A vacation looks good right about now–Aquino

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After close to three years in office, he longs for a quiet, stress-free vacation.

After an overnight stay at the Shangri-La Mactan, President Aquino said he woke up Friday morning to a refreshing sight: Tourists taking a dip in the sea or in the hotel pool.

“Then I remembered it’s really nice to be on vacation. It’s been a long time since I had one,” Mr. Aquino told local officials and residents of Toledo City during a pep talk Friday afternoon.

“It’s in the Labor Code, I’m entitled to one day a week. I told myself, I should file a suit. But against whom? I’m the Chief Executive; I might end up suing myself. It’s not going to happen,” he joked.

Toledo City was Mr. Aquino’s third stop in a hectic four-city swing through Cebu province last Friday to pitch for the Team PNoy senatorial candidates.

In his previous out-of-town speeches, the 52-year-old bachelor-President said he looked forward to the day he’d be traveling to the countryside—no longer as the country’s top CEO, but as a tourist, or even a honeymooner.

He revealed that he often gets reminders from Cabinet officials, especially Health Secretary Enrique Ona, to take some time off and go on a holiday.

Mr. Aquino then segued to the wonders that tourism could do to the local economy. He said that tourists had plenty to choose from, citing the many beaches and destinations in the province.

“So what if there are tourists? Well, the arrival of one tourist, especially from abroad, creates one job for a Filipino. There’ll be a need for a tourist guide, a place to stay and eat, and of course, somebody will craft souvenirs, among many other things,” he said.

To meet the influx of tourists, whose arrivals have been breaking records, Mr. Aquino said the government was upgrading the Cebu Mactan Airport to increase its capacity from 1.6 million travelers to 6.5 million a year.

“In short, we’re expanding your facilities to ensure convenience for the arriving tourists. We’re adding facilities to encourage more tourists to come here and bring more opportunities to the Filipinos,”  he said.

The initial phase of the expansion of the Mactan circumferential road was now undergoing bidding, and its original cost has been cut down from P300 million to P251 million, Mr. Aquino said.

Expensive lampposts

He then reminded the residents of the scandal that surrounded the 2006 purchase of P365-million worth of decorative street lamps for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Cebu the following year.

“Those were very expensive lampposts. If the Mactan circumferential road was constructed in 2006, it would have been finished in 2009 at the latest,” he said. The local tourism industry would have benefited from the road. “It’s clear no tourists would come here just to take a look at the lampposts. They don’t light up anymore, and, worse, some are even missing.”

The trick, the President, was to abide by the 5Rs:  Right project, right time, right price, right people and right reason.

“It should go through all this, not something else. If you ask me, I don’t have any ambition of landing in the Guinness World Records for having the most expensive lampposts in the world,” he quipped.

He then made a pitch for Hilario Davide III and acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale, candidates for governor and vice governor, respectively, among other local officials,  saying that they were his partners in governance.

“My job is tough—I know you know this. We have a problem in the Philippines, and beyond. We have an estimated OFW community of 10 million. If there’s piracy in Somalia, it’s likely a Filipino has been held hostage,” he said.

On May 13, Mr. Aquino said, the people have two choices: Side with change or stick with the old system.

“This is just my appeal: Let’s speed up the momentum of change in our country because in 2016, perhaps around 11 a.m. of June 30, 2016, we will step down from office. I would like any Filipino to look back and together we’ll say: ‘The Philippines has changed a lot,’” he said.

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  • Maldi2

    Mr. President, indeed you need one. Though not perfect, we know that you’ve been working hard to eradicate corruption. We salute you for that. We understand your nobility of changes. As long as you are doing it right, without shortcut that at times disregarding basic fundamental laws, you’ll have our 100% support.

    Often you’re concentrated on the outside forces and environment. Specially to your critics and those that basically whom you don’t like. Try to look inside your fence also. There are still a lot of crooks, be its in the Executive and Legislative Offices, who one way or the other just simply riding on your “TUWID NA DAAN”.

    Ika nga, pag di mo sinisilip at tatauhan ang sarili mong bahay, siguradong maraming anay dyan!

  • speaksoftlylove

    Honestly?

    “Kulot” deserves a permanent vacation. What do you think Sec. Ona, sir?

    • mekeni62

      you mean retirement? not a bad idea.

    • shane oy

      Yeah and should put erap or gma instead right?
      /end sarcasm.

      • speaksoftlylove

        try mo si joshua baka mas ok pa, right? /start of sarcasm.

  • Kristoffer Atienza

    “…perhaps around 11 a.m. of June 30, 2016, we will step down from office. I
    would like any Filipino to look back and together we’ll say: ‘The
    Philippines has changed a lot,’” he said.

    Sir, it already has and it now depends on every Filipino to make something out of it.

    Thank you, this early, sir.

    • NAGMAMARUNONG

      ‘WAG NAMAN SANANG SI BINAY ANG SUSUNOD NA PANGULO! PANG-GULO PWEDE.

  • Carol Lee

    Magbabakasyon ang presidente kasi talagang napagod sa pag campaign. entitled 1 day a week vacation, Kung Gannon 4 days a week na lang ang campaigning days niya.

  • kilabot

    as if he’s not already doing it
    paid for by taxpayers.

  • disqusted0fu

    What?! Pnoy has been pretty much vacationing the whole time! especially since the campaign period has started. What other things aside from campaigning for his bets has he done?! Even at the peak of issues like the crisis in Sabah and the exposed oil smuggling along with many others, Pnoy still chose to campaign for his team, which is practically a vacation for a President of a country.

  • disqusted0fu

    Pnoy is full of rhetoric. Sadly, most of what he says are unrealistic. If you think about it, the only “significant” thing that he’s done so far is the “no wang-wang”, other than that, the rest are just for his recognition and credit upgrades.

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