GMA Vows to Improve Filipinos' Quality of Life

Manila Bulletin, August 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

GMA Vows to Improve Filipinos' Quality of Life


Byline: GENALYN D. KABILING

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo yesterday expressed optimism her 10-point legacy agenda would further improve the quality of life of Filipinos as she promised to break economic and fiscal constraints to save the people from cyclical poverty.

The President issued the statement after the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reported that the Philippines placed 83rd among 177 countries in the human development index (HDI).

It was a slight improvement from last year when the Philippines ranked 85th in the HDI that measures the dimensions of human development of a country based on life expectancy, education and decent standard of living.

But the UNDP reported that the Philippine governments losses to corruption estimated at P100 billion of the annual national budget have deepened poverty and deprived the marginalized sector of public service and programs.

In a statement, the President put forward her ambitious economic reform agenda to develop the impoverished nation over the next six years, with the hope of improving the countrys status in the human development report.

She stressed that quality of life as much as alleviation of poverty is her primary goal for the next year.

"The synergy of our five reform packages and our 10-point agenda will elevate the quality of life of our people by delivering the totality of jobs, good governance, justice, education and basic needs."

Even though the UNDP annual report mirrors a slight improvement in the quality of life of Filipinos, Arroyo admitted that "our gains are threatened by economic and fiscal constraints."

"We must break through these constraints and find the bold and creative opportunities to overcome cyclical poverty and bring all our people to the threshold of dignified life."

In the 2004 human development report, the Philippines obtained an HDI value of 0.753, inching two places up from 85th last year. Hong Kong ranked first in the region with a value of 0.903.

The Philippines also scored 69.8 in life expectancy and 92.6 in adult literacy, ranking fourth in the region after Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

On sustainable access to improved sanitation, the Philippines moved up to 83rd from 74th place. …

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