By MADEL S. NAMIT
Manila, Philippines – President Aquino yesterday praised the country’s resilience despite the many challenges it faced this year, as he also assured the public that his administration will not waste any time to achieve inclusive growth in the remaining two-and-a-half years of his term.
In his New Year message, Aquino said that while the country has encountered several major challenges in 2013, there had also been positive developments that made every Filipino proud of their race.
“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,” Aquino said.
The President said the world continues to gain confidence in the Philippines in its anti-corruption efforts as well as in its economic growth, including the ranking of the Philippines in the Transparency International Corruption Index, which jumped 29 notches from 134th in 2010 to 105th in 2013.
“Nalalapit na rin tayo sa pagkamit ng ganap na katarungan sa pagusig sa mga nagkasala at umabuso sa paggamit ng PDAF. Patuloy po tayong naglalatag ng mga mekanismo upang siguruhing ang pera ng taumbayan ay mapupunta sa taumbayan lamang,” he said.
The President also noted that the country now has the highest recorded Gross Domestic Product growth in Southeast Asia and is now one of the leading countries in Asia in terms of economic growth. It was also during this year when the country was able to attain an investment grade status from three major credit rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, and Moody’s Investor Services.
On peace and security, Aquino noted that the three annexes to the draft law had been signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2013.
“Kayo ang 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.