February 19th, 2008
Jack C. Gadaingan
NAVAL, Biliran — Gov. Rogelio “Roger” J. Espina has asked provincemates to give unequivocal support to President Arroyo, saying she remains to be the best leader who has brought the country towards development and progress.
He sounded this call amid calls by some quarters for the President to step down, in the wake of the Senate inquiry into the $ 329 million ZTE national broadband network (NBN) controversy.
Espina said the issue is being used by detractors of the administration to besmirch the credibility of the presidency.
“Changing the presidency by mob rule is not good for the country, and it has lost appeal to the people as well the international community. Those interested to become president should wait until election time,” he said.
Espina said “it is only through the leadership of President Arroyo that our economy has reached a new level of stability.”
He said real progress, as evidenced by the current momentum of poverty alleviation is now felt in many parts of the country, especially in the countryside.
Espina backed this claim with the result of the Social Weather Station’s (SWS) recent survey that indicated incidence of hunger in the country has markedly declined to 16.2 percent from the record-high 21.15 percent
In the Visayas, involuntary hunger incidence dropped from 21.7 percent to 14.3 percent during the last quarter of 2007, he said.
The governor here said that in Biliran, they have many things to be thankful to President Arroyo.
For instance, Biliran province has been included in the Roll-On Roll-Off (RORO) sub-system of the “Eastern Nautical Highway” through the development of RORO ports in the towns of Kawayan, Maripipi, and Naval.
Espina said full realization of this project will not only link Biliran Island to the other provinces across the country, but most importantly, place this province in the road-map of progress.
This will establish the onset of growing trade and tourism that, in turn, will improve the quality of life of the local people.
Also a doctor of medicine, Espina also hailed Arroyo’s concern for the poor that is being realized through the People’s Government Mobile Action (PGMA) Caravan, which is delivering basic socio-economic services to the people.
The PGMA rflects the programs and projects of the government to the poor provinces of the country.
He said although Biliran is no longer in the top ten list of poorest provinces, the PGMA Caravan is scheduled to visit here on Feb. 25 to address problems affecting the day-to-day living of the Biliranons.
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