RP outside scope of global recession – GMA

Published by rudy Date posted on February 12, 2009

ANGELES CITY, Philippines — President Arroyo said yesterday she is convinced that the country, despite the exports slowdown and rising layoffs, remains outside the scope of the global recession.

In a short talk after a concelebrated Mass yesterday morning at Our Lady of Lourdes Church here, the President expressed “hope” that the Philippines would not be seriously affected by the recession now seriously affecting other countries.

The President arrived here upon the invitation of Fr. Jun Mercado, parish priest of Barangay Lourdes Sur which had its fiesta yesterday to commemorate the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Mercado said the Mass yesterday was also to mark the “World Day of the Sick” which was instituted by Pope John Paul II in 1992.

“Let’s hope this crisis will not land in this country,” the President said during the Mass whose main celebrant was San Fernando Archbishop Paciano Aniceto.

But she acknowledged the economic threat to the country as she also asked her fellow “Cabalens” in Pampanga to pray for her amid the global economic crisis.

During a meeting with Lakas CMD party leaders at Clark Freeport last Jan. 30, the President also insisted the country has remained outside the sphere of the worldwide financial turmoil, attributing this to her administration’s unpopular policies.

“Despite the recession in two-thirds of the world, nine out of 10 or 92 out of 100 Filipinos look forward with hope to this new year,” she said in her speech then. “Two-thirds of the world is in recession but we should all be proud that our country is growing at six percent GNP and 4.6 percent GDP in 2008,” she said.

She said, however, that her administration had to resort to hard and unpopular decisions that she now credits for the country’s coping with the global crisis. The government’s economic managers earlier announced a P330-billion stimulus package consisting of infrastructure spending and expansion of social services.

21,000 Pinoys land jobs through gov’t projects

Meanwhile, about 21,000 unemployed or underemployed Filipinos nationwide have found jobs through various government projects as the Arroyo administration invested an initial P424.5 million into its Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) over the past 15 days alone, the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) said yesterday.

NAPC chief Domingo Panganiban said 20,958 workers throughout the country have already found new jobs and employment opportunities in the repair and rehabilitation of public health facilities, watershed maintenance and environmental protection programs, and microfinance and cash-for-work projects, among others.

President Arroyo earlier directed all government agencies to consolidate and fasttrack all of their jobs and employment generation programs under the CLEEP as part of the government’s efforts to insulate the country from the global economic crisis.

“The job generation and emergency employment projects under the CLEEP will benefit not only the workers hired but also their families and the communities in which they live,” Panganiban said in a statement.

He said the President is closely monitoring the planning and implementation of all projects under the emergency program.

“President Arroyo has time and again stressed the need for all agencies to step up the implementation of CLEEP.  She personally oversees the planning and management of the program,” he said. — Ding Cervantes with Paolo Romero, Philippine Star

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