Philippine president cites achievements, vows to end corruption

13:20, July 26, 2011      

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by Alito L. Malinao

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Monday vowed in his second State of the Nation Address ( SONA) after taking office to remain focused on his goal of wiping out corruption and to continue to lead the Filipinos into the " straight and righteous path" during the next five years of his six-year term.

In the speech in nearby Quezon City, Aquino cited the gains that his administration has achieved, particularly in growing the economy.

"Our efforts have yielded results. Just this year, the number of Filipinos who have experienced hunger has gone down,"Aquino said.

Speaking in Pilipino, the country'a national language, Aquino said that his administration's campaign against abuse of authority and corruption had restored investors' confidence in the Philippines and had prompted such international ratings agencies as Moodys, Standard and Poor, Fitch and the Japan Credit Rating Agency to upgrade the country's investment rating.

According to Aquino, the innovative fiscal approach that his administration has adopted has saved Filipino taxpayers 23 billion pesos (some 550 million U.S. dollars) in the first four months of this year.

He said that the savings would be enough to cover the 2.3 million beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program for the whole year, a Aquino's flagship project to give financial assistance to extremely poor families to improve their quality of life.

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