AUGUST 7, 2009 (OFFICE OF THE PRESS SECRETARY, MALACANANG) Congressman Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo (2nd district) surprised his mother, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, when he declared in front of a big audience in Barangay Sto. Tomas here that ”this is your home after your term.”

The young Arroyo also defended his mother from her critics, saying that “your projects especially on education, are your best proof of good governance against them..”

Calling his mother “the best child of Pampanga,” Mikey praised the President for the 50 school buildings that have been constructed throughout the second district. “We will cherish them for the rest of our lives.”

He cited the President’s state of the nation address where she said “for the economy to improve, we have to make investments in infrastructure like roads, bridges and most importantly, educational facilities and schools.”

The young Arroyo said it is not just important for the economy to improve but also “to nourish the intellect of the kapampangans through education.”

“Madam President, your town mates in Pampanga love you very much. This is your home after your term ends as President,” Mikey declared amidst loud applause and cheers from the crowd of mostly students. The President, though happy about it, was most visibly surprised.

“Here in Pampanga, we feel happy each time you visit us. Kahit anong bagyong hinaharap namin ay may pag-asa kami,” Mikey said.

Before her last stop at the Sto. Tomas Public School, the President motored to Barangay San Pedro to inspect the proposed barangay road upgrading and concreting project, where she also inspected the clean up and declogging of the roadside waterways by the Organized Youth Stewards of Rivers and Esteros (OYSTER).

Mikey accompanied his mother from Macabebe to Sasmuan. The President also had with her Education Secretary Jesli Lapus, Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo, Pampanga Board Member Catalina Bagasina, Sasmuan Mayor Nardo Velasco, PNP-Provincial Regional Officer 4 Director Nilo de la Cruz and PNP Pampanga Provincial Director Gil Lebin Jr.

The heavy rains forced President Arroyo to cut short her itinerary to three with the last event at the Sto. Tomas public school where she launched the 2009 stimulus fund school building program for the 2nd district of Pampanga.

She also issued the assignment orders of new policemen for Sasmuan namely PO1 Mark Ligaya, PO1 Fernando Gacusana, Jr., PO1 Amado Panlilio, PO1 Jojit Antimano and PO1 Mark Jundiel Simon.

GMA visits Pampanga anew By Ding Cervantes (The Philippine Star) Updated August 07, 2009 12:00 AM

SASMUAN, Pampanga, Philippines – Gov. Eddie Panlilio could only shrug his shoulders over President Arroyo’s latest visit to her district yesterday, and said it bolstered suspicion that she was aiming for a congressional seat.

The visit came a day after her arrival from a working visit to the United States.

“We just have to be prepared in case she runs for Congress in her district,” Panlilio said.

The province’s second district covers the President’s hometown in Lubao.

He said Mrs. Arroyo cannot be trusted to keep her word regarding her political plans for 2010, citing her reneging on a promise made on Rizal Day in 2002 that she would not run for president in 2004.

“We just should not be caught unawares,” he said.

Panlilio’s group has yet to decide on whether to support the possible candidacy of professor Randy David, who earlier announced his intention to challenge Mrs. Arroyo if she decides to run for Congress representing the second district.

Mrs. Arroyo also visited Macabebe town, which is part of the province’s fourth district, to launch the 2009 Stimulus Fund School Building Repair and Construction Program (SFSBRCP) in the town.

“The SFSBRCP forms part of the P10-billion economic stimulus fund allocated in the 2009 General Appropriations Act that aims to perk up the economy in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis,” the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) said.

“Of the P3-billion fund allocated for the SFSBRCP, P50 million will be distributed for the construction, repair and rehabilitation of classrooms in the fourth district of Pampanga that includes the municipalities of Macabebe, Masantol, Apalit, Sto. Tomas, Minalin and San Simon,” PIA said.

The President also distributed certificates of lot assignments to the beneficiaries of the San Antonio Housing Project of board member Catalina Bagasina in Barangay San Antonio in Macabebe.

In Sasmuan, heavy rains prompted the President to cancel her visit to Barangays Sta. Monica and San Pedro. She was supposed to lead in the groundbreaking of a bridge in Sta. Monica and inspect a site for a proposed barangay road upgrading in San Pedro.

The President also inspected the cleanup and de-clogging of the roadside waterways in Barangay San Nicolas by the Organized Youth Stewards of Esteros and Rivers or OYSTERS.

Also in San Nicolas, the President inaugurated the San Nicolas Second Municipal Road concreting project, and then motored to Barangay Sto. Tomas for the launching of the 2009 SFSBRCP in the second district amounting to P60 million.

Economic forum highlights PGMA's Cebu visit

MANDAUE, Cebu -- Poised to drive new economic initiatives in the country, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace this year's Philippine-Russian Business Forum to be held at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) here tomorrow.

The economic forum will be hosted by the Philippine-Russian Business Assembly, Incorporated (PRBAI), an organization that aims to better the economic relations between the two countries.

PRBAI represents the dynamic business ties between the Philippines and Russia and aims to further strengthen regional economic cooperation, build strong networks of key businesspeople, policymakers and innovators and visionaries, align new ideas with policies, and work towards the formation of vital linkages that streamline the investment protocols in both countries.

President Arroyo will address the assembly considered as one of several organizations that will help the country’s economic initiatives especially in Cebu.

Aside from the business forum, President Arroyo has a string of other activities here over the weekend.

She is set to lead the oath-taking of the new set of officers of the National Executive Council of hte Barangay Councilors League of the Philippines (BCLP).

She will also attend the wedding of Liloan, Cebu Mayor Vincent Franco Frasco and Atty. Ma. Esperanza Christina Garcia at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral together with Vice President Noli De Castro. The President and the Vice President will be the principal sponsors of the special event.

President Arroyo will leave Cebu Sunday to inspect her projects and programs in Leyte.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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