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Lay down economic roadmap for Year 2, Noy urged

11 July 2011 No Comment

By Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) Updated July 01, 2011 12:00 AM

 

Manila, Philippines – An ally and partymate of President Aquino in the Liberal Party (LP) urged him yesterday to lay down his economic roadmap for his next 12 months in office.

“Let us be fair. P-Noy should be measured based on what he set out in his first SONA (State of the Nation Address in July last year),” House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III said.

“P-Noy inherited the biggest budget deficit, the ‘land mines’ in the different departments and agencies and the corruption that was embedded,” Tañada said.

“We can check what the President promised to do in his 2010 SONA, what we accomplished together, and look forward at what he plans in the 2011 SONA,” he added.

Tañada urged his party’s titular head to be “bolder” in his next SONA by laying down his “roadmaps,” including one on how his government plans to achieve economic growth.

“The 2010 SONA is basically a ‘where we are, what do we have, how can we address the land mines.’ He should be bold in his next SONA. He can spell out the road maps, showing what kind of economic paradigm does he believe in. He should come out with his economic beliefs and visions,” he said.

He said Aquino’s campaign promises are “for his whole administration, from 2010 to 2016.”

“Whether his administration succeeded or not is for history to judge,” he said.

The President’s other House allies advised him to use his “great political capital” to harness public support for his programs.

“The country is blessed with great political capital of a P-Noy presidency. Political capital is still just capital if not spent on a timely basis – with prudence and integrity,” Ang Kasangga sa Kaunlaran party-list Rep. Teodorico Haresco said.

“Moreover any president, however multi-talented and multi-tasked he may be, needs advisers and mentors from those who have been there,” he said.

“We still see a multitude of those who mouth adherence to daang matuwid (straight path) yet do otherwise,” Haresco said.

Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas, chairman of the House committee on good government and public accountability, said Aquino is on the right track and that his “honesty and dedication to serve public good is really beyond question.”

“The President might need some adjustments with respect to his public relations skills and his communications people might need to work harder to bring across the message of reform which is the core foundation of the Aquino administration but overall, the President has done excellently well in achieving much of his campaign commitments,” Treñas said.

Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento said Aquino has done “extremely well” in his first year as president and has remained true to his commitment to good governance.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, for his part, said it was unfair for some groups to rate Aquino poorly. He said Aquino’s having kept an image untainted with corruption was accomplishment enough.

“What is important is the trust of the people: seven out of 10 still trust the President. After one year, he was not involved in graft and corruption. You cannot attribute even one incident of corruption to President Noynoy. That is one achievement that he has,” Binay said.

In Legazpi City, Sen. Francis Escudero lashed out at opposition leader Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman for declaring that Filipinos made a mistake in electing Aquino.

“We have to understand the position of Congressman Lagman our kababayan as a minority floor leader. He is obliged to criticize President Aquino but the answer is simple if we ask, Look who’s talking,” Escudero said.

“We know the sins of GMA and we have been suffering since 2000 which is too long compared to President Aquino’s one year in office,” he said.

“Personally, the most important accomplishment of President Aquino is that he was able to bring back the respect, the trust and integrity of the Office of the President, the presidency and the president himself,” Escudero told reporters.

‘Better than average’

For the Makati Business Club (MBC), Aquino’s performance in the past 12 months was “better than average.”

In a statement yesterday, the MBC said Aquino and his administration deserve praise for laying the foundations of good governance.

“Many of the urgent tasks that the new government had to immediately address had to do with repairing the damage and unraveling the entrenched anomalous systems that the highly corrupt Arroyo administration had left behind,” the MBC said.

“Year One was appropriately a year for laying the foundations for good governance and setting our fiscal house in order to ensure that future gains would be sustainable and on solid footing,” the MBC added.

“We see that the Aquino administration’s fiscal reforms and implementation of policies that promote macroeconomic stability have inspired the confidence of the international investment community,” the MBC said.

“The highly successful issuances of long-term peso-denominated global bonds and the bond swap whereby nearly P200 billion of the country’s old debts were exchanged for new 10- and 25-year bonds were unprecedented and indicative of foreign investors’ optimism in the country’s long-term economic prospects,” it added.

In a telephone interview, MBC executive director Peter Angelo Perfecto said that while his group did not give the President a specific rating, his performance is “better than average.”

An area of concern is the reported factions in the Aquino Cabinet. “Everyone expressed concern over the factions. If it can be resolved then they can be more effective,” Perfecto stressed.

Unimpressed

Some prominent Roman Catholic bishops are unimpressed with Aquino’s performance in his first year in office.

“For me, I am still waiting for Aquino to be a true public servant. He does not have a total outlook of the Philippine society,” said Kalookan Bishop Deogracias Iniguez.

“For me, he is a failure from the time he declared himself a candidate. We do not know where his tuwid nyang daan is going,” said Lipa, Batangas Archbishop Ramon Arguelles.

“I am praying for him to be a good President. Please Lord convince him to be a good and prayerful President,” said Butuan Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, a known supporter of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Other prelates are more sympathetic. “Yes, President Aquino passed. Not excellent, not very good, but good. He needs to study and work hard,” said Cotabato Auxiliary Bishop Jose Colin Bagaforo.

Emeritus Novaliches Bishop Ted Bacani said Aquino should receive passing marks for his anti-corruption campaign.

Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teddy Casiño, meanwhile, gave Aquino a pasang awa or barely passing mark. “He needs lots of improvement. Much is expected of him by the public, but he lacks delivery,” he told a media forum in Dagupan City.

For the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM), the President deserved a “failing mark.”

In a statement, PM chair Renato Magtubo said they were “greatly disappointed with President Aquino’s performance, specifically for making the Philippine Airlines (PAL) the flag carrier of his labor contractualization policy and for perpetuating the country’s pro-capitalist economic policies.”

“P-Noy failed labor the very first day he assumed office and he continues to do so by making labor contractualization his major policy stand,” Magtubo said.

He advised the Aquino administration to “install social protection policies to prevent the vulnerable sectors of Philippine society from further impoverishment.”

ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio said the Aquino administration has not done enough to address “gut issues” besetting the country. He added that education has even worsened.

“While P-Noy received high approval ratings on such issues as fighting crime, enforcing the law equally among Filipinos, and improving the peace situation, he received conspicuously low approval ratings on what the administration was doing to control inflation at 39 percent and its campaign to reduce poverty at 40 percent,” Tinio said.

“These are literally the gut issues for the majority of Filipinos,” he said.

“In his platform of government, the so-called ‘Social Contract with the People,’ P-Noy claimed that his government would make education ‘the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.’ This was clearly belied by the conditions revealed when the new school year opened earlier this month,” Tinio said. – Paolo Romero, Elisa Osorio, Sheila Crisostomo, Mike Frialde, Jose Rodel Clapano, Celso Amo, Evelyn Macairan, Rhodina Villanueva, Cesar Ramirez

(Source: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=701501&publicationSubCategoryId=63)

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