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Closing Remarks at the Partnerships Against Poverty Summit

10 October 2016

Partnerships Against Poverty Summit

SMX Convention Center, Pasay City

I was wondering how is everyone’s energy level today, I was walking around after lunch I was looking for our Mayors and he was seated here sa front. Ang sabi niya sa akin, may bentahan pa sa likod.

When Geo-Ann was speaking we only had 507 pledges but I guess we’ll have 560 pledges now, tuluy-tuloy pa rin. Tuloy pa rin yung commitment setting.

I am sure this has been a tiring day for everyone. A tiring day for our Mayors who had to do their elevator spiels five times today, or even more.

If you could have seen yourselves like I saw you, while I was moving around earlier, you would really be extremely proud of yourselves, as I am.

Thank you very much for the gift of your time, for the gift of your vision, for the gift of your dedication, thank you also for the local government units and the development partners who took part in this Summit.

For the sectoral representatives, the youth groups, the academe, of course, my staff and our volunteers, let’s all give ourselves another round of applause.

Ang aking pong staff isang linggo nang walang tulog para dito sa event na ito.

One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It rivals our falls, it rivals our powdery beaches, the simplicity of our rural sunrises. That is because what I see are trustworthy local government officials focused, as I have said earlier, not on politics but on development.

We have carefully chosen them as our batch one, and builds hope in us. We also see hundreds, hindi pala, thousands of collaborators who are rearing to begin the hard work in transforming our communities.

Today is truly a momentous day. This is also the day we celebrate the creation of the local government code, and the day, the 9th year anniversary of the march of the Sumilao farmers.

So perhaps, just perhaps, it is not an accident that we are all here on this particular day. As I have said earlier, we now have our last count, we now have over 560 pledges from around 400 organizations and core individuals.

When I was coming in after lunch I heard Mayor Jay Gonzalez of Lambunao, Iloilo was moved to tears when someone committed to provide 73 play gardens for every barangay in his town. Kung hindi po ako nagkakamali, Philseven Foundation iyon.
In Taysan, Batangas, Vice Mayor Marianito Perez also shed some tears when some kindhearted individual committed to build classrooms and toilets with complete furnishing.

You have amazingly embraced the idea of collaboration. Prism, Phil-Ma and Phinma will be working together to construct a state college in Lubang, Occidental Mindoro.

And in Tinubaan, Negros Occidental, 188 IP elementary school children will get school supplies for the next 5 years.

These are just some examples of the beauty of collaboration that happened here. And this is just the beginning for Angat Buhay and for our partnerships. So please feel free to move the conversation forward.

Umpisa pa lang po ito. And if you find yourselves stuck in any way, our Office will be very happy to assist you and facilitate. As we keep in mind the transformation of Filipino families on the fringes of society, it is easier to set aside anything that sets us apart.

It is easier to work together to build bridges. It is my hope, of a vision of a Filipino family, healthy, educated, empowered and lifted up from poverty will bring us all together.

I am happy to tell you the magic has already begun even before the Summit. Two weeks ago, we went to an IP community in Pola, Mindoro to listen to their struggles. One item on their wish list was electricity.

Wala pang kuryente sa taas ng bundok. We discussed this with our partners. One offered to help, that Saturday, our team led by my Chief of Staff Undersecretary Philip Dy were able to provide solar kits to 25 households residing in barangay Tulingan and Munting Cacao.

Each kit contains a battery that can last up to 5 to 6 hours that can power three lamps, a transistor radio, and cellphone charging. So last weekend, 25 Mangyan family enjoyed their first experience with electricity.

We are very much grateful to our donors and our partners who continue to give poor families hope and who continue support the anti poverty programs of our office and Pola Mayor Leandro Panganiban who is here.

It is these kinds of development that prove that the Filipino spirit is undeniably strong, that it is resilient; we find things to laugh about after storms. We play basketball in flooded courts.

We have been through financial storms and we have been through political storms and we have prevailed.

We can rise above everything even divisiveness as the Indian philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen said, “Nor let us be resentful when others differ from us. For all men have hearts and each heart has its own leanings.”

At this time our growth as a nation will depend on how we strive to live peacefully despite different leanings. Most importantly, we can rise above poverty.

Development is the only thing that will truly give our people freedom but we must go beyond intentions.

We must move from talking to doing. And if you ever discouraged in the wee hours of the morning wondering if you can do much good by just you, remember that as an individual, you can spark change.

Because we are what society becomes. Our collective acts of empathy and tolerance are the things that will fuel our country’s journey towards progress.

Let us keep our eyes on the ball.

Never losing hope, never wary of doing good, never growing tired of loving this country we call home.

Maraming salamat po.

Magandang hapon muli at mabuhay tayong lahat!

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