RG: what’s best the thing about being Gloria Arroyo?
PGMA: i care
RG : do you think you achieved what you set out to do at the start of your presidency?
PGMA: when i became president i set out to focus on the economy and i believe I put the economy at the primacy of the country and that includes the need for education. and it’s important we focus and work hard to keep sights on the future and the focus on economy is there and i think it should remain there.
RG: 7.3% GDP how do you feel?
PGMA: i feel gratified and it only dramatizes indeed that the primacy of
economics is very strong in the life of a nation. this 7.3% growth is the
climax of what we did to put the economy first and the sacrifice we made to put all the physical and human infrastructure to allow us to make manufacturing revive big growth in exports, all that had to be done to make necessary sacrifices to make revenue, but as a result we have 9 years of uninterrupted growth and even in the midst of recession, we put the Philippines in the map in call center and bpo industry, we change skyline of metro manila with all modern skyscrapers and at the same time we also developed provinces, connected nation from north south east west through roro
transportation system. i like my president to be known as the time
we stabilized the economy, modernize economy and created new opportunities for people. modernizing country also includes modernizing electoral system which was the A in beat the odds.
RG your achievements came at a time of global crisis, you think the
economy would have performed better if not for recession?
PGMA: of course, remember before recession we were already growing 7% we would have continued growing at 7%, if recession didn’t happen, but now the world is recovering, even if it has not fully recovered, we’re back at 7%.
RG: how many years is the timetable?
PGMA: i don’t know, the recession is 2 years, so maybe 2 years and its
important to continue 7% growth rate so we will be first world in 20 years.
RG: of all your achievements, what is your favorite?
PGMA: i would say from what i hear from how people appreciate it’s the
unprecedented investments in infrastructures, but to be able to do that
we made sacrifices about raising revenues and even against naysayers and powerful who doesn’t prefer status quo. we have to raise revenue and that help reduce our debt burden which our debt to GDP ratio, it
allows us to invest infrastructure which is important to modernize the economy and allow us to raise credit ratings and that saved billions in interest payments.. all that lead to 9 years of uninterrupted growth.
RG: taxes, you think it was worth it?
PGMA: its a sacrifice but it’s the right thing to do for people, as
president, my father tells me you don’t become a president to enjoy, you
become president to make sacrifices for the people and to suffer it may
be and i did what I did for the people, i have no regrets.
RG: no regrets at all?
PGMA: i don’t want to focus on negatives, so in fact rather than
talking about regrets i like to thanks for opportunity to serve the
RG: who do you share credit for it?
PGMA: if i name all we wont finish, i don’t want to start naming and i
exclude many, its a joint effort, joint achievement, especially the Filipino
people who gave me opportunity to serve them
RG: how would you like to be modernize?
PGMA: as i said, id like to be remembered as one that stabilizes the
economy, fundamentalize the economy, stabilize the economy.
RG: lessons learned?
PGMA: the lesson is never give up, change is hard, be focused and as my father said don’t be there to enjoy but sacrifice, and suffer if need
RG: how different are you now from when you first came into office?
PGMA; I’m the same person, just older, little wiser, i have strong belief in the Filipino people, strong faith in God, and belief in the economy is the most important we have to attend to as leader of the Philippines.
RG: what kept you going?
PGMA: faith prayer and the characteristics of the Filipino people
which are all about an indomitable spirit.
RG: what would you like to change?
PGMA: i don’t like to dwell on the negatives, i don’t like to dwell on
what might have been. let me say, its sad the Philippines still is two
countries with same name. the one is Philippines whose economy is taking off, one s the Philippines whose political system is a hindrance to progress, i would have wish there are more willing to reform the political
RG: what has being president taught you?
PGMA: the opportunity and privilege to be hands on in what makes
difference on lives of country from economy, infra, health,
environment and difference in the lives of ordinary people, i think
we have changed that.
RG : what have you learned about the country?
PGMA: the economy is very much on its take off but the political system is a hindrance to progress, that’s what we need reforms.
RG: do you think you were sabotage by the political system
PGMA: the political system hindrance to progress.
PGMA: we have to remove part of the system that led to destructive
politics.. cleanse itself to programs of performance policy rather than
RG: was the automated poll a good start?
PGMA: that’s a very good start, I’m glad we were able to in the last
2 minutes achieve that odds, that’s biggest contribution so far to the
reform of the political system, that will do more for our political
system, do more to modernize the country than any change or person.
RG: are you happy with elections?
PGMA: i am happy that we’re able to modernize the electoral system, the real victor of a modernized system is the Filipino people.
RG: what about the presidency will you miss?
PGMA: i miss being with people all over the country but i look forward to being with my constituents in Pampanga.
RG: what won’t you miss?
PGMA: destructive politics of critics who offer no alternatives on
policies just destructive political noise.
RG: how do you feel that a critic will take over.
PGMA: i don’t what to focus on personalities.
RG: how did you stay strong?
PGMA: faith, prayer, characteristics of Filipino people. The indomitable spirit.
RG: what’s the best thing about being president?
PGMA: what I said earlier is being hands on to make a difference in the
lives of filipino people, education, health, environment and making
a difference in the lives of ordinary filipinos and we did that.
RG: what’s best thing about being gloria arroyo?
PGMA: i care. I care about housewife who has to care about her
children and carry a burden of raising children. i care about farmers who feed family and nation. i care about students who hope after
graduation he’ll have a job in the country and opportunities. i care about
padre de familia who does not have regular work. i care about ofws
whose fame is spread all over the world, and sends money back home for family, i care about those affected by global crisis. i care.
RG: do you care about critics?
PGMA: of course, i wish they go beyond destructive politics and delve
into what could be good for future of country, the programs we can do.
RG: describe Gloria arroyo in one word
PGMA: focus, if you want another word tough, if you want another word
RG: what about the future should filipinos prepare for?
PGMA: they should try to develop strong middle class, good education
and develop entrepreneurial spirits.
RG: where do you see self several years from now?
PGMA: still working for the country
RG: how much do you love your country?
PGMA: next only to god. That’s how i love the the country
RG: what’s best about being filipino?
PGMA: oh, as I said indomitable spirit, our optimism, sense of humor,
faith in God, religiosity.
RG: what’s your last message?
PGMA: focus on what we have done to do in order to bring our country to sustain development, work hard, and try to have a good education for
individuals, for policy makers try to achieve good educational system
because we have worked hard for future.
RG: words to successor?
PGMA: i have none, i don’t give unsolicited advice, i just wish my
successor all the success.
(END OF INTERVIEW)