Use funds to generate jobs, not for foreign trips, GMA told

June 27, 2009

A member of the minority bloc in the House of Representatives yesterday scored President Arroyo for reportedly spending billions of pesos on her foreign trips, describing the Chief Executive’s jet-setting spree as a manifestation of the administration’s insensitivity to the sufferings of millions of Filipinos which have further been aggravated by the global financial meltdown.

Citizens Battle Against Corruption Rep. Josel Villanueva said Mrs. Arroyo should have used the funds on pump-priming programs to generate jobs to help poor Filipinos.

“Many people are starving to death. I believe it is immoral for the leaders of the country to use huge funds just for their travel abroad,” he stressed.

But Malacañang maintained that the President’s working visits abroad, particularly to Japan and Brazil, have reaped huge benefits for the country that include more trade, investments, development assistance, tourism promotion, new job opportunities and improvement of the welfare of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as part of its overall strategy to shore up the economy.

“It has been said that today we live in a very complex and interconnected world and it is critical that the leader of any nation ensure that their economy and their people are fully integrated into the opportunities and benefits that come from active participation in the global arena,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said.

“It is therefore, the responsibility of the President to be the top salesman of the country,” he added.

According to him, the President’s working visit to Hong Kong is primarily to check on the welfare of our OFWs, and to give recognition to their remittances that contribute to increased domestic consumption, one of our firewalls against the global financial crisis.

Lakas-Kampi-CMD spokesman and Palawan Rep. Antonio Alvarez also defended Mrs. Arroyo, saying her critics will never find anything good in the efforts of the President to strengthen the country’s economy and foreign relations.

Alvarez also assailed the opposition’s effort to investigate the Chief executive’s foreign trips which it said showed the utter lack of appreciation on the long-term benefits of the sojourns to the Filipino nation and people.

“It’s a simple case of damn if you, damn if you don’t. But whether they admit it or not, all the President’s trip in the last eight years were fruitful and continue to benefit our people to this very day,” he stressed.

Alvarez said as chairman of the House committee on trade and industry, he considers the foreign trips of the President very necessary and relevant in luring foreign investments to help propel the country’s economic growth and generate local jobs especially during these tough times.

“We are part of the global community. The President is doing the right thing of exploring new investments that would enliven more our economy and shield us from the global recession. Let’s support the President instead of maligning her marketing efforts,” he added.

Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez, for his part, reminded the opposition that Mrs. Arroyo, as the country’s President, should not only take care of the Filipino people, but as well as the country’s relationship on a global basis.

“She is our foremost diplomat who needs to strengthen the country’s position in the global community.”

Suarez also questioned why the opposition suddenly became interested in looking into the President’s foreign trips.

“Is this part of their campaign propaganda?” he asked.




One Response to “Use funds to generate jobs, not for foreign trips, GMA told”

  1. Lyndon on June 28th, 2009 5:11 am

    We are not a rich country yet our dear President is spending much too much Billions traveling to foreign lands with more than 16 legislators to our expense. Given the benefit of the doubt that she getting something in return, but is it more important than facing our financial and health crisis first ? Palibhasa malapit nang matapos ang termino nya kaya nagpapakasasa siya sa hard-earned money ng Filipinos. How shame of her!

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