-
or labor-intensive, will be welcome. But special attention will be
on "unblocking" investments in small and medium-scale industries,
in the rural areas. There are many obstacles in our laws and in our
that impede the spontaneous flow of investments and technology into
industries. These obstacles will be removed by programs that will open
up and make markets more efficient: whether by legislation, by policy
regulation revamps, by focused infrastructure construction, or by other
create jobs. And jobs provide both income and dignity. They are the
eliminators of poverty.
war on poverty is in our programs to enable our industries to achieve
competitiveness. We will transform the power sector to a market-based,
competitive industry in order to lower the costs of power. The Omnibus
Power Bill is necessary to achieve this. We will exploit our
advantage in high-tech industries. Our science and technology policies
are being re-oriented towards satisfying the needs of the
us face up to the fact that certain provisions in our present
are obsolete and serve as deterrents to our global competitiveness. In
the race with the rest of the world market to the coming millennium, we
cannot afford to let our Constitution bind our feet.
is now time for us to identify which parts need to be improved. Some
economic; they should be made effective as soon as possible. Some are
they should be re-written in a way that will not allow the incumbent
to benefit from them.
let us not allow our paranoid fears to block the convening of an
assembly or convention to re-write our charter. let us not prejudge its
outcome. Our citizens can always make their voices heard during the
process. And ultimately, they will exercise the power, in a plebiscite,
to ratify the new charter or to reject it.
Constitution must be made to adapt to the dynamics and imperatives of
our relationships with foreign lands are linked to developing our
Our foreign policy is based on three pillars: the preservation of our
integrity and national security, the promotion of development through
diplomacy, and the protection of the rights and welfare of our overseas
nationals. Our participation, and leadership roles, in ASEAN, APEC,
the U.N. and other forums are aimed at promoting stability, peace, free
and fair trade, and other beneficial arrangements for the country, the
region and the world.
war on poverty is good economics. Its success will benefit the middle
upper classes as well. The more incomes the poor earn, the greater the
domestic market for business. The more capable the poor are, the
the supply of manpower needed by business.
ng sinabi ko kanina, kung iaangat natin ang mayayaman, ang mahihirap ay
maiiwan. Kung iaangat natin ang mahihirap, ang lahat ay aangat.
not presume that we will reduce poverty during my term from a major to
a marginal problem. But we do aspire to reduce it substantially: from
incidence of over 32% today to a range of 25% to 28% by 2004. In other
words, we seek to lift more than 3.9 million Filipinos out of poverty
my term. We also hope to lay the foundations and launch the initiatives
that will make the process irreversible, even beyond my term.
as eradication proceeds, alleviation continues. As the cancer is being
removed, its pains are being relieved. Alleviation takes many forms,
social welfare services, assistance for street children, senior
welfare programs, relief from disasters, resettlements, and help for
disabled and the disadvantaged.
pang bahagi ng ating kampanya laban sa kahirapan ay ang isa-ayos ang
ng pamahalaan. Ang hangad natin ay mabawasan ang aksaya at madagdagan
serbisyong tinatanggap ng ating mga mamamayan. unang-una na rito ang
sa graft and corruption. Ang bawa’t pisong nawawala sa anomalya ay
ninanakaw mula sa mahihirap. Ninanakaw ng mga nagsasamantala ang mga
na sana’y mapupunta sa mga taong-bayan tulad ng mas maraming
mas maraming libro, mas maraming kalye, mas murang gamot, at mas
pasilidad sa pag-utang.
is also time to put the so-called Marcos wealth in the service of the
of the people, and particularly of the poor. Twelve years are enough
to know the difference between the ideal and the feasible. It is also
than enough time to place evidence entirely out of reach of even the
diligent discovery efforts.
can persist in the pursuit of an ideal solution that is likely to lead
to nothing. Or we can settle for a practical solution that is sure to
in something. We do not know the size of the Marcos wealth. and no
has ever been rendered that any of it is ill-gotten. Shall we wait
more we wait, the more the returns on their wealth accrue to the
and the foreign banks, and none to the Filipino people. The earlier we
acquire a substantial part of it, the sooner the returns accrue to the
transfers of the Marcos wealth will augment the country’s resources for
isa pang balakid sa digmaan laban sa karalitaan, at sa kaunlaran ng
bayan, ay ang rebelyon ng ilan sa ating mga kababayan. Sila’y matagal
iniwan ng kanilang mga lider upang magpasarap sa ibang bansa, at doon
tinutulak ang "insurgency by remote control".
nakikiusap sa mga rebeldeng naiwan dito. Hindi tayo magkalaban. Kung
layunin ninyo ay ang kapakanan ng masa, heto ang masasabi ko sa inyo:
dadaig kay Erap sa pagmamalasakit sa masa. Kaya magsamasama na tayo.
namin ang kapayapaan. Sa halip ng pag-uusap sa ibang bansa o "neutral
territory", inilagay natin ang peace process sa tamang lugar: sa
level. The Local Peace Forum, where established, are addressing
the issues and concerns on the ground which are considered the causes
mabuti na ring maliwanag ang usapan. Kuwentas klaras. Kakaunti na lang
ang panahon at pasiyensiya na nalalabi sa pag-dadada. Isuko na ninyo
inyong armas. Bumalik na kayo sa buklod ng batas at ng atin lipunan, At
dito tayo mag-usap ng masinsinan, bilang magkakapatid, walang sandata
kamay, walang tutukan ng baril.
people overwhelmingly support our constitutional system and our
democracy. No insurgency of any color has the legal, political, or
right to seek to bring it down.
government was elected by the people. It enjoys their support. Your
does not. And this government was not elected to compromise the
of this Republic, not in substance, not in symbol, not ever.
you wish to run the government, seek the people’s mandate. If you have
any grievances against the government or against society, seek your
within the law. You have a right to your beliefs, but you cannot
we offer you, but appeasement, never. It is the weak that offers
to the strong, not vice versa. Do not doubt our resolve. We will
you back at any time. But we will give your rebellion no air to
no space to move, no time to prosper. If you accept peace, you will
it. If you do not, we will enforce it anyway.
rebellion we must crush. The rebels we must save, unless they persist
their rebellion. Those who refuse to be saved will invite the full
of our laws and the full might of our forces.
binebeybi ang rebelyon. Pinipisa. Kaya, huwag n’yo kaming hamunin!
din ang masasabi ko tungkol sa krimen at mga salarin. hindi nilalambing
Ang krimen. Dinudurog. hindi kinukupkup Ang kriminal. Pinaparusahan.
Lalong-lalo na iyong mga nagtutulak ng bawal na gamot sa ating
Setenta por siento ng krimen ay nagmumula sa pag-gamit ng droga. I
am happy to report, however, that our efforts at fighting crime have
in remarkable reductions in criminal activity, thanks to the vigilance
of our crime-fighting agencies at all levels. still, one crime
is one crime too many.
initiatives to bring about stability in Mindanao are directly related
poverty elimination. We will build up Mindanao as the country’s food
But we can only succeed if an environment of political tranquility is
there. The proposed plebiscite on the expansion of the Autonomous
for Muslim Mindanao and the subsequent elections are large steps
stability in that all-important island.
assure internal and external security, and to preserve the environment
of stability the country needs to prosper, we will pursue the 15-year
program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We intend to make our
and police forces among the most modern in the regions.
is the vision. That is the strategy. But as one famous architect said,
"god is in the details." The concrete specifics that will
vision real are contained in an array of plans, programs, and projects
to be implemented in the next five years by the various government
agencies, and corporations, and by local government units.
in this address enumerate them all. They will be presented in more
first, in our forthcoming "Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for
1999 to 2004", which we will call "Angat Pinoy 2004"; second,
the P621 billion budget for the year 2000, which I am submitting to
today; and third, in our legislative agenda. The list of our proposed
will also be submitted to Congress today, together with the printed
of this address.
ask our legislators to support us by passing these bills, and by
every appropriations act they will pass with "Angat Pinoy 2004".
vision is coherent and clear. I wonder why some observers fail to
it. Please don’t get shocked if I quote from the scriptures; I believe
the answer is there – and I quote: "They look but do not see, and
but do not listen." (End of quote.) by the way, that was from
English author, George Moore, was right when he said: -- and I quote --
"The lot of critics is to be remembered by what they failed to
(End of quote)
have gone a long way, but with the help of many. The Local Government
at all levels are indispensable partners in the strengthening of our
and our society. The Non-Governmental Organizations and People’s
are helping to deepen and expand the foundations of our development on
the ground. The private sector – whether engaged in business,
health and other forms of services – have been a principal source of
for our survival, recovery, and growth.
of course, I wish to express my appreciation for the contribution and
of Congress. I can only hope that the productivity of the legislative
will multiply in this coming session. Your powers and ours may be
as mandated by the Constitution, but our concern for our people should
sum up: We have emerged from the Asian crisis. We are now in pursuit of
our vision of a prosperous and a poverty-free Philippines. The future
for us to shape.
conditions are positive. Our exports are surging up. Our rice and corn
harvests are bountiful. Our banking system is among the strongest in
The peso is stable. Interest rates are low and inflation is low. The
for the second quarter are not yet out, but I am confident that our GNP
will grow by at least 2.4% and our GDP by at least 2%.
markets are freer, our institutions stronger, our policies more
of growth, our people better prepared than ever.
are now poised to fly and – as we used to say in the old school – fly
The skies are there for us to conquer. All we need is to unite.
to those who continue to distract me from pursuing my vision, I take my
cue from Abraham Lincoln, who said, -- and I quote -- "If I were to
try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop
as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know
the very best I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the
end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to
If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would
no difference." (End of quote).
to the surveys, millions of Filipinos are saying I am right. Between
ten angels and the millions of my own countrymen, I choose to believe
ngayon, ang ating ekonomiya ay unti-unti nang nakakaahon. Nguni’t
pang hamon ang hinaharap ng ating bansa ngayon at sa darating na siglo.
Malawak at malalim ang mga programang dapat natin ipatupad upang
sa kahirapan ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan.
ko na sa bawa’t kilos at hakbang na aking gagawin ay magiging matindi
mga paninira, ang mga batikos, ang mga insulto, at mga paratang.
ang isasagot ko sa kanila ay marangal at matapat na paninilbihan dahil
ang aking pakikinggan ay ang daing ng higit na nakakarami, at hindi ang
ingay ng iilang may pang-sariling interes. Para sa akin, ito ang
na hamon sapagka’t ang kapalit nito ay ang kinabukasan ng ating lipunan.
akong nananawagan sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan na tayo ay magkaisa
magsikap para sa ating kaunlaran, katahimikan, at magandang kinabukasan.
salamat po sa inyong lahat!