“This is because the global crisis did not catch us unprepared or without reserves,” the President said in her speech before stalwarts of the Lakas-CMD party which held its national expanded executive committee caucus here.
Among those present were former Pres. Fidel Ramos who is chairman emeritus of Lakas-CMD and Speaker Prospero Nograles.
The President said that “keeping the global crisis from consuming our nation has been a great accomplishment of our party”.
“Despite the recession in two-thirds of the world, nine out of ten or 92 out of 100 Filipinos look forward with hope to this new year,” she said.
She noted that “the global financial turmoil has spread and jeopardized the well-being of people across the globe. Two thirds of the world is in recession but we should all be proud that our country is growing at 6 percent GNP (gross national product) and 4.6 percent GDP (gross domestic product) in 2008.”
The President told Lakas-CMD leaders that “together, we were able to make hard decisions- hard on our people at that time, unpopular with some big businessmen, but as events have shown, good for the country.”
“Our preparations have so far shielded our nation from the worst effects of the worldwide crisis. Had we acted differently, had we been populist, had we been scared or timid…,” the President said, but without finishing her sentence.
She also said that despite the country’s being better off than many other countries in the global crisis, “we are not complacent” and that “our administration must harness all the resources and the unity we can muster to provide job creation and economic stimulus at a time when it is most needed, while still pursuing needed investments in people and infrastructure, to aid our people today, while building a better tomorrow”.
“And our administration must establish such conditions on the ground as we facilitate the peace process with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front),” she also said.
As she called for unity between the Lakas-CMD and the Kabalikat ng Mamamayang Pilipino (Kampi) parties, the President noted that “our working together is one of the major reasons why we have the resources to absorb the current global shocks, with our unity institutionalized in a merger, our proven political resilience and reform agenda will position the nation to sustain its gains”.
“Merging Lakas-CMD and Kampi will keep us on road to First World in 20 years. Our working together has been one of the major factors that have put the Philippines in the path of sustained growth and resiliency,” she added.