GMA to successor: Don’t be afraid to make unpopular decisions
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo gave some unsolicited advice yesterday to her successor: Don’t be afraid to make difficult decisions that are good for the country even if they may be unpopular and politically costly.
Mrs. Arroyo presented her administration’s socio-economic record since 2001 before hundreds of members of various investor groups, academe, non-government organizations, diplomats, and representatives of foreign and local business chambers.
“We call on those, who aspire to this, the highest office of our land, to always put the right thing for the country ahead of political expediency,” Mrs. Arroyo said at the annual Philippine economic briefing at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.
“It does not matter how popular you are, if our economy is not providing the broad-based opportunity that our people deserve,” she said.
She added the future for the Philippine economy “is indeed much brighter now than it was in 2001.”
“However, capitalizing on our potential will only be possible if we continue to have leadership willing to make the tough and often unpopular decisions that are required to break the hold of entrenched special interest and keep our economy moving,” the President said.
The country will hold its first ever-nationwide automated elections in May with the administration fielding former defense chief Gilbert Teodoro as its presidential candidate.
The next president is expected to grapple with the widening deficit as the country tries to ride on the slow global recovery from recession.
Some presidential candidates, like Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, vowed not to impose new taxes, which are seen by foreign and local financial institutions as crucial.
Mrs. Arroyo said she had made some hard decisions; including raising taxes that helped the Philippines escape the global recession. – Paolo Romero