• Economy is centerpiece of Aquino’s 5th SONA

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    MALACAñANG on Sunday gave a sneak preview of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) that he will deliver before Congress in July, anchored on the country’s economic gains for the past four years since he assumed office.

    According to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., the President will report, among other feats, on the “gradual transformation of our country from an economic laggard to one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.”

    He said Aquino will explain in detail the National Economic and Development Authority midterm update on the Philippine Development Plan for 2011-2016, the government’s report card on economic reforms and programs that were accomplished since 2010.

    Coloma added that Aquino will also lay out his plans for the last remaining years of his administration, including those in relation to the campaign against graft and corruption.

    “The President says that on account of significant headway made in the campaign against corruption, including the prosecution of five government officials and the elimination of leakages in government procurement, funds allocation and disbursement, the government has been able to channel substantial funding for education, health, social services and infrastructure,” he said.

    The Palace, according to Coloma, takes pride in the holding of the World Economic Forum in Manila recently, where the government showcased to the world the “principles of good governance that is from good economics.”

    “Through sound management of economic fundamentals, we have climbed out of severe financial and economic deficits, and achieved a healthy cash position to financing priority development projects, and from being regarded as the ‘sick man of Asia’ to earning an investment grade rating that reflects the confidence of the local and international communities,” he quoted the President as saying.

    By earning the trust of investors, Coloma said, the country has also attracted big-ticket investments in manufacturing, tourism, agri-business, logistics and other productive sectors that have in turn generated higher employment and more remunerative jobs that enable Filipinos to demonstrate their native skills, talent and industry.

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