Change for change's sake alone is wrong

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag -

Some are saying that the massive and expensive campaign of Senator Manny Villar for the presidency is the main reason why he has caught up and is in fact threatening to overtake Senator Noynoy Aquino in all the surveys being undertaken.

Maybe yes, and then maybe no. My own take is that it is a combination of that and Noynoy himself digging a hole for himself everytime he opens his mouth. Believe me, a lot of people who initially had been predisposed to go with Noynoy have lately been turned off by his statements.

The first real big turnoff was when Noynoy said he will not recognize any chief justice who happens to be appointed by Arroyo. Will somebody please remind Noynoy that he is running for president and who, if he wins, will have to be sworn in by nobody-else-but.

True, there is some controversy regarding the impending retirement of the current chief justice and whether Arroyo can still legally appoint his successor in light of two apparently conflicting provisions in the Constitution.

But Arroyo herself seems predisposed toward making that controversial appointment the moment the vacancy occurs. So, does Noynoy really intend to spark a far worse constitutional crisis by refusing to take his oath before an Arroyo-appointed chief justice?

Recently, Noynoy again parted with another statement that has sent shivers up and down the spines of many people, his own supporters included. During a sortie in Davao, Noynoy said he will scrutinize and even scrap each and every centerpiece program of the Arroyo government.

Perhaps Noynoy needs to be reminded also that while Arroyo may have been accused of many improprities -- with none proven beyond perception, it may be emphasized -- quite a lot of her centerpiece projects have actually been conceded, even by foes, as having actually worked.

Indeed, even reputable foreign economic institutions, whose interests are insulated from domestic political squabblings, have credited Arroyo for putting in place a lot of sound economic policies that, on hindsight, may have actually saved the country amid the global economic crisis.

For Noynoy to scrap every sound economic policy for the simple reason that it is an Arroyo policy is not only childish, it is downright crazy. If Noynoy does that, he will set back the country by many years and lose what forward momentum, no matter how slight, we have gained.

For example, the aggressive promotion of the country's economic potentials, broken into specific "super regions" as a matter of coherence and sense, should not be scrapped by Noynoy or whoever else wins the presidency but must be pursued relentlessly.

At a recent briefing in Malacañang for members of the media in the Visayas and Bicol, which have been identified as a tourism corridor under the super regions concept, the initiative and the support programs are not only in place, they have actually been already bearing fruit.

We here in Cebu, for example, have overtaken Metro Manila as the leading tourist destination, racking up close to two million foreign arrivals. We Cebuanos sure would not want Noynoy or anybody else messing up with what took a lot of sacrifices to achieve.

Cebu has in fact benefitted from many other projects and programs outside the ambit of tourism during the presidency of Arroyo and we do not want Noynoy or anyone else to mess with that either.

One of the ways this country can move forward is for its leaders not to succumb to the temptation of undoing what their predecessors have done simply because they happen to be their political enemies. Noynoy says he is for change. But change for change's sake is wrong.

Policies and programs that work must be allowed to continue working because, in the end, these policies and programs do not work for the specific benefit of any one particular political personality or aggrupation. They work for the benefit of each and every Filipino.












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