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[PHOTO AT LEFT - SALUTING THE COLORS--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo salutes the Philippine colors during the110th Philippine Independence Day celebration Thursday (June 12) at the National Monument in Rizal Park, Manila. With the President is Lt. Gen. Alexander B. Yano, AFP Chief of Staff. (Edwin Paril-OPS-NIB Photo)]

MANILA, June 12, 2008 (MALACANANG) Instead of the usual grand parade, the government chose today to commemorate the country’s 110th year of independence from colonial rule by investing in “service to the poor” projects.

In her speech keynoting the event held at the Rizal Park this morning, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said this move is in line with this year’s Independence Day theme, “Republic Service, Tungo sa Ganap na Kalayaan at Kaunlaran.”

“This year we have decided that in keeping with how we are trying to conserve our resources so that we can give direct service to the people during this period of high world prices of oil and food, we have decided to dispense with the parade and use the budget instead to give direct service to the poor,” the President said.

“Kaya binibigyang diin ang tema na ‘to, ang nangingibabaw na tungkulin ng ating pamahalaan na paglingkuran ang mamamayan upang mabigyan ng katubusan ang mahaba nating pakikibaka para sa kalayaan at upang magkaroon ng kaganapan ang pambansang kaunlaran,” she added.

Indeed, this year’s commemoration of the Philippines’ Independence Day was marked with an array of projects, programs and lots and lots of kiosks offering livelihood projects which the people could avail of.

And in the middle of it all is the Sentro K3 (Kaisahan, Kagalingan at Kalayaan ng Bayan), a showcase of job fairs, sports and cultural activities, medical assistance, technology transfer seminars and demonstrations, which the President formally opened today.

Aside from the above-mentioned programs, the Sentro K3 also showcases agri-aqua fairs and exhibits and other special services and assistance extended directly to the people by various government agencies participating in the event.

Specifically, the programs under the Sentro K3 are:

• MSME (micro, small and medium enterprise) booths: Offer MSME services, award microfinance checks to beneficiaries and training scholarships to the people. • Ang Galing-galing Natin: A showcase where all participating government agencies provide interesting exhibits cum lectures and audio-visual shows about government programs. • Bayan Ko, Lapit sa Puso Ko: A pro-poor program where all participating government agencies provide services to the public, including jobs, housing, health and investments. • Wow, Pinoy Ngayon: A showcase of Filipino talents in sports, entertainment, sciences and culture. • Food Trips: The best of Filipino food at affordable prices, will food stalls strategically located in and around the venue. • Lakad-Aral sa Liwasan: Free park tours for visitors. • One Town One Product (OTOP): A program of the Department of Trade and Industry promoting the best of Philippine products form the different regions of the country.

The President personally visited these stalls after her speech to get a first-hand look at the kind of services being offered to the people.

Serbisyo sa dukha ang ipinalit sa makulay na parada na kinagawian sa pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Kalayaan

[PHOTO AT LEFT - RIZAL PARK FLAG-RAISING RITES--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leads the flag-raising ceremony during the celebration of the 110th Philippine Independence Day Thursday (June 12) at the Rizal (Luneta) Park, Manila. Assisting the President (from right) are: Secretary Jesli Lapuz of the Department of Education; Cong. Amado Bagatsing, 5th District of Manila; Bienvenido Abante, 6th District of Manila; Mayor Alfredo Lim of Manila, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, and Cong. Mary Anne Susano of Quezon City, 2nd District. (Edwin Paril/OPS-NIB Photo)

Sa halip ng karaniwang makulay na parada ang tampok ng pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Kalayaan sa taong ito ay tinampukan ng mga proyekto ng serbisyo sa mahihirap sa iba-ibang dako ng bansa at ang sentro pa rin ay ang Rizal Park sa Maynila.

Sa talumpati ng Pangulong Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo kaninang umaga sa Rizal Park pagkatapos itaas ang watawat ng Pilipinas, sinabi niya na ang pagdiriwang sa taong ito ay naaayon sa diwa ng Araw ng Kalayaan sa taong ito na “Republic Service, Tungo sa Ganap na Kaunlaran.”

Sinabi ng Pangulo na binibigyang diin sa tema ng pagdiriwang ang tungkulin ng pamahalaan na paglingkuran ang mamamayan upang mabigyang katubusan ang malaon na nating pakikibaka para sa kalayaan at upang magkaroon ng katuparan ang pambansang kaunlaran.

Ang pagdiriwang ng Araw ng Kalayaan sa taong ito ay tinampukan ng mga proyekto at programa at mga kiosks na nagg-aalok ng proyekto sa kabuhayan para sa taong bayan.

Sentro K3 (Kaisahan, Kagalingan at Kalayaan ng Bayan) ang tampok na mga job fairs, gawaing pampalakasan, kultural, tulong medikal, technology transfer seminars at mga demostrasyong ang Pangulo ang nagbukas kaninang umaga.

Ang mga programa sa ilalim ng Sentro K3 ay ang sumusunod:

• Booths ng MSME (micro, small at medium enterprise) na nag-aalok ng mga serbisyo ng MSME, nagbibigay ng microfinance checks sa mga benepisiyaryo at training scholarships sa taong bayan. • Ang Galing-galing Natin: nagpapakita ng exhibits at lecture at audio-visual shows ng mga programa ng pamahalaan. • Bayan Ko, Lapit sa Puso Ko: programa para sa dukha na kalahok ang mga ahensiya ng gobyerno na nagbibigay ng trabaho, pabahay, kalusugan at pamumuhunan sa madla. • Wow, Pinoy Ngayon: tampok ang kakayahang Pilipino sa palakasan, libangan, agham at kultura. • Food Trips kung saan mabibili ang pagkaing Pilipino sa abot-kayang halaga mula sa mga tindahan. • Lakad-Aral sa Liwasan: Libreng pagbibiyahe sa parke para sa mga panauhin. • One Town, One Product (OTOP), programa ng Kagawaran ng Kalakal at Industriya na nagsusulong ng pinakamagagandang pro-duktong Pilipino buhat sa iba-ibang rehiyon ng bansa.

Tiningnan ng Pangulo ang mga stalls na ito at ang serbisyong ibini-bigay sa taong bayan pagkatapos ng talumpati niya.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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