All eyes are now on Noynoy Aquino. After an intense campaign period, the first fully-automated elections, and his celebrated proclamation, we look back at his trail of promises.
Population and Environment
Aim: Encourage sustainable use of resources; plan alternative and inclusive urban development where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy and safe communities.
Noynoy will promote ecotourism by mobilizing grassroots communities into environmental preservation efforts and sustainable tourism programs. He will also establish a national sanitation program that will provide access to sanitary toilets, thereby protecting bodies of water from domestic waste contamination.
Government Resources and Population Dynamics
Aim: Uphold clean governance by enforcing transparency and accountability in government allocation and spending. Establish a truly impartial system of institutions that deliver equal justice to rich or poor.
Noynoy caused quite a stir when he assured Filipinos that he would not impose new taxes or increase current tax rates. He will augment the deficiency in the national budget through efficient tax collection and implementing higher customs duties. Noynoy is optimistic that the whopping $6 billion that gets squandered yearly in corrupt dealings will be used to increase the ranks of the middle class through micro financing and to revitalize the economy. He supports the Freedom of Information Bill and plans to review the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement. Noynoy also guarantees that tax evaders and smugglers will be brought to justice.
Population and Food Supply
Aim: Invest in farms and rural enterprises to achieve food security, sustained productivity and more equitable economic growth. Support and modernize the agricultural sector.
Noynoy sees “freedom from hunger” as a means to empower the Filipino people. He plans to provide jobs that will enable our countrymen not just to feed themselves but to elevate their quality of life. Noynoy will also boost industries, including agribusiness, and enhance productivity in the agricultural sector through policies and programs.
Population and Housing
Aim: Provide adequate housing and uphold every Filipino’s right to a decent home.
Noynoy’s government will focus on area upgrading and in-city resettlement through the Community Mortgage Program (CMP) and award land to poor families though the Comprehensive Land Use Plans of LGUs. Noynoy guarantees enough housing funds by means of the Comprehensive and Integrated Shelter Financing Act (CISFA) and by mobilizing LGUs, NGOs and private sectors. He will also put an end to illegal evictions and provide quality housing with sufficient basic services and opportunities for livelihood.
Population and Education
Aim: Reduce poverty and build national competitiveness by prioritizing and investing in quality education.
Noynoy plans to work closely with the LGUs to build more schools. He also proposes a 12-Year Basic Education Cycle with a universal pre-school system so every child will be a reader by Grade 1. He also supports UNESCO’s tried-and-tested formula for mother tongue instruction from pre-school to Grade 3. Noynoy’s basic education agenda will strengthen science and math curricula for global competitiveness. Madaris education with subjects in Arabic Language and Islamic Values Education will also be integrated in the public school curriculum as additional subjects for Muslim Filipino children. No less than accurate and quality textbooks will be used and Technical Vocational Education will be offered as an alternative in senior high school.
Population and Health
Aim: Establish universal health care and push for the Responsible Parenthood bill.
Noynoy will ensure access and equity in health care by making health services and basic medicines available to all Filipinos. He will streamline health infrastructure and ensure a holistic and comprehensive Health Care System. Philhealth benefits will include outpatient health care. He has also promised to quit smoking.
Population and Employment
Aim: Empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty. Generate jobs and better opportunities for Filipinos. Ensure the welfare and protect the rights of OFWs.
Noynoy will launch major and labor-intensive public works programs that will create jobs. He will also ensure that workers will avail of SSS and other benefits. His government will encourage full-employment and global competitiveness, as well as entrepreneurship and pro-poor tourism.
The Aquino government also aims to implement reforms in the Judiciary; revive peace talks in Mindanao while pushing for its development; and promote equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and curb gender disparities.
A lot of these are sound policies. But like what Noynoy said in an interview with Lila Shahani for Philippine Graphic, “The Philippines already has decent laws. What is far more critical is the implementation gap.” So can he deliver all these? The Filipinos will once again play the game of wait and see.
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