Pimentel Deplores Lack of Solid Development Plans for Philippines

Apr. 24, 2007

MANILA — Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel,
Jr. (PDP-Laban) today decried the lack of solid plans
for the development of the nation under the leadership
of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo because of her
administrations tendency to disregard or sacrifice
plans, no matter how beneficial they are to majority
of Filipinos, when they conflict with the interest of
a favored few or the Presidents political interest.

He blamed the inconsistencies of policies for the
retrogression of the economic condition of the
Filipinos, as vividly illustrated by the disturbing
unemployment figures and the worsening hunger problem
among the poor.

Pimentel said the Arroyo administration lacks solid
plans for development because governance today is
overburdened by three Cs confusion, corruption and
constitutional contortions.

Describing the state of governance today as sad, he
said what the administration has are rhetorical plans
or just game plans.

These are plans that are publicly enunciated but when
they clash with the self-interest of a favored few, or
are opposed by vested interests, they are scuttled
without as much as by you leave, the opposition
leader said.

Citing the policy on power rates as an example,
Pimentel said that before the 2004 elections,
President Arroyo lowered the power rates of the
state-owned National Power Corporation obviously to
curry favor with the electorate.

As a result, he said Napocors financial position
deteriorated and caused an increase in the public
sector deficit.

It was bad policy, it was pure political gimmickry.
After the elections, she has to cause Napocors power
rates to rise to higher levels, Pimentel said.

In the agriculture sector, Pimentel said the
government policy is supposedly not to import rice
except to stabilize prices or forestall famine. And
yet he said the government imports rice every so often
over the objection of farmers, specially when the
palay harvest is good.

He said he could not understand this policy because
the country has advanced technology to produce rice
double, treble or quadruple that of the traditional
way. He said the country has sufficient land to raise
rice production but sadly the exception (rice
importation) has now become the rule.

I am afraid that some highly placed people believe
that it is much easier to directly import rice, sell
it and make money for themselves than to help rice
farmers to plan, sell and make money on
locally-produced rice, Pimentel said.

The minority leader said what has happened to the
governments policy on rice is happening today to the
government policy on agriculture modernization. He
said the Presidents pronouncements that it is a
centerpiece of her administration are not matched by
the funding support that it gets.

In the transportation sector, Pimentel said the Arroyo
administration has time and again announced that it
would support the growth of budget airlines in the
country in line with global trends.

But after the sanguine presidential announcements of
support, he said what happened was that Mrs. Arroyo
issued Executive Order No. 500-A on Jan. 27, 2006
restricting the operations of budget airlines from
much of the travel destinations in Asia.

Pimentel said EO 500-A constrains the growth of the
countrys international airports and dampens the
entrepreneurial spirit of local business willing to
invest in budget airline operations.

It also projects a negative image of the country as
one where national economic policies can be twisted to
favor certain vested interests, he said.

****** INBOX is an archive of press releases, statements, announcements, letters to the editors, and manifestos sent to Davao Today for publication. Please email your materials to davaotoday@gmail.com. Davao Today reserves the right to edit or refuse material for publication. *****

comments powered by Disqus