Press Release
August 10, 2011

Cayetano outlines the country's realities and needs

Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano expressed his willingness to help President Aquino unite the country and achieve his goals for the people once the President is able to clearly define his vision and to draw the roadmap for it.

He manifested his sentiment in his Contra-SONA last Monday at the Senate as he urged the President to begin wearing the colors of the flag on his chest because he is the President of all Filipinos not only of those who wore yellow during the campaign.

Cayetano premised his address on the minority's role and task in the senate.

"Ours is not the task to be critical of the administration just for the sake of criticizing. Ours is the task to point out where the administration is missing out on the journey along the matuwid na daan," he said.

Thoughout his address, the senator urged the President to finally outline a perfect vision of what he wants the country to be and where he wants it to go and underscored it with his question, "Do you know where you're going to?" lifted from the song popularized by Diana Ross.

The senator added that there is a need to have clear set of plans, blueprints or roadmap of how the President intends to achieve this vision.

"I know the President has a vision. Part of his vision is shared in the SONA. In private meetings he shared with us what he wants to do. But when we say "Mr. President do you know where you're going to?", you cannot simply answer us "I'll do it my way," the senator said.

The minority leader also pointed out of the need for the President to have a "factual understanding of where the country is today" and cited what he referred to as "realities" in the country.

To illustrate his point, the senator cited statistics obtaining in the country in the areas of education, health, peace and order, investments, domestic and overseas employment.

Cayetano urged the President to learn from the lessons of the past, particularly for the past 40 years. "Pare-pareho po ang problemang sinasabi po sa atin," he said referring to the general perception about the state of affairs in the country.

"Ang problema pong sinasabi sa atin ay iyon pong most problematic factors for doing business in the Philippines, number 1 corruption. Number 2, inefficient government bureaucracy. Number 3, inadequate supply of infrastructure. Number 4, policy instability, Number 5, tax regulation, at 'yung iba sinasabi 'yung presyo naman ng kuryente," the senator pointed out.

"Paulit-ulit na lang po ito Mr. President. 40 years. Hindi tayo nakikinig. We don't look at the past that's why we keep repeating history and our mistakes," he lamented.

To involve the citizens in fighting graft and corruption, he reiterated his call for the passage of the Freedom of Information Act.

"How are we preventing the officials and employees of the present administration from committing the same mistakes, if government transactions are being operated under the same cloak of secrecy and impunity?" he asked.

He was emphatic on the need for the Aquino administration to set a higher standard of performance and a system of feedback and monitoring.

"I've noticed that we keep comparing ourselves to the Arroyo administration. In so far as showing na may wang-wang sila, tayo wala, nag-agree din ang gobyerno nila na sa atin mas malinis, okay po 'yon. Pero kung ikaw ay isang estudyante, hindi mo naman ikukumpara ang sarili mo sa isang bagsak na estudyante. We should have a higher standard instead," he said.

Cayetano further noted that, now more than ever, there is a need for an organized, pragmatic and systematic way of fighting graft and corruption.

He also renewed his call for the President to require his appointees to sign a waiver on the coverage of the Bank Secrecy Law and allow examination of their bank accounts if being investigated for a reported anomaly.

"We know that you are trying your best but Mr. President show us that vision. Communicate to us that roadmap and you will be able to unite the nation. We cannot move into the heights we want to move into, we cannot do what we want unless there is unity in purpose," he said.

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