More expectationsCebu Daily News
A general outline was given by President Benigno Aquino III of his administration’s achievements, accompanied in part with comparisons to his unlamented predecessor’s record.
This was inevitable given the still brewing public contempt and undeniably glaring irregularities committed during Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s nine-year term.
The comparison took into account some of the programs started by Arroyo, including modified doleouts to the poor through the conditional cash transfer program ,which will be expanded next year.
His 90-minute speech was heavily laced in Tagalog, some of it pretty deep for the Bisaya-speaking south. P-Noy should give some thought to addressing the reality of a wider-speaking base of Bisdaks in the Visayas and Mindanao, and rehearse some sentences in Bisaya, if he really wants to symbolize unity in the archipelago.
And with a world watching this milestone – and the foreign direct investment the government is so determined to go after – the wider audience should encourage him to show he is indeed articulate in English.
Somewhere in that long speech, it would have been good to acknowledge as a bright light, Cebu’s continuing strength in tourism arrivals and rapid growth as a BPO nexus, which, combined with Metro Manila, has allowed the Philippines to surpass India as the BPO global destination of choice.
Cebu had to be content with a passing reference to the development of the Mactan Cebu International Airport as part of the country’s aggressive tourism campaign.
Like his predecessor, Mr. Aquino took time to mention by name his Cabinet people and allies in government who aided him in his “matuwid na daan” (straight path) program of clean, good governance.
It’s a political tradition to brag . If done in a campaign rally, it would have come across as grandstanding, but one has to give credit where credit is due.
Speaking of EPAL, a large, black and white mural was unveiled near the venue showing key members of Congress who took part in the impeachment trial of former chief justice Renato Corona, as if they were heroes to be crowned. That was not in the best of taste.
Clearly this is EPAL, even if you don’t hear the sirens wailing.
Aquino left hanging issues like his stand on the Reproductive Health Bill. He pushed for“responsible parenthood” that perhaps drew the loudest applause mostly from legislators pushing for the RH Bill but it remains open for interpretation by the Catholic Church, an institution he doesn’t trifle with, knowing its uncompromising stand for natural family planning.
Aquino’s declaration that the country is now “open for business under new management” has echoes of former president Fidel V. Ramos’s pronouncement that the country “is back in business” following the nightmarish power shortage that hounded his predecessor, President Aquino’s late mother Corazon C. Aquino.
The country may excuse P-Noy for repeated references to his predecessor’s record, but midway through his term, it’s performance that counts.
Filipinos expect a lot more of his administration in the next three years.
More from this Column:
- For Cebu City in three years
- Plugging the holes
- Fall of (some of ) Cebu’s old guard
- Enhancing notoriety
- Peace must reign in polls