President Benigno S. Aquino III today (June 30, 2011) will mark his first year in office by launching a campaign called Pilipinas Natin. According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Pilipinas Natin “represents the point of departure from the failed policies of incremental, trickle-down growth that characterized previous development plans.” It added that “vigorous job creation, educational reform, and comprehensive social and development programs will be implemented to ensure attainment of sustained economic growth.”
Malacañang spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, meanwhile, called the campaign “a call to arms for the people to continue in the efforts for reform by this administration.” It supposedly aims to “mobilize the people to become active participants in nation building.”
The public certainly wants to see the substance, if there’s any, of this latest publicity stunt by Malacañang. How exactly does the President intend to mobilize the people and implement the promises of jobs, education, and comprehensive social development?
However, based on his administration’s one-year track record, the poor and oppressed couldn’t help but ask, “Pilipinas nino?” Exactly what kind of nation are we building that Filipinos will rally behind? Pilipinas nino—because Aquino in one year has made it unmistakably clear where his bias lies.
Aquino has shown that he favors the market over the people. Look at how he refused to impose price control and justified deregulation amid escalating prices of basic commodities and services. His public-private partnership (PPP) is for big business’ profits at the people’s expense. Look at how he allowed the 300% hike in SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) toll and how he pushed for as much as 100% fare hike in LRT/MRT despite strong opposition from various sectors.
He favors foreign creditors over the people. Look at how he defended the 12% VAT (value-added tax) because scrapping the onerous tax will turn off the foreign banks. Look at how he spent more than half of the people’s money for debt servicing in his first year in office while spending practically nothing for the marginalized, like the urban poor’s housing needs.
He hastily phoned the governor of Quezon province to stop bugging the Japanese investors of the Pagbilao power plant over P6 billion in unpaid real estate taxes, saying that Malacañang will foot the bill. He promised PPP investors protection from local courts, Congress, and regulatory bodies through regulatory risk guarantee.
But he refused to display the same decisiveness and political will to help workers secure a substantial wage hike through legislation. Or to provide respite to urban poor communities from violent demolitions. Or to oblige his own family to respect the historical, legal, and moral rights of farmers and plantation workers over the Luisita lands.
Pilipinas nino? Aquino has never made the poor and oppressed feel that this is also their country, that his government is also their government.
All hope is not lost, however. It just doesn’t lie in Aquino’s hands.
The people could still make this country truly ours, truly Pilipinas natin. (End)
4 thoughts on “Aquino’s “Pilipinas Natin”: Pilipinas nino?”
i’m a filipino american who travels to the philippines quite often. i’m a successful entrepreneur and have started many businesses (both in the states and philippines.) i along with illac diaz have invested in the future of the philippines and support p-noy and his work thus far. don’t expect problems to be fixed so quickly. he’s running this country like a business, which you may not understand since you’re only an analyst and haven’t partook of any business deals of your own. p-noy is ridding corruption from the base, which is needed before we can implement specific projects. arroyo overspent on all of these and now aquino is stuck trying to fix and renegotiate the contracts before the following year. (i.e. DND helicopters procurement, DPWH contracts, NAIA 3 issue, laguna de bay, etc) he has also implemented zero based budgeting. that is extremely important if you don’t know. he also got the philippines removed from the Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) tax haven, which is a big deal. foreign investments are coming in more than ever before. people like me and my team actually believe its safe to do business in the philippines now, as corruption is slowly subsiding and p-noy is finally making domestic investments look attractive to us once again
as for the hikes, more money for the govt=more spending=more jobs=more economical growth for the country as a whole. you should not be complaining about that. these are normal in any country, including here in the states
p-noy has restructured the way the country shall work. look at the hiring of robredo. the man is a genius. you want people like that in charge of departments like the DILG. read up on his plans
look at what he even did when he was mayor of naga city. and now look at him… he’s requiring all local govt units (LGUs) to post all their expenditures and spending online through websites, allowing it easier to audit and make sure their is no more monkey businesss (corruption). this has always been the root problem of the country. with robredo micromanaging barangays and LGUs finances, the country is now DRASTICALLY better off. such a small change will affect how the whole country will work now. you need to read between the lines my friend. many of us investors have been monitoring aquino and his administration and have all been pleased. look at all those major credit rating agencies. they all boosted the countries grade because we’re seeing SMART spending, not reckless idiotic moves like arroyo. p-noy is truly on the verge of taking the country to higher levels. filipinos may not see it (yet) but it will come. jobs will be created, food will be provided, and urban housing for the poor will happen soon enough (binay’s plans + investors such as myself + NGOs)
thats just one company that i have friends at… look at what they’re going to do for YOU and your people. their is a reason we’re taking the risk of investing our money into a secondary emerging market like the philippines. it’s because we believe in p-noy’s reform and fiscal spending.
my friend charlie in china is part of a team over there who is planning on investing over $6 BILLION in infrastructure and development in the philippines.
business is good for the country man. our motherland is lagging and is behind many if not all of the neighboring ASEAN countries. ever since p-noy took over, foreign investors are all very pleased with his reform and are now willing to help. his plans are allowing us to get a decent return on our investments WHILE assisting and developing the country as a whole. therefore, please stop complaining and condeming p-noy. you are clearly misinformed and it’s articles like this that makes investors like us SECOND GUESS our decision of creating jobs in the philippines. articles like this make us want to do business in indonesia, singapore, even thailand for gods sake. do your research and read more before saying retarded comments like “all hope is not lost, however. it just doesn’t lie in aquino’s hands.” i can guarantee you aquino will deliver MUCH more to the well-being of filipinos alike than your previous and probably beloved president arroyo. you need to be patient. direct investments are coming but it takes time. it’s very expensive and hard to ship proper equipment over there since the country itself can’t supply it for people like us. my ending advice: keep learning, support your president, and love your kababayan always
Kapatid, i think misleading ang iyong statement and i doubt kung totoong nakakausap ka ng isang mahirap na nagsabi sayo ng “Pilipinas Nino?” Di ba’t ikaw lang ang gumamit nito?
I was there at the event launch and the message was clear to us – that Pilipinas Natin is a peoples’ campaign – not just the government. As I read your article, I can’t help but ask kung kailan at saan tayo magsisimulang magtulungan? Kung lahat ng kahinaan ng pinuno ay hindi natin tatapatan ng suporta at tulong, kailan kaya tayo masasatisfy? Siguro ipagdasal natin na tumakbo si Jesus Christ para presidente para matuto tayong maghintay sa “perfect time” nya.
Gusto ko rin iwanan sayo brad na ang pagbabago ay proseso. Walang tinanim na kinabukasan inani, kailangan nya dumaan sa proseso, walang shortcuts. Ganito rin ang proseso ng pagbabago bro, kung sa isang taon nageexpect ka na na matapos na ang kahirapan o gutom, at alam mo namang sa laki ng problemang minana e kailangan talaga ng tamang tutok at panahon para maiayos, baka naman puro hangin lang sa ulo ang galing natin sa pagsusulat.
Huli na, kailan sa tingin mo tamang magkaisa ang Pilipino?
vic, you’re missing the point. ang sinasabi ko, paano mamu-mobilize ang taumbayan, paano nilang yayakapin ang pilipinas natin bilang kampanya nila kung di pa nila nakikitang kumampi sa kanila ang pangulong nananawagan para rito? kanino ba talaga kakampi si aquino? look at his track record (wala namang ibang pagbabatayan), gaya ng sinasabi ko sa article. sino ba ang ayaw ng pagtutulungan at pagkakaisa? pero dapat maging magkakampi muna tayo bago tayo magkaisa, hindi ba? saan ba kakampi ng taumbayan ang pangulo? sa pagtaas ng sahod at pagkontrol ng presyo? hindi. sa pagwasak sa mga asyenda gaya ng luisita para magkaroon ng lupa ang mga magsasaka? lalong hindi. sa paghabol kay gloria? wala pa kahit isang kaso e. wag mong sasabihing wag magmadali. lampas one year na. laban sa baluktot na sistema ng pamamahala? pero sa totoo lang ano ba ang binago ni aquino sa bulok na sistema ng patronage politics?
ano ba eksakto ang pinagkakaisahan natin sa pilipinas natin? wag mong sasabihing para sa pagbabago, abstract yun. pero kung ganito – pilipinas natin para ipamahagi ang lupa sa asyenda luisita at lahat ng asyenda sa bansa; pilipinas natin para sa p125 across the board, nationwide legislated wage hike; pilipinas natin para sa disenteng pabahay sa lahat ng maralita; pilipinas natin para sa libreng public education at health services para sa lahat; pilipinas natin para kontrolin ang presyo at para sa murang mga bilihin; pilipinas natin laban sa mga pabigat na buwis gaya ng vat; yan, magkakaisa agad tayo at tiyak na aani ito ng suporta mula sa mamamayan. walang nagsasabing dapat after one year, tapos na ang gutom at kahirapan. pero may mga concrete proposals on wages, land reform, prices, etc na immediately doable – di pa tatapos sa kahirapan pero makapagbibigay ng immediate economic relief sa milyun-milyong pilipino sa gitna ng malubhang krisis – gaya ng mga sinabi ko na. pero kahit dito, bagsak si aquino.
hahaha, great post by michael. “p-noy is truly on the verge of taking the country to higher levels… aquino will deliver MUCH more,” hahaha. “i’m a successful entrepreneur… business is good for the country” — good for you!