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    Posted July 31, 2014 by

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    Philippines to push social reforms

    THE administration of President Benigno Aquino III remains focused on carrying out reforms and solving the country's problems, and is not giving priority to politics, a Philippine official said Thursday.
    "The President is focusing on the implementation on reforms and public service in his last 13 months. He’s setting aside politics," Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said during a press conference in Malacañang.
    Coloma was commenting on speculations that the President’s mention of Vice President Jejomar Binay in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) could mean that he is endorsing the latter for the 2016 presidential election.
    On the 2015 budget submitted to Congress by the Executive branch, Coloma said the Palace will not influence lawmakers, especially regarding funding programs in their respective districts.
    He said the administration remains committed to the principle of adhering to the Straight Path being championed by the Aquino government.
    "It’s very clear that the President is on the straight path," Coloma said in response to comments that with a huge allocation at the President's discretion, he could influence lawmakers, especially with regards to the construction of projects in their respective districts.
    The Palace will also not politicize the budget approval and will solely use the 2015 National Budget to improve the lives of the people, he noted.
    Critics have said that the administration might use the huge allocation from the national budget for political ends.
    In response, Coloma said: "The theme of our budget is ‘Kaunlaran para sa lahat’ (Progress for all). In English it’s inclusive growth.”
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