(House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo rallies support for the Duterte administration to bring about greater progress to the country. Contributed Photo)
MALOLOS CITY — Outgoing House Speaker and former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has urged Filipinos to continue supporting Pres. Duterte so as to achieve the target of lowering the poverty rate to a mere 14 percent by 2022.
Speaking during the 121st commemoration of Independence Day rites at the historic Barasoain Church here, Arroyo said supporting the government would ensure progress whose ultimate yardstick is reduction of poverty.
She noted that while Filipino forefathers fought for freedom and independence the current generation must continue waging a war against poverty.
So much has already been gained in the last two decades that significantly brought down poverty levels in the country, she noted.
Arroyo said that when she became president in 2001, poverty rate was 39 percent and this went down to 26 percent when she left the presidency in 2010.
The former president is retiring from politics after serving the last of her three terms as congresswoman representing the second district of Pampanga where her son, Mikey, is set to take her place after winning overwhelmingly in the last elections.
The Barasoain Church has been one of the major venues in the annual commemoration of Independence Day.
The other venues include the Liberty Shrine in Lapu-Lapu City, the Emilio Aguinaldo Museum in Kawit, Cavite, the Pamintuan Mansion in Angeles City, the Bonifacio National Monument in Caloocan City, the Museo ng Katipunan in the City of San Juan, and the Mausoleo de los Veteranos de la Revolucion at the Manila North Cemetery.
This year’s Independence Day celebration was themed “Kalayaan 2019: Tapang ng Bayan, Malasakit sa Mamamayan.”