Saturday, January 2, 2010

Next President faces tough times ahead — solon

By Jason Faustino

Original Story:

After coming from a year of challenges, the country faces a critical period in the next six years as it is confronted by difficult changes and new realities and the next President will have his hands full trying to solve problems and crises one after another.

“The next administration (2010-2016) will face a growing population, an environment under extreme stress, rapid technological breakthroughs, and a dramatically restructured global financial market,” Sen. Edgardo Angara said.

Thus, he said, “ensuring a credible transition to power in th forthcoming national elections is crucial, because the new President needs a united nation to hurdle the daunting challenges ahead.”

Angara noted that the United Nations, in its World Economic Situation and Prospects 2010 report, said “the world economy will experience a weak and tentative recovery, and is expected to grow a modest 2.4 percent.”

“The Philippines will plod along. The Asian Development Bank predicts our economy to grow by 3.3 percent in 2010,” he said.

Angara, former president of the Senate and of the University of the Philippines, said measures are underway to prepare the country for the critical years ahead.

“The Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (Comste), which I head, is at the stage where we are beginning to implement legislative solutions and projects that will address our own current problems and, at the same time, we hope, will prepare us to come out of the economic crisis a leader in innovative solutions,” he said.

Angara cited the Renewable Energy Research and Development Institute and the Philippine Industrial R and Development Institute, two of Comste policy proposals, will lead “the country’s efforts at forging public-private initiatives to develop our indigenous clean-energy technologies” and aim “to provide an incubation institute for the electronics and semiconductor sector.”

“With these measures in place, I look forward to seeing their results in 2010, and to ensuring our economic recovery continues beyond it,” he said.

Angara, chairman of the Senate committees on education, agriculture and food, science and technology, bank and financial institutions, heaved a sigh of relief after the country pulled through in 2009 by the skin of its teeth.

“The economy teetered near recession during the first two quarters of 2009. And just as the country was seeing a fragile recovery, disaster took the country by storm – literally – through (typhoons) ‘Ondoy’ and ‘Pepeng,’ which caused almost $5 billion in losses,” he said.

As if that was not bad enough, the country is confronted with a new natural calamity with the impending eruption of Mayon Volcano and the sinking of two passenger ships last weekend off Cavite and Batangas provinces which have resulted in deaths. Fires have also struck several houses and buildings in Metro Manila, causing loss of lives and huge amounts of property.

The next President then should be strong and determined enough to address such challenges and steer the country toward peace and stability.

Original Story:

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