appointees

Aquino hard-put to fill 5,000 top gov't posts

Aquino hard-put to fill 5,000 top gov’t posts
By Robert Gonzaga, Inquirer Research, Inquirer Central Luzon
Philippine Daily Inquirer

APPOINTMENTS TO GOVERNMENT POSITIONS are not being made fast enough because President Aquino is hard put to find “good people” to take on public service.

Speaking with reporters at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, the President said he was giving priority to certain government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) as well as government financial institutions because of “a sense of urgency as we discover that there are transactions that are still being attempted to be pushed through.”

He said an obstacle that his administration was facing in filling up critical positions was “the difficulty of finding good people.”

As many as 4,301 executive and management appointees, as well as over 50,000 rank-and-file employees, were coterminous with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Mr. Aquino has been swamped with applications from persons wishing to join his administration since a month before he was sworn into office.

“We have to find people who will work on our platform and not continue the age-old and wrong platforms,” said Mr. Aquino, whose campaign battle cry was “Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap (No corruption, no poverty).”

“The problem is, it’s no joke to enter government service. Your salary will go down, while criticisms will multiply. It’s difficult to convince good people to fill up these positions,” he said.

A Commission on Audit report puts the number of GOCCs at 601.

So far, Mr. Aquino has appointed Daniel “Bitay” Lacson and Cristino “Bong” Naguiat as chairs of the Government Service Insurance System and Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., respectively, and Jose Honrado as chief of the Manila International Airport Authority.

Among the other GOCCs are the Bases Conversion Development Authority, Clark Development Corp., Cultural Center of the Philippines, Home Development Mutual Fund, John Jay Management Corp., Laguna Lake Development Authority, Land Bank of the Philippines, Light Railway Transit Authority, Lung Center of the Philippines, Manila Waterworks and Sewerage System, National Electrification Administration, Philippine Ports Authority and Social Security System.

The President was in Subic, Zambales, on Friday to inaugurate the Philippine National Police’s School for Values and Leadership.

He said there would yet be no changes in the top positions of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), including its board of directors.

“We have not reached the SBMA yet. In truth, I’d like to repeat, there are something close to 5,000 positions [to fill up]. And I have to appoint people up to director level,” he said.

However, Mr. Aquino said he had found someone to take the helm of the Metro Manila Development Authority. But he refused to divulge the appointee’s identity.

Asked to comment on Mr. Aquino’s remarks, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza said: “Well, we hope that the President allows us to finish our term. But of course we serve at his pleasure. If the President [wants a change in the SBMA leadership], of course we will accede to his request.”

Dick Gordon

Arreza’s term as administrator, like that of SBMA Chair Feliciano Salonga, began on Sept. 23, 2005, and ends on the same date in 2011.

Asked Saturday by text message if he was considering appointing to the SBMA ex-Sen. Richard “Dick” Gordon, one of his defeated rivals to the presidency, Mr. Aquino replied: “Haven’t gotten to it yet.”

Gordon said at a press briefing early in June that he was not selling himself to Mr. Aquino in the hope of getting an appointment.

“I love my country,” he said. “If I can be of assistance, why not? But I will not lobby aggressively. I did not lobby for any position with [then President Arroyo].”

Gordon, who served as tourism secretary in the early years of the Arroyo administration, is covered by the yearlong ban on appointments of defeated candidates in the elections.

When pressed to name a post he would like, Gordon, a native of Zambales, said: “If I am given a chance, I would prefer the SBMA. If Noynoy (Aquino’s nickname) feels I can be of service, fine, I’d think about it. I’d be honored to be given the chance, but I will not lobby for it.”

Gordon is credited with transforming the former US naval base in Subic into a free port and investment hub. With a report from Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.

BSAIII action plan on the economy

Economy: Walang Maiiwan!

Action Plan on the Economy

Underlying all the problems and weaknesses of the country and the economy is corruption and the weakening of our democratic institutions. We will restore trust in government by emphasizing good governance and anti-corruption to increase investment, regain people’s trust to pay proper taxes and ensure that the people’s money is well spent.

  • We will uphold the people’s right to information on matters of public concern and vigorously support the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill in Congress
  • We will ensure transparency and citizen’s participation in crafting and implementing laws, rules and regulations and in monitoring the programs, projects and transactions of government
  • We will put into place a “zero-based” budgeting system to enhance transparency and improve efficiency.
  • Budget allocations for the different agencies of government will be shaped by their performance and their compliance with the reports of the Commission on Audit (COA)
  • Qualification standards, especially on eligibility, will be strictly followed, and at least half of the positions of Undersecretaries and Assistant Secretaries will be filled by honest and competent career civil servants to ensure continuity and sustainability of effective policies and programs
  • Performances of government agencies and civil servants will be evaluated rationally and systematically through an effective and measurable performance management system to be approved by the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

We will have broad based and inclusive economic growth through increased incomes by generating quality jobs and attracting more investments.

  • We will have a government that is not corrupt and is business-friendly, thus lowering the cost of doing business and production in the country.
  • We will reduce red tape, reducing the number of processes required to do business in the country.
  • We will improve infrastructure in transportation and housing, which will generate jobs and also support investments.
  • We will directly target industries with the greatest potential for growth and where the Philippines has a competitive advantage, industries that have already been identified by domestic and foreign business groups and include agribusiness, business process outsourcing, creative industries, infrastructure, manufacturing and logistics, socially responsible mining and tourism and retirement.
  • In the immediate short term, we will take care of the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society through programs such as conditional cash transfers dedicated, among others, to keeping healthy young children in school.
  • We will promote entrepreneurship that provides employment, helping small and medium firms with access to credit and diffusion of technologies and skills.
  • We will focus investment expenditure in the very urgent need to invest in education (especially in early childhood education) and in health.
  • We will promote technical/vocational schools to strengthen the labor supply and better match the needs of enterprises.

A clean government will facilitate macroeconomic stability, reigning in the record level deficits of the current administration, and bringing down the debt-to-GDP ratio.

  • We will plug revenue leakages by having competent and trustworthy tax collectors, broadening the tax base.
  • We will instruct DBM to lead an internal government review of all its costs and present a plan to reduce government overhead within six months.
  • We will review policies and programs to enhance productivity and modernize the agricultural sector.

[Archived from the official campaign web site of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]

Common credo of candidates with the Aquino-Roxas ticket

Common Credo or Statement and Pledge of Unifying Principles adopted by all candidates affiliated with the Noynoy Aquino-Mar Roxas ticket on November 28, 2009

A government, based on core values of transparency, personal and institutional integrity, honesty, and good governance, is a goal we must all share. To achieve this goal, we must unite based on shared principles.

We therefore present this Credo to the Filipino People so that our basis for unity is clear and unequivocal. These are our guiding principles in approaching the perils and problems of our society as elected officials, and we hold ourselves accountable to each other and the public to uphold these principles in the campaign and in office.

We believe that our democracy is best maintained, as it was restored, by the ways of democracy.

We believe that true change can be achieved only through peaceful means.

We believe that the first step towards prosperity and progress for all is for all sectors and classes to discuss our differences reasonably and with goodwill.

We believe that grievances that cause rebellion will not be solved by purely military solutions; and furthermore only a more equitable distribution of power and opportunity will enable peace to reign in our hearts and homes.

We therefore believe we must strive for a genuine national reconciliation founded on justice, even at the cost of our individual political self-interest.

We strongly believe that Social Justice is our common birthright: the working person must be given his just and rightful share of the fruits of his labor, and that to the owners and managers must be restored a regime of laws that are fair and not discriminatory.

We believe true national unity is possible if we commit ourselves to the rights and freedoms enshrined in our Bill of Rights.

We believe that if we Filipinos are secure in our rights and freedoms, we will all be motivated to live up to our duties and obligations as citizens.

We believe that a President, in order to be able to inspire and to lead, must possess the fundamental requirement of a genuine mandate from the people.

We believe that the presidency is an institution that only works, if both the president and those affiliated with the administration recognize they only hold that office temporarily.

This means, too, that we must lead by example; insisting on integrity not only for ourselves but all our appointees; upholding meritocracy in the bureaucracy; and believing in, and insisting on, the supremacy of the civilian over the military always.

We shall not hide from debate, suppress the mechanisms for the redress of grievances, or thwart the participation of the public in the formulation of policy.

We believe cynicism corrupts and corrodes our ability to dream and work for a better nation for ourselves and for our children.

We believe we must maintain at all times an unshakeable faith in the Filipino.

For these reasons, we commit to this Credo. We have each taken different roads to reach this point; but henceforth, we will be together because we are confident that we will be in lock step with the Filipino People.

Signatories:

Benigno Aquino III

Manuel Roxas II

Franklin Drilon
Nereus Acosta
Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel
Sonia Roco
Ruffy Biazon
Danilo Lim
Ralph Recto
Alex Lacson
Teofisto Guingona III
Sergio Osmena III

[Archived from the official campaign blog of President Benigno S. “Noynoy” Aquino III]