Philippines: Irrigation, electrification are “social payback” Team Unity

May. 09, 2007

MANILA, Philippines — Team Unity has welcomed the government’s release of P1 billion funding for both the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for the repair and rehabilitation of typhoon-damaged irrigation systems and distribution lines, respectively, nationwide.

Team Unity senatorial candidate Vic Magsaysay stressed that the release of such funds all the more proves that Filipinos are beginning to reap the fruits of the economic rebound via the “social payback” agenda of President Arroyo.

Magsaysay made this statement in dismissing the opposition’s claim that the release of P500 millions funds for each agency was intended to rack up votes for the administration bets.

Magsaysay slammed the opposition’s paranoia for suspecting that all the funds being approved for release by Malacaang during election season would be part of the administration’s efforts to woo votes in the May 14 polls.

The opposition has nothing to offer but knee jerk criticism to the administration, when in fact it has nothing to offer to guide the people on how they intend to solve the country’s pressing problems because their only agenda is to install themselves in power.

“What else can we expect from the opposition. Palagi na lang silang duda nang duda. They haven’t even an alternative or platform of government to offer to help improve the lives of our people,”

According to reports, the fund releases cover irrigation systems damaged by supertyphoons Milenyo, Paeng, Reming and Seniang last year in Regions 1, 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12 and the Cordillera Administrative Region; and distribution lines in Regions 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6 and 8.

The fund releases, recommended by Defense Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr as chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), will be charged against the Calamity Assistance and Rehabilitation Effort (Care) provided in the General Appropriations Act of 2007.

Apart from the P1 billion funds, President Arroyo also earlier approved the release of P300 million to the Deparment of Health for the rehabilitation or reconstruction, and replacement of equipment in typhoon-damaged government hospitals in Regions 2, 3, 4-A, 4-B, 5, 6, 7, 8, the National Capital Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The administration also released P700 million for school and hospital building repairs, particularly in typhoon-ravaged provinces.

This year, the Arroyo administration will spend P319 billion for socio-economic services and alone, including health and education, housing, and micro-finance. It will spend another P256 billion for infrastructure projects meant to speed up the delivery of produce from farms to urban growth centers and to augment the incomes of farmers, fishermen, wage-earners and other individuals.

These projects include ports, airports, roads, bridges and railway systems as well as post-harvest facilities like warehouses and refrigeration systems.

To propel the economy to the path of long-term growth, the government is investing heavily in infrastructure, and in socio-economic services healthcare, education, skills training and re-training, etc. that will help improve the quality of life.

Earlier, Tourism Secretary and Team Unity Spokesman Joseph Ace Durano said that with a strong economy, the Arroyo administration would be able to further sustain and increase its “social payback” to the people.

But he said the strong-economy scenario would not be possible with the legislature dominated by the opposition. He warned voters that should the opposition win the May 14 polls, it would spell economic disaster for the country.###

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