MANILA, JUNE 21, 2007 (STAR) By Paolo Romero - The “legacy phase” of the Arroyo administration has started, ushering in the last three years of economy-focused governance where Filipinos will enjoy the benefits of implemented reforms.

President Arroyo announced the shift in her administration during her lunch meeting with editors and heads of media organizations, including radio, television and print agencies, in Malacañang along with selected Cabinet officials.

“We begin a new phase of my administration which is the legacy phase and we’d like to share with you what we’d like to do going forward, to ask for your support so that we can achieve all the things that we want to do in the next three years,” Mrs. Arroyo said in her opening statement.

She said one of the things that allowed the Philippines to achieve a 6.9 percent growth in the first quarter, along with record performances of the stock market and the peso, was her administration’s focus on the economy.

She also noted that unemployment and underemployment went down in the last six years coinciding with the unprecedented increase in local and foreign investments.

“We’ll continue our total focus on the economy. I try my best not to be distracted, so we’re continuing this kind of work ethic or mindset,” Mrs. Arroyo told the gathering of editors, station managers and publishers.

Among those present were Marichu Villanueva, news editor of The Philippine STAR, Isagani Yambot, publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jun Icban of the Manila Bulletin, Vic Agustin of Manila Standard Today, Al Pedroche of Ang Pilipino STAR Ngayon, Butch del Castillo of Tanod, Robert Roque of Tempo, Ariel Borlongan of Balita, Maria Ressa and Chari Villa of ABS-CBN, Grace de la Peña of GMA-7, Ed Lingao of ABC-5, Joey Isabelo of NBN-4, Pal Marquez of RPN-9, Bob del Rosario of IBC-13, Art de Guzman of NET-25 and dzEC, Angelo Palmones of dzMM, Mike Enriquez of dzBB, Andy Vital of dzRH, Ely Saludar of RMN/dzXL, and Rey Langit of dwIZ.

Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye and Presidential Management Staff chief Secretary Cerge Remonde in separate statements said now that the government has enough plans and revenues, the Arroyo administration will concentrate on implementing long-delayed projects.

“The President has repeated in our Cabinet meetings that we already have existing plans, so we should stop these unnecessary planning and concentrate on implementing projects, otherwise the people will not feel the benefits of our economic reforms,” Bunye said.

The two officials said even the harshest critics of the Arroyo administration cannot dispute that the country has seen 24 consecutive quarters of economic growth.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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