Quantcast
Latest Stories

Time to act more like a President, Aquino urged

By

It’s time to act more like a President and less like P-Noy (President Aquino’s nickname).

According to consultant Peter Wallace, head of The Wallace Business Forum, President Aquino deserves high marks for his administration’s consistent fight against graft and corruption that has enhanced business confidence and made him a highly popular leader.

But much more needs to be done if the Philippines is to break through the poverty trap, and unfortunately, Mr. Aquino does not seem committed and enthusiastic enough to see these needed reforms through, putting his considerable political capital to waste, Wallace said.

According to Wallace, Mr. Aquino’s consistently high net satisfaction rating—at 68 percent as of end-August, according to the Social Weather Stations—has made him a very popular figure, and that popularity translates into coveted political capital.

“President Aquino can use that political capital to make tough, unpopular decisions. Why doesn’t he?” Wallace said at yesterday’s meeting to mark the business forum’s 30th anniversary.

Not enough

Wallace said during his presentation to business and government leaders that Mr. Aquino should realize that leadership was a full-time job, not just from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“It is time for him to do two jobs. He is the President, not P-Noy,” Wallace said.

According to the group’s latest Quarterly Perception Survey, while 68 percent of respondents said the President was doing a good/excellent job and that he was making tough decisions needed for reforms, 41.7 percent said the efforts “were not enough.”

There were also respondents who said the President was only giving  a “moderate effort” to support business and only “somewhat” aggressive in pushing for reforms needed to improve business conditions.

Wallace recommended that Mr. Aquino exercise his considerable political will to  get vital infrastructure built; spend the money the budget department had disbursed to spur economic growth; resolve the open-pit mining ban that had put a damper on mining activity; and upgrade the air safety ranking of the Philippines.

It is also important to quickly resolve the Maguindanao massacre case and other cases of extrajudicial killings.

Record jump

“Except for a couple of changes, the political will to get things done is lacking,” Wallace said.

Wallace, however, said that despite some shortcomings, business confidence and optimism that weren’t there under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo were now present and policy changes had taken place.

Bidding for government projects is now more transparent and competitive; handling of government-owned and -controlled corporations has been reformed; the budget for the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program has increased; and pocket open skies has been implemented, allowing airlines to freely land in airports outside Metro Manila.

Wallace also cited the improvement in the ranking of the Philippines in the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum by 22 places since 2009; an improvement in the ranking of the Corruption Perception Index; the record jump in the stock exchange composite index by 64 percent from the time Aquino came to power; credit rating upgrades; the increase in tourist arrivals; and an increase in rice output.

Trickle of investments

Improvements in the business environment, however, have been found wanting. The Philippines does not rank high in  ease of starting a business, global perceptions and trade logistics.

“It is business that is not getting the attention needed,” said Wallace.

This is reflected in part in the trickle of foreign direct investment (FDI). The Philippines so far only recorded $2.3 billion worth of FDI from 2011 to the first half of 2012, compared to

$57.4 billion in Singapore, $27.5 billion in Indonesia and $10.6 billion in Thailand.

Mr. Aquino is doing more reforms on the social front.

Wallace said the successful impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona had “strengthened him considerably” and that “could be the beginning of a true cleanup of many other scandals by his many other people.”

Mr. Aquino’s no “wang-wang” policy has also brought about important societal change.

Unsolicited advice

Wallace, however, stressed that sustaining the high approval rating could not be ensured as there were many factors that could bring it down.

These include the rise of hunger and poverty incidence; failure to address unemployment; disappointing implementation of the flagship public-private partnership (PPP) program; failure to address the Mindanao power shortage; and the defeat of administration candidates in the 2013 senatorial elections.

Former President Fidel Ramos, who was the guest of honor at the meeting, offered similar “unsolicited” advice to President Aquino, saying a president should work 25/8 and not just 24/7 because of the demands of the job.

“You have to juggle 10 balls at the same time and make sure that you do not drop any,” the 84-year-old Ramos said. “You have to do multitasking and you have to go down to the grassroots. You also have to market our economy abroad. That is my humble suggestion. At this point, it is take it or leave it.”

Ramos told the Inquirer that Filipinos should rally around Aquino to make sure he succeeded.

“The way I look at it, he is the skipper of our one and only ship, the MV Pilipinas, and we are all on board. So we must help the skipper and the crew,” Ramos said. “First we have to make sure the ship is seaworthy and going in the right direction and then strong enough to compete against other ships.”

Ramos said he would like Mr. Aquino “to act like a skipper and lead by example” as he seemed to be lacking in terms of motivation and commitment.

He said, however, that he was confident and optimistic about the country’s prospects under

Mr. Aquino. “Kaya natin ito! (We can do this),” Ramos said, flashing his familiar thumbs-up sign.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benigno Aquino , Government , Graft and Corruption , Peter Wallace , Politics




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Sports

  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement