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Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo - Fourteenth President

Fourth President of the Fourth Republic (1986 Constitution)

Maria Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (April 5, 1947) is the fourteenth president of the Philippines. Arroyo is the country's second female president, and the daughter of late former Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal.
A professor of economics, Arroyo entered government in 1987, serving as assistant secretary and undersecretary of the Department of Trade and Industry upon the invitation of President Corazon Aquino. After serving as a senator from 1992 to 1998, she was elected to the vice presidency under President Joseph Estrada, despite having run on an opposing ticket. After Estrada was accused of corruption, she resigned her cabinet position as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development and joined the growing opposition to the president, who faced impeachment. Estrada was soon forced from office by peaceful street demonstrations, and Arroyo was subsequently sworn into the presidency on January 20, 2001. She was elected to a full six-year presidential term and was sworn in June 30, 2004.

She pursued a Master's Degree in Economics at the Ateneo de Manila University (1978) and a Doctorate Degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines (1985). From 1977 to 1987, she held teaching positions in different schools

  • Assistant Professor, Ateneo de Manila University (1977-87)
  • Chair, Economics Dept, Assumption College (1984-87)
  • Professor, UP School of Economics (1977-87)
  • Professor, Maryknoll College
  • Professor, St. Scholastica's College

Arroyo was invited by then President Corazon Aquino to enter public service:

  • Assistant Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry; 1987-89
  • Executive Director, Garments and Textile Export Board; 1988-90
  • Undersecretary, Department of Trade and Industry; 1989-92
  • Senator (9th Congress), 1992-1998
  • Chairman, UP Economic Foundation (1994-1998)
  • Executive Director, Philippine Center for Economic Development (1994-1998)
  • Member, Presidential Task Force on Tax and Tariff Reforms (1994-1998)
  • Member, Technical Working Group of the Philippine National Development Plan for the 21st Century (Committee on National Framework for Regional Development and Macroeconomics Framework for Development Financing)
  • Vice President of the Philippines (30 June 1998-20 January 2001) concurrently Secretary of Social Welfare and Development, July 1998-October 2000

Arroyo considered a run for the presidency in the 1998 election, but later sought the vice-presidency as the running mate of its presidential candidate, House Speaker Jose de Venecia, Jr. Though de Venecia lost to popular former actor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Arroyo won the vice presidency by a large margin, garnering more than twice the votes of her closest opponent, Estrada's running mate Senator Edgardo Angara.

Arroyo began her term as Vice President on June 30, 1998. Historically, she was the first and only to date female Vice President of the Philippines. She was appointed by Estrada to a concurrent position in the cabinet as Secretary of Social Welfare and Development.

Arroyo resigned from the cabinet in October 2000, distancing herself from President Estrada, who was accused of corruption and later impeached.

On January 20, 2001, after days of political turmoil and popular revolt, the military and the national police withdrew their support for Estrada. At noon, Arroyo was sworn in as President of the Philippines by Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr.

Arroyo, a practicing economist, has made the economy the focus of her presidency. Economic growth in terms of gross domestic product has averaged 5.0% during the Arroyo presidency from 2001 up to the first quarter of 2008. This is higher than previous recent presidents when compared to the 3.8% average of Aquino, the 3.7% average of Ramos, and the 2.8% average of Joseph Estrada. The Philippine economy grew at its fastest pace in three decades in 2007, with real GDP growth exceeding 7%. Inflation during the Arroyo presidency has been the lowest since 1986, averaging 2.5%.

Arroyo's handling of the economy has earned praise from observers including former US President Bill Clinton, who praised Arroyo for making "tough decisions" that put the Philippine economy back in shape.

However, critics such as the managing director of the World Bank, Juan Jose Daboub, criticized the administration for not doing enough to curb corruption and poverty reduction.

Arroyo's presidency is mired in numerous scandals including allegations of vote rigging in the 2004 presidential elections where Arroyo was re-elected by beating popular actor Fernando Poe Jr by more than a million votes and allegations of corruption in National Broadband Network Scandal. Her authority was challenged by the Oakwood Mutiny of 2003 and the Manila Peninsula "rebellion" of 2007

In 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, impeachment complaints were filed against President Arroyo although none of the cases reached the required endorsement of 1/3 of the members for transmittal to and trial by the Senate.

On June 30, 2010. she turned over the Presidency to President Benigno Aquino III.

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