Next president urged to pursue Arroyo's programs

20:15, May 13, 2010      

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A spokesman of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Thursday hoped the country's next president will proceed with the programs put forth by the current adminstration.

Among the "vital" programs are alleviating poverty and a balanced budget, which Ricardo Saludo said the Arroyo administration failed to fulfil because of the global financial crisis.

"On our part, we certainly would like to see important initiatives to be pursued because these are things that we feel will be good for country and we have taken steps to get them going. (Addressing the deficit) is crucial to our economic fundamentals," Saludo said.

Saludo said Arroyo's poverty reduction programs have made a " great impact" on poor families in the country.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Rogelio Peyuan, meanwhile, suggested that the next administration should keep the incumbent administration's technical and vocational skills training programs to partially solve the country's unemployment problem.

Arroyo's training programs have helped financially-distressed students to pursue--and sometimes complete--a full college course, Peyuan said, adding that 92 percent of those who get hired are those with vocational and technical skills.

Under the current administration's scholarship programs, the government provides scholarship for deserving students to enroll in short term courses like bartending, food and beverage, housekeeping, commercial cooking and caregiving that cost from 10, 000 pesos (222.02 U.S. dollars) to 15,000 pesos (333.03 U.S. dollars) per student to longer courses like aircraft maintenance that cost 40,000 pesos (888.09 U.S. dollars) per student.

Arroyo's six-year presidential term ends on June 30, 2010.

Preliminary results of the presidential election, which was held on May 10, showed that Liberal Party presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III was leading in the race. In Aquino III's opinion, in the Philippines, corruption is the main cause for poverty and the main reason why people distrust with their government. Aquino III pledged that once elected the next president, he will be committed to the fight against corruption.



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