Take criticisms seriously
SEARCH FOR TRUTH - Ernesto M. Maceda (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2014 - 12:00am

President Aquino again took a swipe at his critics in his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA). It is good that he recognizes his critics for they only want to call attention to his mistakes or sins of omission. They just want to help.

But who are the most vociferous critics? First of all, you have the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), led by its president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas. Also critical is former Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz.

Then you have the leftist activist groups led by Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. and Congressman Neri Colmenares of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN). Eighty percent of newspaper columnists are critical, including veteran columnist Amando Doronila and Tribune editor Ninez Cacho-Olivares, Teddy Boy Locsin, Alex Magno and Ted Failon.

Labor leaders, like those of Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), are critical of the lack of pro-labor policies, especially  unemployment, contractualization, and low wages.

Then you have the members of the House of Representatives minority and Senate minority. But also, administration ally, Senator Serge Osmeña is critical.

If you listen to call-in radio TV programs, you will hear that the majority callers are critical.

Most of the criticisms are well-meaning and just want action or changes in government policies.

A President should welcome criticisms. If he analyzed the criticisms, I would say that at least 80 percent are constructive, and if heeded will help solve many problems.

Past presidents used to invite critics to breakfast or lunch in Malacañang. Surely the President can get some good ideas from critics.

That the criticisms are mostly valid, is shown by the fact that no less than the Supreme Court (SC) has ruled that the President is wrong on three major decisions, namely the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the Truth Commission (TC).

One thing a sitting President must do, accept the reality that he is not infallible, something that usually happens in midterm.

As many have said, the presence of critics is proof of a vibrant democracy.

Well-meaning critic

Archbishop Oscar Cruz wrote the following in his column.

“It might be good to point out the following realities:

1. The proliferation of squatters, beggars, garbage pickers.

2. The omnipresence of thieves, holduppers, murderers.

3. The ever-lacking employment possibilities.

4. The ever-increasing OFWs, despite big dangers to their limbs and lives.

5. The prostitution of women, boys and girls.

6. The imposition of direct and indirect taxes from birth to death.

7. The deregulation of oil and the regulation of prime commodities.

8. The progressively high costs of living and ever low salaries.

9. The sale of human organs to foreign buyers.

10. The nonchalant local, regional and national graft and corrupt practices.”

Certainly, Archbishop Cruz is well-meaning and has no partisan or personal agenda.

Same banana

President Aquino and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Butch Abad created the DAP to collect the funds from projects that are not moving or slow moving.

Declared as savings, they were re-aligned and allocated for new projects.

But the Commission on Audit (COA) has now found that some of the new DAP-funded projects are also not moving.

The COA criticized the Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA), for its slow implementation of municipal fish port projects in Guimbal, Iloilo; Kimaya, Misamis Oriental; Uyugan, Batanes; Capalonga   Camarines Norte; and Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

P100 million was released in 2011 to the PFDA, for the fish port projects. As of end 2013, only P15 million has been spent.

At the Senate hearing, Secretary Abad admitted that only P144 billion has been allocated out of a DAP total collection of P237 billion.

*   *   *

Binay tops Pulse Asia survey

Vice President Jejomar Binay again topped the latest Pulse Asia survey on performance, approval and trust ratings.

VP Binay obtained an 81 percent approval rating, 25 percent more than President Aquino’s 56 percent.

VP Binay got a trust rating of 79 percent while President Aquino got only 53 percent.

Senate President Franklin Drilon gained a 52 percent approval rating, down from 56 percent in March.

Cha-cha hidden agenda

Internet users have started an online campaign for the re-election of President Aquino.     

This move implies that there will be a move to amend the Constitution, which limits a President to one term.

The push by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. for constitutional change has long been suspected to have a hidden agenda to allow President Aquino to run again.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma denied that Malacañang is behind the move.

Tidbits

Some 4,500 OFWs leave the country every day.

The New People’s Army (NPA) ambushed a truck of soldiers in Negros Occidental.         

The Court of Appeals (CA) dismissed the P6-billion oil smuggling case of Phoenix Petroleum.

Provincial Board Member Amado Espino III will run for governor of Pangasinan against former Congressman Mark Cojuangco.

A Yolanda survivor Rommel Rhino Edusma of Asian Development Foundation College of Tacloban topped the July 2014 Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Board Examination.

Alfredo Hayat, 62, chief of the anti-illegal logging task force was shot dead in Ilagan, Isabela.

Only 831 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have come home from Libya. There is an estimated 13,000 OFWs working in Libya.

Congratulations to Michel and Amparito Lhuillier on their 50th wedding anniversary. 

             

 

 

A PRESIDENT A YOLANDA BINAY PRESIDENT PRESIDENT AQUINO PULSE ASIA
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