MANILA – Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman emphasized the importance of unity amid diversity to achieve the Marcos administration’s goal of bringing prosperity to the Philippines.
Pangandaman made the call in a keynote speech delivered during the 100-day countdown of the 125th anniversary of the Philippine Independence and nationhood in Kawit, Cavite on Saturday.
In her speech, Pangandaman said all Filipinos should continue working together for “a better, more prosperous, [and] more peaceful” future for the country and the next generations.
“Nakatataba nga naman ng puso na kahit nagmumula tayo sa iba’t ibang rehiyon ng bansa, iisa pa rin ang pintig ng ating damdamin — ang pagmamahal sa inang bayan. Kaya naman pagkakaisa — o unity — ang panawagan ng ating Pangulong Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. Dahil ang paglayang minamahal ay hindi naman para sa iilan lamang, kundi para sa lahat (It’s really heartwarming to know that while we come from different regions of the country, our love for the country prevails. That’s why President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is calling for unity. Because our beloved freedom is not just for the few but for all),” she said.
“Iyan ang layunin ng ating agenda for prosperity, ang ating patakaran tungo sa kasaganahan. Lahat nang ginagawa ng pamahalaan ngayon ay para sa kasaganahan ng sambayanang Pilipino (That’s the goal of our agenda for prosperity. Everything that the administration is doing is for the prosperity of the Filipino people),” Pangandaman added.
She also reminded Filipinos of the bravery and sacrifices of their ancestors to attain the freedom that the nation has been enjoying today.
She underscored that the Marcos administration has been exhausting all efforts to make sure that “inclusive and sustainable” economic transformation would be felt by all Filipinos.
She cited some of the national government’s initiatives, including the over PHP66-billion block grant to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM); the assistance given to local government units for the transition to full devolution; and the digitalization efforts to promote bureaucratic efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
“Sinisikap po ng kasalukuyang administrasyon na maangat ang buhay ng bawat mamamayan sa pamamagitan ng economic growth. At unti-unti ay nakakamit na po natin ito (The current administration is trying its best to sustain economic growth to give everyone e a comfortable life. We are slowly reaching our goal),” Pangandaman said, citing the 7.6-percent economic growth in 2022.
“At upang maramdaman naman po ng lahat ang kasaganahan, sinisikap din namin na maparating ang mga proyekto ng ating gobyerno, hindi lamang sa Metro Manila, kundi mula Aparri hanggang Tawi-Tawi (We are implementing government projects not just in Metro Manila but also in other parts of the country, from Aparri to Tawi-Tawi, to ensure that prosperity will be felt by everyone),” she added.
Pangandaman, the first Maranao leader to speak at the Philippine independence anniversary celebration, also paid tribute to her fellow Muslims for their active role in the fight for freedom and independence against foreign colonizers.
“Samakatuwid, mahigit tatlong daang taon ang pagsakop ng mga Kastila sa Luzon at Visayas, ngunit hindi nasakop ng mga banyaga ang Mindanao. Dahil matinding ipinaglaban ng mga Moro ang ating lupa, pati na rin ang kultura, patakaran, at paniniwala ng mga taga-Mindanao (For over 300 years, the Spanish colonized Luzon and Visayas, but not Mindanao. The Moro people fought for their land, and even culture, policy, and belief),” she said.
The 125th Anniversary of the Philippine Independence is a three-year series of activities that will highlight the 125-year evolution and growth of the nation amid challenges and hurdles. (PNA)