Press Release
July 24, 2011


In pursuit of genuine economic development, Senator Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. expressed optimism that President Benigno Aquino III will also include in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) an action plan to fight poverty and a call for unity among government leaders

According to the lawmaker, there is no other more opportune time than now for public officials to work together for the best interest of the people. He stressed that the end result of all these political bickering and fault-finding will be worse condition and poorer quality of life for the general public "Without prejudice to any administration, the people's quality of life has not improved, if not gotten worse. If we could not do away with our political a differences right now, we will surely fail to perform our mandate and defeat our raison d'etre of serving the people," he explained.

He said the SONA is very crucial considering the present plight of many Filipino families. In particular, he expressed concern with the recent increase in the country's unemployment rate which now pegged at 27.2 percent. According to Social Weather Station (SWS) survey, another 1.4 million unemployed labor has been added to the already gargantuan figure of 9.9 million which the government is still working out to resolve. "This is a matter of life or death for most of our countrymen. Ang usapan tungkol sa trabaho ay usapang sikmura. Nakadugtong ito sa bituka ng marami nating kababayan at ng kani-kanilang pamilya. As of now 11.3 million of our people do not have jobs and each of them may have family to feed and to support," said Bong Revilla, author of Senate Bill 1981 that would provide a P125 daily across-the-board increase in the salary rates of employees and workers in the private sector.

The senator also pointed out the continuous price increase of basic products and utilities.. These include the LPG price per tank which increased from P 614 to P 721, electricity per kilowatt hour rose from P1.49 to P 1.64, water per cubic meter from P 33.42 to P 40.40, and NFA rice from P 25 to P27 per kilo. "Now what is the impact of this price increases to ordinary citizens? Gutom, kahirapan. Imagine you would now pay P107 more for an LPG tank and additional P 97 more or P 224 more if you consume 30 cubic meters of water. Research even shows that the daily income of jeepney driver's has fallen by more than P 340," he said.

Bong Revilla said that whatever the present administration has promised to the Filipino people is not the President's job alone. "There is so much work for all of us to do. All of us, public officials, are accountable as it is the government's responsibility to provide this to the people. Let us be united and do our share in making sure that the people are getting what is due them," he also said.

He added that there is no way to secure the country's future if government leaders will not fully address the socio-economic conditions of millions of ordinary citizens, "And in order to do this, let us heal the old wounds and shut the door behind us."

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