Monday, September 1, 2008
Message from President Felipe Calderón as Part of the Second State of the Union Address
Living better means that the
most disadvantaged families will be able to cover their basic needs and be prepared to succeed on the basis of their efforts.
Through the Oportunidades (Opportunities)
Program, we will support the integral development of five million families, in other words, one out of every four Mexicans.
Oportunidades helps them by giving cash to the poorest families so that they can put food on the table, and supporting them
with other expenses such as their children's school supplies and uniforms, in addition to helping them protect their health.
In order to help these families
cope with the high cost of living, this year we have increased the amount of money received by the poorest families. Now,
each of these over five million families receives an average of $655 pesos a month, in other words 22% more than they used
to receive monthly.
Thanks to Oportunidades, children
in rural areas are now better educated and fed, there are more indigenous youths in high school, and more women promoting
Living better also means urgently
dealing with the demands of those that inhabit the country's most backward regions. Through the Hundred Percent Strategy
we are investing as never before in the services of 125 municipalities that are the most marginalized in Mexico.
The amount of investment accumulated
during the first two years of government will exceed $12 billion pesos, in other words, three times more than that invested
in the previous two years. With these resources, we are taking safe drinking water to over 900 communities that previously
lacked this service, improving the network of country roads, building drainage systems, and expanding coverage of the electricity
We are also making a great effort
to replace the dirt floors in the poorest families' homes. We want to change those dirt floors for cement floors. During this
administration we have installed over 100,000 cement floors throughout the country, with another 370,000 being scheduled for
Living better involves helping
senior citizens in the countryside. It is unfair that after having worked so hard during their lifetime they should have to
spend their old age in penury and uncertainty.
Through the 70 and Over Program,
we are giving a thousand pesos every two months to senior citizens to help them get by.
Living better also means supporting
women, particularly those that are heads of household. During this administration, we have opened up 7,400 Children’s
Daycare Centers, where over 200,000 Mexican children are being looked after and as a result of these centers, 184,000 mothers
have been able to join the work force.
The Daycare Centers for a New
Generation are also a source of work in themselves, since they have so far enabled 40,000 women to obtain an income by looking
after their neighbors' children.
Living better means helping families
buy their own homes and accumulate assets, regardless of their income. During this administration we have helped by making
the down payments on houses for nearly 450,000 low-income families.
This support totals over 50,000
pesos per home and will enable them to purchase, build or improve their own homes.
Through the federal government’s
Living Better Strategy, Mexico seeks equal opportunities for all Mexican families, by improving their living conditions.
Rest assured that we will continue
to work intensely to construct a fairer future for you and your family, to construct a more humane Mexico, a Mexico with fully
sustainable human development, a Mexico without extreme poverty and one that provides health and education for all. A more
supportive, fairer and much more united Mexico – a Mexico in which we will all be able to live better.
Thank you for your attention.
Presidency of the Republic, August 29, 2008, Mexico City
Translation Presidency of the