Thank you, Speaker de Venecia. Congratulations, Senate President Manny Villar; Vice-President Noli de Castro; President Ramos; Chief Justice Panganiban; Members of the diplomatic corps; Senators; Congressmen and Congresswomen; Other officials, ladies and gentlemen.
Sa araw na ito, nakatuon ang isip natin sa ating mga kababayan sa Lebanon. Nasa kuko sila ngayon ng malagim na paglala ng digmaan. Kahapon lamang, sinalubong natin ang unang dalawang-daang Pilipinong lumikas doon. Limang-daan pa ang mauuwi natin sa susunod na apat na araw.

Sa ating mga OFW, tunay kayong mga bagong bayani. Sa inyong paglilingkod sa pamilya, sa ating bayan at sa Diyos, maraming salamat.

Sa ating mga kababayan, a journey of a thousand miles does not begin with a single step. It starts with the first step, with gathering the means to complete it successfully. Those means are now at hand.

To my friends in Congress who, in the face of grave political consequences, championed and passed some of the most severe and critical fiscal reforms to save our economy, maraming salamat. You are the true friends of the Filipino people. For the real challenge has never been to blame but to fix what is wrong in our country and our economy.

Dahil sa inyo, sa wakas may pondo na tayo, hindi lamang para ibayad sa interes, kundi para sa edukasyon, mas mabuting tulay at kalsada, pagbigay kalinga sa kalusugan at higit na trabaho sa ating bansa. Now, we have the money to pay down our debt and to build up our country.

To the civil servants who rose to the challenge of turning a weakening economy to a strong republic, through more vigorous tax collection and more vigilant action against corruption, maraming salamat. We have achieved record revenue collections. We are lining up corrupt officials to face the consequences of their misdeeds. And finally earned the respect of the international community as a serious and viable state for our fiscal discipline and billions of pesos in annual interest savings that are now going into necessary public investments.

To our men and women in the armed services, the huge and deep core of your loyalty has earned the nation’s accolade. The few mutineers have been condemned by the people. They and their partisan cohorts and funders are being brought to justice. Sa nakararaming kawal at pulis na nagtaguyod ng watawat at Saligang Batas, maraming salamat.

And at a time when we must each, as individuals and as communities, take greater responsibility, our local government officials man the frontline of change: change for greater accountability, for better service and more responsiveness to their constituents. Sa inyong lahat, mga local government officials, maraming salamat.

Higit sa lahat, salamat sa sambayanang Pilipino, para sa inyong mga sakripisyo, sa inyong tiyaga, for believing, in the face of the greatest hardships, in our ability to surmount the obstacles to the future you deserve; you who have resisted persistent if not pathetic calls for despair instead of faith, for anarchy instead of harmony, salamat, salamat, taus- pusong pasasalamat.

So I stand before you today to deliver a state of the nation that is focused on what the people want; the people want to know the plan to put us on the path to prosperity.

I am not here to talk about politics; I am here to talk about what the people want; details on the state of the nation and what their government is doing to make progress every single day.

Sama-sama nating isusulong ang bansa patungo sa kinabukasang nagniningning.

Gaya ng nakikita sa graph na ito, dahil sa ating reporma sa ekonomiya, we now have the funds to address social inequity and economic disparity. Too many … masyadong marami, ang mamamayang nagugutom. Hindi ako hihinto hanggang magtagumpay ang ating laban sa kahirapan.

We now have the funds to stamp out terrorism and lawless violence.

May pondo na tayo para labanan ang katiwalian.

Our reforms have earned us P1 billion from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account for more investigators, prosecutors, and new technology to fight corruption. We are matching this with another billion from our fiscal savings.

We now have the funds for constitutional and electoral changes. Sa kasalukuyang sistema, napakabagal ng proseso, at bukas sa labis na pagtutunggali, at sikil ang lalawigan at mamamayan sa paghahari ng Imperial Manila. Panahon nang ibalik ang kapangyarihan sa taumbayan at lalawigan. For surely, there must be a better way to do politics, so that those who lose elections do not make the country pay for their frustrated ambitions. There must be a better way so that those who win the nation’s mandate to govern can work without delay and whimsical obstruction. There must be a better way.

Meanwhile, now we can fund the Medium Term Public Investment Program.

Sumusulong na ang ating plano na may tatlong yugto. Una, ang makaahon sa mga dekada ng utang at kapos ng pondo. Nagawa na natin ito. Ikalawang yugto, ang pagbabalik sa taumbayan ang mas malaking kita ng pamahalaan: upang makapagpundar ng kalinga sa kalusugan, edukasyon at trabaho na kailangang-kailangan ng mamamayan. Ginagawa na rin natin ito. And finally, Phase Three: to invest in the natural advantages and natural resources of each section of our nation so that when harnessed together, the major economic regions of the nation are larger than the sum of its parts.

We will enhance the competitive advantage of the natural “super regions-“of-the-Philippines: the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, the Metro Luzon Urban Beltway, Central Philippines, Mindanao and the Cyber Corridor.

In North Luzon, we will prioritize agribusiness investments. The agricultural and fisheries potential of the Cordilleras, Ilocandia, and Cagayan Valley can feed Luzon affordably. And nearness to North Asia holds the rich promise of agricultural exports and tourism.

My father built the Halsema Highway from Baguio to Bontoc, and the Bagabag airport in Nueva Vizcaya to access the Ifugao rice terraces, which by the way, the UNESCO has recently praised for the way we have carried out our heritage preservation policy. We have rehabilitated the Baguio to Mount Data leg of the highway and the rest of Halsema will now follow. We will upgrade the Bagabag airport and build a new one in Lallo, Cagayan, which will connect to Cordillera by upgrading the Tabuk-Tuguegarao Road.

Sa Tabuk, Kalinga, noong Abril, tumanggap ng titulo sa lupa ang ilang matatanda, pagkatapos nilang naghintay ng dalawampung taon mula noong napirmahan ang Mount Data Accord ng gobyerno at ng Cordillera People’s Liberation Army. May isang matanda, suot ang lumang uniporme ng CPLA. Pumila, hila-hila ang isang binatilyo. Sabi niya, “This is not for me but for him.” Agad inab?o?t ang titulo sa apo. Narito ngayon si Ginoong Ama Balunggay at ang kaniyang apo si Jacob.

And our post-harvest support shall continue, like the cold chain that we set up in 2004 for La Trinidad, Benguet under Mayor Nestor Fongwan. It consisted of a refrigerated storage facility and refrigerated trucks to deliver vegetables to Metro Manila. Nais kong tumaas ang kita ng mga magsasaka, at ang ina ng bawat tahanan ay makabili ng mura at sariwang gulay para sa kaniyang mga anak.

So that the people will know how well their money is spent, Benguet and its towns of Bakun, Bokod and Itogon have rolled out the new electronic government accounting system in their jurisdictions.

If Ifugao was able to cut its poverty in half in the first three years of our administration, from 56 to 28%, congratulations. We hope that through these programs, the other provinces can replicate the success of Ifugao. Hangad nating dumami ang mga taga-Cordillera sa mga propesyon na tinitingalaan ng bayan, gaya ng mga abogadong gaya nina Maurice Domogan at Romeo Brawner. Ibig din nating makapaghanda ang Cordillera sa awtonomiya pagdating ng pederalismo, ayon nawa sa pagbabago ng Saligang Batas.

Sa Dagupan, inilunsad na ng mga kolehiyo gaya ng Northwestern Lyceum University and ladderized system of education. Sa ganitong sistema, magagamit sa unibersidad and mga kursong kinuha sa vocational school at ang karanasan sa trabaho.