Archive for the Speech Category

The Lesson of the Firewood

Posted in Sister Cities and Municipalities, Speech with tags , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by jojobinay

The Lesson of the Firewood
Mayor Dan Neri Lim
Sisterhood Agreement Signing
July 18, 2009

It seems like we are seeing the last days of brotherly and sisterly concern. There is increasing isolation within members of the family. It is each man to himself, survival of the fittest, a dog-eat-dog world.
If this morning’s event is any indication however, there is still hope for at least the cities of Makati and Tagbilaran. Today we celebrate the official bonding of these two great Philippine cities in a commitment of mutual concern for each other.

Makati has no need for Tagbilaran, or any of the three Bohol towns it has signed a sisterhood agreement with. By all indications, Makati is a city in itself, rising above the skyline of a country reeling from underdevelopment and even poverty.

That Makati has chosen to get out of its comfort zone to forge sisterhood agreements such as the one we are officially signing today speaks volumes about its commitment to national development. Makati is showing that it deserves all the progress that is has attained by its sincere desire to look after small cities like Tagbilaran and even smaller towns in different parts of the archipelago.

Much of Makati’s progress and concern is of course due to a man whose humility belies the strides that his city has achieved under his watch. While it is known as the country’s financial district, Makati under Mayor Jojo Binay has distinguished itself because of its pro-people program that spans its boundaries.
Makati-Tagbilaran Sisterhood Signing
Mayor Binay saw to it that the poor in his city are attended to, the sick afforded treatment, the elderly taken care of. Little wonder that the good mayor endeared himself to the people. After serving his three consecutive terms after the Edsa revolution, he was given three more terms in 2001.

Just as I consider Mayor Binay as a mentor, Tagbilaran also considers Makati as a big brother. On a smaller scale, Tagbilaran is giving the same quality service to its constituents – full support for public school education, free hospitalization, free maintenance and other medicines, concern for the senior citizens.
Just as Makati shines head and shoulders above its peers among the highly urbanized cities in the Philippines, Tagbilaran is making its mark in its category for small cities. Proof of this is that in the last four years, Tagbilaran has been adjudged no. 1 in quality of life twice in its category.

Just as it is an honor for Tagbilaran to be elevated as a Sister City of Makati, even more so it is an honor for me to affix my signature beside a man who is destined for higher calling in our country.
Makati is fortunate to have Mayor Binay at the helm for virtually its entire post-Edsa existence. To a lesser degree, Tagbilaran is fortunate for the special concern that Mayor Binay is giving it. Hopefully, we will remain special in his heart even when he will already have the entire country for his constituency.
This morning, Makati and Tagbilaran will formalize their common desire to promote and foster strong ties, mutual understanding, friendship and goodwill. In line with this, our two cities declare the same intention to create an atmosphere in which economic and community development can be implemented and strengthened.

As a result of what we forge today, we can look forward to exchanges in the fields of science and technology, culture and arts, tourism, planning and urban development, commerce, trade and industry, education and sports, environmental protection, public health and social service among others.
Most of us understand that for the firewood to burn itself out, it must be lumped with other firewood closest to the fire. When it is separated from the others, the fire dies before its turn, failing to accomplish what it is supposed to do.

In this time of crisis, we need to be bound together to be able to keep the fire of public service burning until we are done. As we sign this sisterhood pact, we keep in mind the lessons of the firewood.
Good morning.

EULOGY FOR CORY

Posted in Speech with tags on August 5, 2009 by jojobinay

SPEECH DELIVERED DURING THE NECROLOGICAL SERVICE OF FORMER PRESIDENT CORAZON C. AQUINO, AUGUST 4, 2009, MANILA CATHEDRAL, INTRAMUROS, MANILA

Pangulong Cory, sa iyong paglisan, wala na akong masasandigan, at mahihingan ng payo tuwing ako’y inaabot ng agam-agam.

Mami-miss ko po ang pagtawag niyo sa akin na one of my favorite mayors.

Maraming pagkakataon na dapat kayong pasalamatan, Pangulong Cory. Dinamayan ninyo ako nang ako ay suspindihin dahil sa aking paninindigan. Laking tuwa ko nang dumating kayo at nagpahayag ng inyong taos-pusong suporta.

Ipinakita ninyo ang tunay at tapat na paglilingkod sa simpleng paraan. Tulad na lang noong inagurasyon ni dating pangulong Fidel Ramos. Mag-isa kayong bumaba nang walang bodyguard at walang kasama. Dali-dali ko kayong inalalayan at tumingin kayo sa akin at ngumiti. Nabanaag ko sa inyong mukha ang tagumpay na nagkaroon ng matahimik na pagsalin ng pamamahala.

Maraming salamat, Pangulong Cory. Nang natapos na ang inyong panunungkulan bilang pangulo, tuloy pa rin kayong namuno sa mga panahong nanganib ang katotohanan at demokrasya. Ang inyong tinig ang aming sandigan, ang inyong katapangan ang aming lakas, ang inyong prinsipyo ang aming naging haligi ng pagiging isang bansa.

President Cory is a great moral leader…. One that leads by example, with humility and with great love and purity of intentions. She had a purpose to fulfil, and fulfil it she did, according to the Lord’s will. Now she is leaving us, likewise, in accordance with God’s will and purpose. She held on as long as she could, believing up to her last breath that the Filipino is worth living for.

But more than a courageous moral leader, she was to me a very close and dear personal friend.

Pangulong Cory, paalam at salamat sa biyaya ng demokrasya na umusbong sa iyong pamamahala, sa pagbahagi ng iyong oras, ng iyong buhay, ng iyong puso sa aming lahat.

Baunin po ninyo ang aking pagmamahal, ang pasasalamat bilang isang Jojo Binay na inyong ginabayan sa pamahalaan. Baunin po ninyo ang aming pasasalamat bilang isang bansa sa inyong pagiging ilaw ng bawa’t tahanang Pilipino.

Pangulong Cory, umasa po kayo na ang naibalik ninyong katarungan at demokrasya ay aming pangangalagaan at patuloy na ipaglalaban.

The True State of the Nation

Posted in Speech with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 25, 2009 by jojobinay

The True State of the Nation
By Jojo Binay
President, United Opposition

Ayon sa mga taga-Malacanang, ang State of the Nation Address (SONA) ni Mrs. Arroyo ay hinggil sa kanyang mga nagawa para sa ekonomiya, at kung paano natulungan ng kanyang administrasyon ang mga mamamayan sa gitna ng krisis pang-mundo.

But economic figures alone do not give the true state of the nation under Mrs. Arroyo.

The economic numbers may look good on the charts of the National Economic Development Authority, but it has failed to translate into marked improvements in the lives of the people.

And if the amount of food on our tables shrink every time the numbers on NEDA’s charts grow, the economy is not working at all. It means the economy is being kept afloat by the suffering of our people.

Poverty and hunger remain widespread, and is expected to worsen. There are few job opportunities at home and people are falling in line to work abroad, despite government’s claim that unemployment is going down.

And why would Mrs. Arroyo claim credit for any economic miracle when the economy has been largely sustained by the remittances of the 10 million overseas Filipino workers?
The irony is that this administration is heavily dependent on the remittances of Filipinos who were forced to work abroad because of Mrs. Arroyo’s failure to provide them decent jobs in the Philippines.  These are the same Filipinos who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuses because the administration has failed to match its aggressive policy of deploying OFWs with aggressive welfare protection. Some would not call it irony, but rather a cruel joke on our OFWs.

Distrust

Haharap sa bayan si Mrs. Arroyo –  bago harinawa ay bumaba siya ng matiwasay sa kanyang poder – sa gitna ng labis na pagkadismaya sa kanya ang sambayanan.

Ayon sa mga survey, 48 porsiyento ang hindi umaayon sa kanyang pamumuno, at 53 porsiyento naman ang may maliit o walang tiwala sa kanya.

At ang pagkadismaya ay laganap sa lahat ng antas pang ekonomiya – mahirap at mayaman,  at sa lahat ng lugar – taga Metro Manila, Luzon at ang dati ay pinagmamalaking balwarte ng administrasyon sa Visayas at Mindanao.

Ang bansang muling ipipinta ni Mrs. Arroyo sa kanyang SONA ay isang paraiso para sa mga Pilipino.

Ngunit ano ang tunay na kalagayan ng bansa?

Ramdam na ramdam ang gutom. Marami ang walang trabaho o kaya ay kulang ang kinikita sa araw-araw.

Bukod dito, kabi-kabila ang eskandalong sangkot mismo ang mga namumuno, ginagamit ang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno upang supilin ang karapatan, at nagbabanta ang muling pagbabalik ng batas militar.

Iyan ang tunay na kalagayan ng Pilipinas.

Poverty

Despite government’s claim that it is winning the war against poverty, 47 percent or about 8.7 million of Filipino families consider themselves as poor, while  27 per cent put themselves on the borderline, according to the Social Weather Station in a survey conducted in February 2009.

The same survey also found that 36 per cent or an estimated 6.7 million families consider themselves as “food-poor,” while 34 per cent said they were “food-borderline.”

Hunger

Hunger is felt severely by families of the unemployed, especially those laid off from their jobs.

According to SWS, 16.9 per cent of families of the unemployed experienced “total hunger” at least once in the past three months. Among the families of the employed, 13.9 percent said they experienced “total hunger.”

It also said 12.5 per cent of families of the unemployed experienced “moderate hunger,” in the lat three months, which means they went hungry once or a few times in the last three months.  “Severe hunger,” referring to those who went hungry often or always in the last three months, was 4.4 percent for the unemployed.

The SWS said “severe hunger” was a high 16.7 percent of those who were laid off.

How bad is the hunger situation in the Philippines? In a survey conducted by Gallup International, the Philippines ranks 5th among 56 countries where hunger is prevalent.

Misuse of taxpayers’ money

Under Mrs. Arroyo, our national agencies have become notoriously injudicious in undertaking projects and implementing programs.

This year, some P190 Billion will be spent by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Transportation and Communication on infrastructure projects. Some P200 Billion has been allocated to the Department of Education and Department of Health; P55 Billion to the Departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform. That’s a P450 Billion investment in infrastructure and human resources – almost twice as much as the Internal Revenue Allotment for all local governments combined. Almost ten times the Development Fund that local governments will get from their share of national taxes.

The amount, had it been given to LGUs, would have been put to better use addressing the real concerns of people at the basic level. Instead, infrastructure funds are being used by the national government to build bridges that lead to nowhere, and to tear up perfectly good roads and rebuild them. The education budget is used to purchase overpriced instant noodles, and medicine is left to rot in the stockrooms of government hospitals even as the poor can not even purchase paracetamol and antibiotics.

Worse, national funds are being treated and spent like it was personal money, like it was Mrs. Arroyo’s personal fortunes to dispense to her allies:

The p728 million that Joc-Joc Bolante diverted from the fertilizer fund. The $503 million for the Northrail project at p1 billion per kilometer. The $329 billion in the scandalously overpriced NBN-ZTE deal that NEDA approved. In all these cases, high-ranking officials of the national government have felt entitled to the funds – and acted as if they did not have to account for them to the Filipino people.

Despite all indication of large-scale fraud, the Ombudsman refuses to prosecute, and the former Secretary of Justice defends their notion that they do not have to explain to the Filipino people.

Kabi-kabila ang mga iskandalong kinasasangkutan ni Mrs. Arroyo, ng kanyang asawa at mga kaalyado sa pulitika, ngunit ni isa sa kanila ay walang naparusahan. Sa kabilang banda, kapag nasa oposisyon, nasa media, o nasa cause-oriented groups, kabi-kabila ang demanda, at walang tigil ang panggigipit.

Repression

Sa katunayan, mula nang maupo si Mrs. Arroyo noong 2001 hanggang Marso ng taong ito, umabot na sa 1,013 ang biktima ng summary execution, at 202 naman ang mga dinukot at hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa nakikita.

Itinuturing ang Pilipinas na isa sa mga pinaka-peligrosong lugar sa mundo para sa mga journalists, at sa United Nations, inilista ang Pilipinas bilang isa sa mga bansang lumalala ang human rights situation.

Eight years is enough

The last eight years under Mrs. Arroyo has been characterized by the administration’s abuse of power to subvert our democracy, to subvert our economy and to subvert our national patrimony.

Aside from record hunger and poverty, Mrs. Arroyo has for the past eight years eroded the people’s faith in the judiciary as our refuge from injustice, and the legislature has abandoned all pretensions of independence from the executive.

The Executive Department, on the other hand, has betrayed its mandate.

We have a Justice Department that prosecutes witnesses to protect perpetrators of graft; a Department of Interior and Local Government that persecutes local officials who dare denounce the abuses of her administration; a Defense Department that sends our soldiers to war with defective arms and ammunition; a Budget Department that disburses public funds as if they were the president’s personal kitty; and a Finance Department that loses three times as much to smugglers as it collects from the Value Added Tax.

The Department of Education has been eroded by corruption and politics, and keeps losing its best and brightest public schoolteachers, and its most dedicated officials, while the Department of Agriculture squanders productivity funds for our farms and relies on imports to feed our people.

This is the same administration that is plotting to keep its grip on power beyond 2010, either through a Constituent Assembly, or failing that, outright martial law.

Ito ang tunay na kalagayan ng bansa.

Harinawa, ito na ang huling SONA sa ilalim ni Mrs. Arroyo.

Buo ang aking loob na malapit nang magsimula ang bagong bukas para sa ating bansa. Kailangan nating mag-bigkis sa simulaing maitatag ang pamahalaan na magbabalik ng ating dangal, at titiyakin na ang biyaya ng pag-unlad ay madarama ng lahat.

Lagi nating tandaan na may pag-asa. May pag-ahon. May bukas pa.

First and foremost We are Filipinos, One people, One nation, One force, and One Vision

Posted in Speech with tags , , , , , on July 23, 2009 by jojobinay

“It is no good for us to say that Makati has been continuously moving forward while the country is mired in a culture of killing and corruption, resulting in moral and social decadence. Surely we ourselves have to realize that, as far as the global community is concerned, the negative aspects besetting our country likewise impact negatively on the city of Makati.

For indeed, before we are residents of Makati, we are first and foremost all Filipinos – belonging to one country, with common hopes, and ultimately with a common destiny.

It was Shakespeare who said: “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

We have to accept that no country was ever ‘born great’, and I certainly do not think that the Philippines will be lucky enough to have ‘greatness thrust upon it’. And so it is clearly imperative that our only recourse is to ‘achieve greatness’ – as one people, one nation, one force, and one vision”

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