- Advertisement by Google -

17th President of the Republic of the Philippines

Monday (July 25, 2022)

I come before you today to address you, as it is my duty as President of the Republic.

We live in difficult times brought about by some forces of our own making, but certainly, also by forces that are beyond our control.

- Advertisement -

But we have, and WE WILL continue to find solutions.

And these are some of them.

ECONOMY

  • Implementing prudent fiscal management, putting in place tax administration changes to boost revenue collection, and realigning spending priorities to alleviate COVID-19-related economic damage.
  • Philippines to become an “investment destination”, capitalizing on Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or the CREATE Law and economic liberalization laws such as the Public Service Act and the Foreign Investments Act.
  • Ecozones will be fully supported in their efforts to attract critical industries such as high-tech manufacturing, health and medical care, and developing technology.
  • Imposition of value added tax (VAT) on digital service providers as part of the country’s tax system adjustment to keep up with the rapidly evolving digital economy.
  • Simplification of tax compliance procedures to promote ease of tax payments.
  • Bureau of Customs to streamline processes via information and communications technology (ICT).

AGRICULTURE

  • Department of Agriculture (DA) to increase production in the next planting season by providing financial and technical assistance to farmers.
  • Government will provide loans to the agricultural industry while also offering low-cost farm supplies that will be purchased in large quantities.
  • Prioritize agricultural modernization: “Ating palalawakin ang mga palaisdaan, babuyan, at manukan. Lahat ng ito, gagamitan ng syensya para tumaas ang produksyong agricultural,” President BBM said.
  • Continuation of the agrarian reform program, not only in acquisition but also in support services and distribution. “To assist this, I intend to issue an executive order to impose a one-year moratorium on the payment of land amortization and interest payments,” he said.
  • Loan condonation for agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) with outstanding amortization and interest.
  • Distribution of 52,000 hectares of unused government agricultural lands to landless war veterans, surviving spouses and orphans of war veterans, retirees of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police.

TOURISM

  • Road improvements for easier access to tourist destinations.
  • Upgrade airports and create more international airports to decongest Manila International Airport.
  • Foster “Filipino brand” to ignite a sense of pride and reaffirm the country’s strong sense of identity.

SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT

  • Speed up the provision of support to victims of calamities and disasters through more operation centers and the construction of additional warehouses for storing food.
  • Simplify the process for disaster victims to receive aid from the government.
  • Cleansing of list of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps. “Higit na isang milyong pangalan ang naka-graduate sa listahan. At nagagalak akong mabatid na sila ay nakatatayo na sa kanilang sariling mga paa,” Pres. Marcos said.
  • Continuation of supplemental feeding programs in Child Development Centers and Supervised Neighborhood Play in 2023.
  • Step-up support programs that are being provided by the government to solo parents, particularly those who are victims of violence.

HEALTH

  • No more lockdowns due to COVID-19; the existing Alert Level System will remain in place.
  • Continuation of vaccine booster rollouts.
  • Construction of additional rural health centers/units, hospitals, and specialty hospitals like the Lung Center, Heart Center, National Kidney Hospital, and Children’s Hospital in other regions in the country.
  • Improve the welfare of doctors, nurses, and other medical frontliners.
  • Provision of adequate medicines and medical supplies for the people; lower cost of medicines; Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) making first steps on this with pharmaceutical companies that want to enter and invest in the country.

EDUCATION

  • Return of full face-to-face classes in the next school year.
  • Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to address the availability of school rooms.
  • Review of the viability of K to 12.
  • Provision of internet connectivity to students; devices they can use (computers and other educational tools).
  • Re-examine the medium of instruction to establish English-speaking citizens.

DIGITALIZATION

  • Infusion of technology into every facet of the daily lives of Filipinos — quantum computing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnologies, internet of things, robotics, self-driving electric vehicles, 3D printing, and virtual and augmented reality among others to radically transform the way business is done.
  • Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to identify and utilize these innovations to improve governance.
  • Issuance of 30 million physical IDs and 20 million digital IDs by end of the year. The target is to accomplish the issuance of about 92 million IDs by the middle of next year.
  • Deployment of digital connectivity across various islands, an order given to Sec. Ivan Uy. Will be done through the National Broadband Plan, the common tower program, connecting geographically-isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) via the “Broad Band ng Masa” project.

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • BBM administration will not suspend any of the ongoing infrastructure projects. “Infrastructure development spending will be sustained at 5% to 6% of the GDP,” he said.
  • BBM administration committed to finishing construction of current portfolio investments: approved railway projects such as the North-South Commuter Railway System, the 33-kilometer Metro Manila Subway Project, the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway System, the 12-kilometer LRT-1 Cavite Extension, the 23-kilometer MRT-7, and the Common Station that will connect LRT-1, MRT-3, and MRT-7.
  • Beyond NCR, larger-scale railway systems like the 102-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project; Panay Railway Project; and the Cebu railway system will be integrated as a vital part of transport and communications systems.
  • Improve roads and transportation systems in key cities throughout the country through various projects such as the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit, Davao High Priority Bus System, Ilocos Norte Transportation Hub, and the El Nido Transport Terminal.

“My order to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is simple: FULL SPEED AHEAD!” he said.

ENERGY

  • Increase the level of energy production through alternative sources of energy.
  • Compliance with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) regulations for nuclear power plants as they have been strengthened after Fukushima. “In the area of nuclear power, there have been new technologies developed that allow smaller scale modular nuclear plants and other derivations thereof,” he said.

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Use of renewable energy is at the top of the government’s climate agenda.  “We will increase our use of renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal power, solar, and wind,” Pres. Marcos said.
  • Look into the freshwater supply situation, especially in urban areas. Rehabilitation of water supply systems dating back to the 1950s. “I have instructed DENR Secretary Toni Yulo-Loyzaga, together with Secretary Manny Bonoan of the DPWH, to explore possible partnerships with the private sector to address this crucial situation,” he said.
  • Companies that exploit natural resources must follow the law.

“We all have the responsibility to preserve this Earth, for we are but custodians, and we will pass on this treasure to future generations. There is no question that the preservation of the environment is the preservation of life. If we cannot mitigate climate change, all our plans for the economy, for our future, will be for naught,” he added.

MIGRANT WORKERS

  • Tahanan habang nasa ibang bayan-driven government for migrant workers, which will be implemented by the  Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).
  • Do away with “red tape” in the development of digital empowerment; automation of verification of contracts and issue secure Overseas Employment Certifications (OEC) that can be kept on smartphones. 
  • Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to cooperate with DMW to ensure all diplomatic posts will help to return OFWs to work who lost jobs during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • From 3 months to 3 weeks on for foreign employers to process the documents of their Filipino workers; and simplification of handbook for OFWs from having 240 sections to a pamphlet with 100 pages.
  • Launching of One Repatriation Command Center or ORCC, where social media platforms and hotline of the DMW will be utilized to help OFWs from being victimized. “Sa mga susunod na buwan ay magtutungo si Secretary Susan Ople sa Saudi Arabia upang tiyakin na may sapat na puwersang magsisiguro na mabubuksang muli ang empleyo sa bansa, at para maisulong ang ating kampanya laban sa human trafficking,” he said.

FOREIGN POLICY

  • BBM administration will not abandon any square inch of the territory of the Philippines to any foreign power.
  • The Philippines will be “a friend to all” and “an enemy to none.”

The Philippines has always been open and welcoming to all our foreign friends and visitors.  That is our worldview, and that is our culture. BUT LET ME BE CLEAR. WE ARE VERY JEALOUS OF ALL THAT IS FILIPINO,” President BBM said.

PRIORITY LEGISLATIVE MEASURES

As I am here today addressing the legislature, allow me to now propose legislations that we would like you to pass in support of these programs:

  1. National Government Rightsizing Program (NGRP)

A reform mechanism that seeks to enhance the government’s institutional capacity to perform its mandate and provide better services, while ensuring optimal and efficient use of resources.

Compared to previous government reorganization efforts, the NGRP will entail a comprehensive strategic review of the functions, operations, organization, systems, and processes of the different agencies, and massive and transformational initiatives in the agencies concerned, such as merger, consolidation, splitting, transfer, and abolition of some office.

The rightsizing efforts will also involve the conduct of a comprehensive strategic review of functions, programs, and projects that will cut across various agencies.

  1. Budget Modernization Bill

That seeks to institutionalize the Cash-based Budgeting System (CBS) under Executive Order No. 91, Series 2019 to strengthen fiscal discipline in the allocation and use of budget resources by ensuring that every peso budgeted by the government would lead to the actual delivery of programs and projects. The full implementation of the CBS is timely and vital as the government executes response and recovery plans post-pandemic.

  1. Tax Package 3: Valuation Reform Bill

The bill provides for the: (a) establishment of real property values and valuation standards across the country and (b) development of a Real Property Information System that provides for the database of all real property transactions and declarations in the country

  1. Tax Package 4: Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA)

Seeks to reform the taxation of capital income and financial services by redesigning the financial sector taxation into a simpler, fairer, more efficient, and revenue-neutral tax system. It also represents adopting a regionally competitive tax system.

  1. E-Government Act

This provides for the establishment of the E-Government Master Plan which shall cover all e-government services and processes.

  1. Internet Transaction Act or E-Commerce Law

Which aims to establish an effective regulation of commercial activities through the internet or electronic means to ensure that consumer rights and data privacy are protected, innovation is encouraged, fair advertising practices and competition are promoted, online transactions are secured, intellectual property rights are protected, and product standards and safety are observed.

  1. Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery (GUIDE)

This seeks to provide financial assistance to distressed enterprises critical to economic recovery through programs and initiatives to be implemented by the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines and Philippine Guarantee Corporation for purposes of addressing liquidity or solvency problems of MSMEs and strategically important industries, encourage their continued operations and maintain employment.

  1. Medical Reserve Corps

Establishes a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) under the Health and Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB) of the DOH. The MRC shall be composed of licensed physicians, medical students who have completed their four (4) years of medical course, graduates of medicine, registered nurses, and licensed allied health professionals.

  1. National Disease Prevention Management Authority

Creates the Philippine Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), attached to the DOH.

  1. Creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines

Creates the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines (VIP) as an attached agency of the DOST.  All offices and units under the DOST with functions related to virology shall be transferred to the VIP.

  1. Department of Water Resources

Creates the Department of Water Resources and adopts the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) as the strategic framework for national water management, policymaking, and planning.

  1. Unified System of Separation, Retirement, and Pension

Which grants a monthly disability pension, in lieu of disability benefits provided under existing laws, for military and uniformed personnel (MUPs) retired by reasons of disability.

  1. E-Governance Act

Which promotes the use of the internet, intranet, and other ICT to provide opportunities for citizens.

  1. National Land Use Act

This provides for rational and holistic management and development of the country’s land and water resources; holds owners accountable for making these lands productive and sustainable; strengthens the LGU to manage ecological balance within its jurisdiction. It also provides for Land Use and Physical Planning/Framework as a mechanism in determining policies and principles to implement this legislative measure.

  1. National Defense Act

Seeks to amend the antiquated National Defense Act of 1935 to provide for a change in the military structure of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that is more responsive to current and future non-conventional security threats to the country’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.

  1. Mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) and National Service Training Program (NSTP)

This will seek to reinstitute the ROTC program as a mandatory component of senior high school programs (Grades 11 and 12) in all public and private tertiary-level educational institutions. The aim is to motivate, train, organize and mobilize the students for national defense preparedness, including disaster preparedness and capacity building for risk-related situations.

  1. Enactment of an Enabling Law for the Natural Gas Industry

This primarily seeks to foster the development of the Midstream Natural Gas Industry in a bid to strengthen Philippine energy security by diversifying the country’s primary sources of energy and promoting the role of natural gas as a complementary fuel to variable renewable energy.

  1. Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA (Rep. Act No. 9136)

This aims to improve the implementation of the law’s provisions and enhance its effectiveness to address the high cost of electricity, alleged market collusion, and insufficient power supply. 

The bill seeks to restructure the Energy Regulation Commission (ERC) to foster accountability and improve the commission’s government system that would ensure consumer protection and in enhancing the competitive operation of the electricity market.

  1. Amendments to the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law

This seeks to improve the implementation of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Program and to be able to direct the desired outputs and outcomes in line with the strategic development targets of the country.  Specifically,  the amendments seek to:

a.  Address the ambiguities in the existing law;

b. Address the bottlenecks and challenges affecting the implementation of the PPP Program; and,

c. Foster a more competitive and enabling environment for PPP.

To my fellow Filipinos, ang aking mga minamahal na kababayan.

Batid ko na hindi madali ang ating pinag-daraanan sa nakaraang higit na dalawang taon.

Alam ko rin na ang bawat isa sa inyo ay ginagawa ang lahat ng inyong makakaya upang patuloy na harapin ang lahat ng pagsubok sa kasalukuyan.

I do not intend to diminish the risks and challenges that we face in this turbulent time in global history, and yet, I see sunlight filtering through these dark clouds.

We have assembled the BEST Filipino minds to help navigate us through this time of global crisis.

We will endure.  Let our Filipino spirit ever remain undimmed.

I know this in my mind, in my heart, in my very soul that

THE STATE OF THE NATION IS SOUND.

About Post Author

- Advertisement by Google -
Previous articleNIA hands over 3 tribal halls in Aborlan
Next articlePDRRMO conducts exercise to improve disaster response capacity of Palawan