Wednesday, June 23, 2010

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Farewell Address

Below is the full text of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's speech aired over television and radio stations.

"My fellow Filipinos,

We come together tonight as we approach a hallmark of democracy for our great nation the smooth transition of power to a new leader.

We have just come through a historic election. It was open and it was modern.

As a result, we were able to declare winners in hours and days rather than weeks and months. The face of politics in our nation has changed forever.

Tonight, I once again congratulate president-elect Aquino and vice president-elect Binay.

Nine years ago, I came to the presidency at a time of great turmoil in our nation. I accepted the challenge of the office when it was thrust upon me.

At that time, our country was reeling from political intrigue and a distressed economy.

We set to work to reform our economy and invest in our people. Along the way, we had to make unpopular choices such as raising taxes but we did so against the odds for a very simple reason: we had to have new money for more and better healthcare, education, and job creation.

We needed new and better roads, bridges, ports and a technology backbone to attract new businesses and investors to create new jobs.

Through hard work, determination and a clear plan of action, we helped achieve many of these objectives.

As a result, we have had 37 quarters of uninterrupted economic growth even against the headwinds of a major global recession.

Look around you in our cities as you drive by the office towers that have changed the skyline.

Look around you in our provinces as you drive along the roads, bridges and Ro-Ro ports where we have made massive investments.

This is the face of change.

Eighty-five percent of our people now have access to Philhealth insurance, over a hundred thousand classrooms have been built and nine-million jobs have been created.

We developed the call-center industry almost from scratch. Today there are 500,000 call-center and BPO jobs when only 5,000 existed when I took office.

Yet, these accomplishments are merely part of the continuum of history.

The gains I made were built on the efforts of previous leaders. Each successive government must build on the successes and progress of the previous one.

Advance the programs that work and leave behind those that don't.

I feel confident that we are leaving this nation much stronger than I came to office but I leave that for history to judge.

Tonight, I call on everyone to unite behind our new leaders. I am optimistic and I am hopeful about our future yet until every Filipino child is born to a family free of poverty, we cannot rest.

We must always set our sights on the future and keep an eye on improving our economy, investing in people and building bridges, not just bridges of iron and steel but bridges between people, generations and governments.

The bridges we must build to the future rest on the hard work, grace and compassion of our people.

The people of our nation are our greatest asset.

You are the backbone that drives our nation forward everyday.

From the fisherman to the farmer, to the taxi driver and the teacher, we are a nation of industrious, hardworking people.

I thank each and everyone for your contribution to help the Philippines achieve our potential.

This time next week I will be moving into new phase of life leading a quieter public role.

We're all on a journey together. As our nation moves forward let us all join hands in unity and walk confidently towards a better tomorrow.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for giving me the honor and privilege of serving you.

Malaking karangalan ang makapag-lingkod sa sambayanan bilang Pangulo.

Sa inyong lahat na napag-silbihan ko sa mahirap ngunit makasaysayang landas, maraming maraming salamat."

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