Really, what's the big deal about a President's first 100 days?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2010-10-07
All this fuss about rating the first 100 days in office of President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy) reinforces what your Chair Wrecker has been saying all along — that many Filipinos suffer from an inability to recognize the important from the unimportant.

Really, what’s the big deal about a President’s first 100 days? The past is past and there is nothing we can do about it. Whatever shortcomings there were had already been discussed so what’s the point of belaboring the issue? Did you notice that the Americans, Canadians and Europeans hardly talk about the first 100 days of their Chief Executives? If we know what is really important to us, we should be focusing instead on what P-Noy has to accomplish during the rest of the 2, 090 days of his term.

If we are to really issue a report card on P-Noy’s first 100 days, we should at least ensure that we measure him with the proper yardstick. That means that we measure P-Noy against the major tasks that we mandated him to accomplish and not irrelevant accidents like the embarrassing Manila hostage crisis.

Foremost of these considerations should be where we all came from before P-Noy took over the reins of the executive branch of government. Were we not like the enslaved Jews who found our Moses in P-Noy and thus mandated him to bring us to our Promised Land? We should factor in the making of our report card the many scandals, loss of faith in the Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) government, the dangerous divisions in our land and our deep cynicism then. Let’s not forget the lack of transparency and responsiveness of the GMA regime. Let’s not forget the poverty index, the hunger, the criminality in our communities and the human rights violations.

Let us not lose focus on what we wanted P-Noy to do for us, his Bosses, as follows:

1. Restore the people’s faith in their government and their leader.

2. Restore investor confidence in the Philippines, create more jobs at home and give the people a more equitable share of the national wealth.

3. Restore peace and order in our communities with honest cops and more responsive local leaders and chart a course for settling the rebellion issues with the Communists and the Muslim separatists.

4. Set a new leadership benchmark — a leadership by good example.

5. Restore the respect of the other nations in the Philippines, not just for investment, but a respect that erases the corrupt image and dangerous country image that the Arroyo government gave us.

6. Set a new, higher bar for public servants — to be able to serve the people better.

7. Prioritize health and education reform — promote a better Filipino mind and body.

8. Evolve a more involved citizenry to share the task of nation building — the evolution of People Power from political transformation to a new method for socio-economic transformation.

Bearing all these in mind, we should ask ourselves if the Senior Inspector Rolando Mendoza caper essentially derailed P-Noy from any of these big 8 tasks. Do you think it is rational to score the wild act of a former cop who went berserk against the big tasks of P-Noy? We wanted a good President and not a Rambo.

We should ask ourselves if all these unfounded and unsubstantiated jueteng payola accusations of retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz should be allowed to erode P-Noy’s rating during his first 100 days. Come to think of it, a libel suit is what retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz deserves and not credence. His apology to Undersecretary Rico E. Puno strikes your Chair Wrecker more as a protective measure against a potential libel suit — establishing lack of malice — rather than an act of remorse for tainting a man’s reputation and causing him and his family to suffer sans any real hard evidence.

Having factored all these in our considerations, we must now acknowledge the following accomplishments of P-Noy during his first 100 days:

1. He set the tone for good governance by providing his brand of transformational leadership by example.

2. He established goodwill and confidence in the international and domestic markets which is now at all time high. From an average of 2,500 points index, our PSE has risen to over 4,000 points.

3. He filed cases against big time tax evaders and smugglers — thereby setting the tone for a regime of zero tolerance for corruption.

4. He established the national household targeting system for effective implementation of poverty reduction programs.

5. He introduced zero based national budgeting to minimize wastage of public funds and he has embarked on an austerity program.

6. He restored openness of a President to media scrutiny, maintaining regular weekly press conferences and allowing ambush interviews — which is something we hardly saw from the previous Palace resident.

7. He restored people’s faith in their government and recharged Filipino hope in attaining better times for their families and our country.

8. He maintained a transparent administration and displayed sensitivity to important public concerns and issues.

Don’t you agree that even for just four of those eight enumerated major P-Noy accomplishments — he deserves a report card rating on his first 100 days of at least 95 percent?

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