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SONA Reactions..

Presidential address gets mixed reactions from businessmen

07/28/2008 | 07:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s State of the Nation Address reaped mixed reactions from local business groups.

After giving a thumb’s up on President Arroyo’s strong stance on keeping the expanded value-added tax (VAT) in place, business leaders said she failed to address other important facets of the economy.

“There were parts we agreed with. But on the whole, we did not see a very coherent strategy," said Makati Business Club Executive Director Alberto Lim.

Lim said the MBC agrees with President Arroyo’s aim to help the poor, as well as the thrusts for self-sufficiency and balanced interests in sectors like mining.

However, he said that the Chief Executive could have been more specific and substantial particularly in programs on fiscal reform, education, and infrastructure.

Group: Arroyo's SONA mum on OFWs' welfare

07/28/2008 | 07:03 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Militant overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) based in Hong Kong questioned President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on Monday for keeping mum on measures to promote their welfare in her State of the Nation Address (SONA).

Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Hong Kong (Bayan-HK) said poverty has become so rampant that the economic and political crises are even felt abroad.

"(Government) keeps on exacting from the earning of OFWs through various government fees. It even takes money from what we send to our families through the documentary stamp fee in every remittance," said Norman Uy Carnay, Bayan-HK country information officer, said in a statement on the Kilusan website.

Carnay said that Filipino migrants are enraged with the refusal of the Arroyo government to heed the people's demands to remove the value-added tax on oil and the scrapping of oil deregulation.

Also, he said government remains silent on issues affecting OFWs in the host country.

In her 57-minute speech, Arroyo praised the efforts of OFWs who send money back home to ease the economic woes not only of their families in particular but also of the country in general.

"I care for our OFWs for their skills, integrity, and untiring labor, who send home their pay as the only way to touch loved ones so far away," said Mrs Arroyo in her eighth SONA on Monday.

"Nagpupugay ako ngayon sa kanilang mga pangkaraniwang Filipino (I laud them, ordinary Filipinos)," she added.

Critics assail President Arroyo's 'VAT-full' SONA

07/28/2008 | 06:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's detractors on Monday took turns in criticizing the 57-minute State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the chief executive, which was filled with explanations on how the controversial expanded value added tax (e-VAT) helped the nation cope with the global economic crisis.

An umbrella organization of activist lawyers, the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), said that Mrs Arroyo's SONA "was a very long defensive statement for e-VAT and a poor attempt at presenting success stories in various parts of the country."

In a text message sent to GMANews.TV, lawyer Marlon J. Manuel, ALG coordinator, said that the SONA contained a "hodge-podge of palliative reliefs" and thus countered her statement that the country needed long-term reforms to be able to rise from the rut amid the crisis on food and fuel.

Leftist umbrella organization Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) also assailed Mrs Arroyo's SONA saying that it was "spoken by someone who seemed to be from another planet and detached from reality."

Renato Reyes Jr, Bayan secretary general, said that it was "ridiculous" that VAT was seen by the President as the solution to the worsening poverty among majority of Filipinos, when "it is clearly anti-people."


  1. murphy9:36 AM

    hay grave n tlga tau!!! ndi b ntin naicip n kailangan tau nng pangulo upang lalong mpaunlad ang ating bansa.

  2. yes, your right. We filipinos should empower ourselves not just for the sake of our family..but for the sake of our country.


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