DBM Secretary Amenah Pangandaman visited BulSU

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Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman assured the people of Aurora of the government’s continued support as she attended as Guest of Honor during the celebration of the 21st Anniversary of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day and 125th Anniversary of the Historic Siege of Baler on 30 June 2023 in Baler, Aurora.

The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day was promulgated in 2003, under Republic Act No. 9187, or the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day Act, authored by the late Senator Edgardo J. Angara (SEJA).

“It is also especially meaningful for me to honor this Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day as I also consider this a tribute to SEJA—a great legislator, leader, and to my mind and many others— a hero in his own right. He was my mentor and my personal hero, as it was at his office that I started my career in public service, as a policy researcher and then Chief-of-Staff when he was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance,” Secretary Pangandaman recalled.

Secretary Pangandaman also underscored that the rich culture, history, and developments in the areas of tourism, agriculture, health, and education, among others, have paved the way for the town’s growth over the years.

“I believe, everyone here today can attest to how Baler, Aurora, has grown, developed, and flourished over the years. And now, it is even considered one of the country’s thriving tourist destinations,” Secretary Pangandaman said.

In his message, Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara also lauded Secretary Pangandaman for ensuring that the country’s national budget will continue to prioritize important programs, such as shovel-ready investments in infrastructure projects, investments in human capital development, sustainable agriculture, and food security.

“Sec. Mina, thank you very much. I’m sure my father is very proud of how far you have come. You are one of the youngest members of the Marcos Cabinet. One of the few Muslims representing a very proud minority. He’ll be very proud of how you emphasized culture and history, and education, not only in words but also in action,” Senator Angara said.

“As you mentioned in your speech, the national expenditure program of the government will reflect these priorities. So what are we as a nation if we do not prioritize these important things which are crucial to human development–crucial to pushing forward this relationship with our friends and allies across the sea? So, salamat sa ‘yo, Secretary and to your team. Thank you. We pay tribute to you and you will always be welcome in Baler, in Aurora,” Senator Angara continued.

During the event, the Budget Secretary also commended the Spanish government and development partners for their support in various programs and projects of the Philippine government. These include the provision of COVID-19 vaccines for Filipinos and Spain’s heightened investment in various infrastructure projects, including railways and bridges all over the country.

“To our Spanish development partners, we express our deepest gratitude for your support and trust. Thank you for partnering with us and manifesting to us that you are here to invest and that you are here to support our endeavor toward a progressive Philippines,” Secretary Pangandaman said.

“We also call on the people of Baler to continue our efforts to enrich its history, culture, and identity. Because by doing so, you not only promote your municipality but also contribute to cultivating nationalism in the hearts of our fellow Filipinos. The DBM and the NHCP (National Historical Commission of the Philippines) are one with you. More than that, your very own Senator Juan Edgardo Angara is with you,” she added.