You need a roadmap? Aquino gives it today
ON his first year in office today, President Aquino will launch the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan and renew the commitments he made to the Filipino people when he launched his candidacy in 2009.
The PDP, which took almost a year to be formulated, is supposedly the road map and comprehensive program of action of the Aquino administration.
"We are affirming the spirit of people power and volunteerism that gave President Aquino an overwhelming mandate to lead the country last year," said Presidential Communication Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.
Coloma said Aquino will lead the launching of the Pilipinas Natin program, a campaign for renewed volunteerism and unity and partnership between government and the Filipino people, at the Philippine Sports Complex in Pasig City.
Asked why there is a need to renew Aquino’s commitments, Coloma said the President is confident that he could still command respect and positive response from majority of the Filipinos.
Sen. Ralph Recto, an Aquino ally, said the President should accelerate his reform programs.
"Like a giddy married couple fresh from a sizzling honeymoon, the Aquino government now begins the more serious task of housekeeping like ‘hanging out the wet laundry’ to dry and ‘paying the utility bills,’" he said.
He said the laundry list, which is composed of problems the country is facing and which the Aquino administration promised to solve, "has long been soaking, while the utility bills are the mounting expenditures requiring revenues."
At the House, minority leader Rep. Edcel Lagman said Aquino continues to fail to deliver on promises after a year in office.
Lagman said the electorate should be blamed for putting Aquino in power.
"The people should be prepared to expect the worst because their mistaken choice is the big problem. Blunder begets disaster."
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, reacting to Lagman, said Lagman was "playing fast and free with the facts, making assertions that are obsolete, misleading, or patently false. Here he goes again, because this is not the first time in what is turning out to be a litany of misrepresentations by him."
Coloma said Aquino’s audience at the Philsports Arena will be composed mostly of volunteers, citizens and people’s organizations all over the country who will affirm their support for the President and his program of government. He said mood is expected to be "upbeat and positive."
Coloma said the PDP will be explained in the coming weeks by the Cabinet secretaries who are in charge of each of the Cabinet clusters.
On the celebration of his first year in office, Aquino will also sign into law the bill postponing the August 8 elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
He will also witness the signing of a memorandum of agreement among the Department of Education, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., and Gawad Kalinga for the construction of 1,000 new school buildings nationwide.
Coloma said under the MOA, Pagcor will channel some of its resources to finance the construction of 1,000 additional classrooms. The classrooms will be turned over to the DepEd immediately after completion.
He said Gawad Kalinga will provide manpower or "sweat equity" for the construction of the public school buildings.
Another administration ally, Sen. Panfilo Lacson, said Aquino deserves a better grade than the "pasang-awa" grade of 75 percent given by business group Management Association of the Philippines.
"Ang pag-upgrade ng credit ratings ng Pilipinas mula sa Fitch and Moody’s ay isang patunay na mali o hindi accurate ang 75 o pasang-awa na grade nila kay Pnoy. Maaaring hindi pa ramdam ng mga negosyante ang impact ng pagtaas ng ating credit ratings dahil bago pa lamang inilabas ito," Lacson said.
Sen. Francis Escudero said more than simply grading Aquino, the business sector "should express and show their approval by investing more and showing confidence in our economy and country." – With JP Lopez and Wendell Vigilia