Mekong II Restaurant, Vientiane, Lao PDR
4 November 2012

More than 200 members of the Filipino community in Lao People’s Democratic Republic warmly welcomed President Benigno S. Aquino III and the rest of the Philippine delegation on their first day of visit to Vientiane.

The President is among the 32 Heads of State and Government plus other high-level officials representing the ASEM member countries that will participate in the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 9) from 5-6 November 2012 at the National Convention Centre.

In his message, President Aquino enumerated the reforms and programs that his government is implementing that are slowly transforming the state of the country. Among these are the 85 percent of the Philippine population enrolled in PhilHealth compared to the 62 percent in the previous administration, and the 5.2 million poorest households identified by the National Household Targeting System that can now avail of PhilHealth services.

He cited the newly built underpass in Araneta and Quezon Avenue that was originally estimated to cost P694 million. “Nang makumpleto po ni Secretary Singson ang proyekto, hindi lamang ito 100 days ahead of schedule, ang inabot lang po nating gastos: 430 million pesos. Ang mahigit 260 million pesos po na natipid natin dito, dagdag pa ang 11.3 billion pesos nilang savings dahil sa tamang paggugol ng pondo, magagamit na natin ngayon para sa iba pang makabuluhang proyekto. Ito na nga po ang tinatawag nating ‘tuwid na daan’ – ang benepisyo, diretso sa tao, at hindi sa bulsa ng kung sino,” the President said.

The Chief Executive also informed his kababayans of the recent signing between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the 2012 Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro that is seen to bring just and lasting peace in Mindanao.

There are about 550 Filipinos working and residing in Laos. Majority of them are professionals and highly regarded in their respective fields – mining, teachers, garments industry, engineers, consultants, nurses, accountants, hotel, restaurant and office workers.

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