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President Benigno S. Aquino III lauded non-government organizations as
partners of government in nation-building and development during rites
commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Caucus of Development
Non-Governmental Organization (CODE-NGO) Networks held in Quezon City on 22 November 2012.

In his speech keynoting the event, the President called the civil society
organization-members of CODE-NGO as “pillars of good governance” who act as
“bridges” connecting the people and government through their active
participation in his administration’s reform program.

He said that NGOs serve as the eyes and ears of government in getting the
pulse of the nation and how to effectively address its needs and wants.

“Isa po sa mahalagang bunga ng mapayapang rebolusyon sa EDSA ang             pag-usbong ng ating Non-Government Organizations. Sa pagbagsak ng diktadurya, bumangon ang kalayaan sa pamamahayag at lumawak ang pakikibahagi ng mamamayan sa mga isyung panlipunan. Dito tumingkad ang diwa ng sama-samang pagkilos upang maisakatuparan ang mabubuting adhikain para sa bayan,” the President said.

“Sa ating administrasyon, isa kayong matibay na haligi ng mabuting
pamamahala. Mga mata kayong nagbabantay laban sa katiwalian; mga taingang nakikinig sa suliranin ng taumbayan; at mga tinig na inihahayag ang
saloobin ng mga naisasantabi sa lipunan,” he added.

This year’s celebration coincides with the holding of CODE-NGO’s 5th
Congress themed “Breaking Barriers in Civil Society’s Constructive
Engagement for Development.”

It is considered the largest gathering of civil society leaders in the
country, which includes six national networks and six regional networks,
representing more than 1,600 development NGOs, peoples’ organizations and
organizations nationwide and serves as the culmination of CODE-NGO’s 20
years of influencing public policy and contributing to increasing the
effectiveness of civil society’s social development work in the country.

CODE-NGO holds its Congress every 5 years, to evaluate its work for the
past years and set its directions for the future. This year’s congress will
approve the coalition’s Strategic Plan for the next five years.

Joining the President were Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad,
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman, CODE-NGO chair
Andrea Patricia Sarenas and Peace Process Secretary Teresita Deles.###

(Source:  Presidential Communications Office)