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Legarda: Free Our Nation From Poverty, Promote Inclusive Growth

June 11, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that Filipinos should have a shared vision of freeing the nation from poverty as she expressed support for the government’s programs to make the fruits of economic growth be felt by everyone.

Legarda made the statement as the nation celebrates the 115thAnniversary of Philippine Independence on June 12. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Kalayaan 2013: Ambagan Tungo sa Malawakang Kaunlaran” (Independence Day 2013: Pitching in Towards Inclusive Growth).

“The Philippines’ growth has been surprising economists. In the first quarter of 2013, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.8 percent, even faster than China and its Asian neighbors. But the greater challenge is translating the impressive numbers into more job opportunities, stable employment, equitable access to quality education, health services, and other social services, and safe and disaster-resilient communities for Filipinos,” she said.

Legarda said that investing heavily in the countryside must be included in development initiatives—support for the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises to create more employment opportunities; establishing livelihood training programs; and providing technical and financial support to farmers and fisherfolk.

She added that the conservation of the environment should also be part of growth initiatives, stressing that the decline of ecosystems has been determined as one of the underlying drivers of disaster risks and poverty. Thus, protecting ecosystems—which involves rehabilitating forests, cleaning rivers, and stopping pollution, among other actions, must be done now.

“The government has been instituting reforms that promote inclusive growth and everyone is enjoined to support these initiatives because like our forefathers, who shared the vision of independence and united towards its fulfillment, we can only free our nation from poverty if we all work together to make good use of the opportunities that come with an improving economy,” Legarda concluded.