Europe-PH News

Aquino to Cite Gains, Set Directions

July 22, 2012

Noemi M. Gonzales

Europe-PH News

Anti-Corruption and poverty alleviation gains, as well as plans foe the economy, are expected to be highlighted when President Benigno S.C. Aquino III delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) today. 

Businessmen called for clearer policies that would foster investments, while legislators said they hoped the President would outline blueprints for the economy and national security.

Details of the speech have not been disclosed, with Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda declaring during the weekend that it would be “truthful and inspiring.”

“The road map of the President will necessarily involve both the anti-corruption program because that’s part of our advocacy and also our economic road map,” Mr. Lacierda added.

 

Budget Secretary Florencio B. Abad, meanwhile, said Mr. Aquino “may likely pose the challenge and call upon our people for their continuing support in sustaining and deepening these gains towards a virtuous cycle of sustained growth, prosperity, and peace.”

 

Asked what they wanted to hear from Mr. Aquino, businessmen said he should declare the rationalization of fiscal incentives, changes to the mining law, abolition of the common carriers tax, data privacy and cybercrime prevention, amendments to “sin” taxes and the Freedom of Information law as priorities.

 

“We need to sustain our economic momentum,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Miguel B. Varela said.

 

Makati Business Club Executive Director Peter Angelo V. Perfecto, for his part, said Mr. Aquino should “set into motion a Philippine roadmap for the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) One Community in 2015.”

 

“Bringing together all sectors now will be critical in getting the country ready for 2015 and ensuring that we can maximize the opportunities of free trade,” he added.

 

European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines President Hubert D’Aboville said presidential backing of economic policies and accelerated public-private partnership projects “will help the country to catch up with dramatic lack of infrastructure and will create the jobs we so badly need in the countryside”.

 

Robert M. Sears, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines external affairs director, concurred, saying: “There is no reason [the government] can’t have these done.”

 

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, last week said: “I hope he (Mr. Aquino) will touch on the economic direction of his administration and the problem of security.”

 

Majority Leader Neptali M. Gonzales II said that after two years focusing on the eradication graft and corruption, Malacañang needs to touch on “things... closer to the stomach of the people.”

 

“What will be the direction of our country given that the President has already proven his direction for graft and corruption, for change in the government’s system?” he asked. -- from reports by N. M. Gonzales, A. S. O. Alegado, M. J. O. Cantilero and E. N. J. David

 

 

Source: Business World; Front Page; 23 July 2012 

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