MANILA, Dec 20 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III played Santa Claus to 1,500 street children from Metro Manila by hosting a grand Christmas party at the grounds of Malacañang’s Kalayaan Hall on Wednesday.
The President laid out the red carpet for the street children, aged between six and 16 years old, by providing them with food, drinks and gifts of school supplies, Noche Buena food packs and various footgear, in order to bring the festivity of the Christmas season nearer to them.
In his speech, the President said his Administration was working towards improving the Filipino way of life by providing them, especially children, with opportunities they can take advantage of to bring prosperity into their lives.
He said he did not want the children to experience the dark feeling of despair and the oppressive curtailment of basic rights and privileges he and his family as well as countless other Filipinos experienced during the Martial Law years.
“Ayaw naming maulit pa sa inyo ang dinaanan naming pahirap at pasakit sa mga panahong iyon … kaya ginagawa namin ngayon ang lahat, hindi lang para magkaroon kayo ng magandang buhay bilang bata kundi upang maitaguyod din ang inyong magandang kinabukasan,” the President said.
“Tinutulungan namin ang inyong mga magulang na magkatrabaho, at arugain ang kalusugan ng inyong pamilya. Gusto naming paunlarin ang inyong kaalaman at magkaroon kayo ng maayos na hanap-buhay paglaki ninyo,” he added.
He said his government has poured in more resources to improve the education system in the country so that children like them can receive decent education that will be their tool to a better tomorrow.
“Kaya tinututukan namin ang mga classroom, textbook at ang buong sistemang edukasyon. Higit sa lahat, nagsisikap tayo para magkaroon ng katuparan at magkaroon ng kabuluhan ang malawakang pagbabago,” the President said.
He stressed it was the obligation of government to leave the state of the country better than it was when he first assumed the Presidency.
“…lahat ng ginagawa namin… hindi naman puro para maisaayos ang lumipas, ang ginagawa natin para maiayos ‘yung maganda at maisaayos lalo ‘yung kinabukasan dahil palagay namin obligasyon na iiwan ng ating bansa na ‘di hamak na mas maganda kaysa sa dinatnan namin,” the President said.
“At kapag ’yon po ay napagtulung-tulungan natin ay palagay ko kumpleto na kami at masaya na kami sa aming naging buhay basta kayo po ay umunlad at umasenso,” he added.
Joining the President were Social and Welfare Development Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Cabinet Secretary Jose Almendras, Higher Education Chair Patricia Licuanan, Peace Process Chair Teresita Deles and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Joel Villanueva. (MNS)