A State of Good Governance

As I watched PNoy deliver his first State of the Nation Address in Filipino, I said to myself – this person, who was elected by majority of the Filipinos, does possess the quality of being street smart that many people did not expect.

PNoy’s style in delivering his message in our vernacular seems to cater well to the greater population of Filipinos. It has a strong mass-appeal, is easy to understand and practical. While his examples in pointing out the mistakes of the previous administration were relayed in very simple and general terms, it showed how serious he is in fighting corruption, which is a good thing. This is what people really want to see – the assurance that taxes will be well spent.

In all fairness to the previous administration, we also need to hear first their side. Through the truth commission, hopefully, facts will be presented. Despite the serious allegations on corruption about the previous administration, I have to say, we do have a sound economy that is growing.

There are many good things that the previous administration has done for this country. The good things that have been done should be continued and built on. We have a sound economy, despite a huge budget deficit. As we wrote before, to the extent these were spent on strategic infrastructures and education, the deficit can be treated as an investment for future gains.

We will see better growth rates. Many analysts predict a seven percent growth, but if we are able to come closer to 10 percent, then that will be excellent. We will see a very stable peso or maybe a stronger peso hitting close to below 40s by the end of the year. Foreign reserves will exceed our total debt, as our balance of payment is definitely a surplus — thanks to the OFW remittances and soon-to-come overseas investments, with the renewed trust on a transparent leadership. A robust consumer spending is very evident, as you will see from the performances of the publicly listed companies. All are reporting super earnings and sales growth. We are seeing a real boom. Even many of the Go Negosyo entrepreneurs are pleased with their performance.

I also agree with PNoy. If we have a more transparent government and all elected officials follow the leadership’s transparency and good governance that PNoy has set, then there will be efficiency in spending. The budget we allocated, say, for schools and roads will be spent 100% for those projects. Thus, we will be able to build more schools and roads, compared to a budget that is somehow reduced because of corruption. In the private sector, we call that capital expenditure, where we are able to squeeze out more out of the CAPEX budget allocated. This therefore leads to greater efficiency and profitability and higher ROI. We should run the Philippines Inc. like a corporation.

Moral reformation is indeed needed and PNoy as the change agent leader is setting the standard for many to follow. This increases the confidence of the ordinary Filipino that there is still hope to become a nation that we all can be proud of.

Let me share with you what other fellow negosyantes think about PNoy’s SONA.

“It’s a sincere call for change and a new hope for all Filipinos.” –Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corp.

“He is a game changer. He is focusing on the right direction. The key is still execution.” –Bing De Guzman of ING Bank

“It was straightforward and reflective of our country’s complex predicaments. While justice must be served in correcting many sins of the past, priority and focus on economic reforms and creation of wealth for the wider base of Filipinos should be the paramount agenda.” –Eric Alberto of PLDT SME Nation

“He is a catalyst for change. His firm stand against all forms of corruption resonates with the auto industry particularly with regard to smuggling. The President sends a clear signal moving forward. This is important. His commitment is essential and key, particularly to investors.” -Elizabeth Lee of Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines

“I’m glad that the President was able to say what he had wanted to say. With public officials expected to be more accountable to the public, one can expect better governance that can lead to a better business climate conducive to long-term growth.” –Johnlu Koa of French Baker

“P-noy’s SONA was a determined speech. It was realistic, simple, direct to the point and reflects P-noy’s seriousness to fight corruption, fix poverty and create jobs. Overall, it appealed to the Filipinos masses.” –Rico Hizon of Good News Pilipinas

“The president’s SONA mirrored the true state of the Philippine economy. Much like any Filipino, it was disheartening to know how badly situated we are. There remains, however, a light at the end of the tunnel and that is the eternal optimism within us to change things for the better and to be part of solving our country’s never ending woes. The SONA is a call to action, especially to us as public servants. It is a call to unity, regardless of party affiliation. Two weeks ago, I came to see the President together with Governors Boy Umali and Icot Petilla with an unsolicited advice on how we can solve the country’s classroom backlog, irrigation, farm to market roads, nutrition and more through LGU-national government partnership and ‘counterparting’ scheme. If the local government pools their resources together, we can easily raise 10b as counterpart to national government priorities and programs. I was humbled by the acceptance of my suggestion, given that I am a member of the Nacionalista Party. It clearly reflected this administration’s sincerity to solve our country’s problems and its willingness to look beyond political differences.” –Social Entrepreneur and CamSur Gov. Lray Villafuerte

“Fighting corruption is very important. However, making it work is another thing. I was waiting for his vision on how our country can reach economic growth and how he can solve the country’s budget deficit, but I think the speech catered more to the masa. I like his speech, but needs more teeth. Mabuhay ang ating bayan. Tulungan natin ang ating pangulo sa kanyang mabigat na pasanin. Ito ay katungkulan natin bilang isang mamamayan.” –Myrna Yao of Richwell Trading Corp.

“Pnoy’s address provided the Filipinos with a glimpse of what happened in the past that has impact to the present and possibly the future. It would have been more meaningful and balanced if Pnoy also mentioned the positive accomplishments of the previous administration that were done in very challenging times. If one is to foster hope in a nation besieged by problems, one has to be generous with praise and careful with criticisms.” –Ray Gapuz of R.A. Gapuz Review Center