MANILA (Mabuhay) – As an offshoot of his six-year stint at Malacañang, President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said that Filipinos will continue to demand for good governance and inclusive growth even after he steps down in 2016.
“We see today a people who have felt the effects of good governance – and who will refuse to accept anything less,” Aquino told participants during the 23rd Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) general meeting at the Sofitel Plaza in Pasay City.
“My countrymen will continue to demand integrity, accountability, and sustainable, inclusive growth even after I have stepped down from office. They will demand the continuity of the successes we have reaped,” the President added.
Aquino said his administration’s strategy was to invest in the Filipino people through improved social services and infrastructure.
He cited the anti-poverty measure conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which provides cash assistance to poor households. This year, some 4.4 million households are listed as beneficiaries.
Aquino also noted the K-12 program, and the training courses offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) as strategies to “empower them to take advantage of opportunities that arise.”
“After all, any growth in the economy that is not inclusive will likely not be sustainable. Should government fail to realize this, and consequently fail to build the capacities of their people, then they would only help to widen the social and economic divide between their citizens,” Aquino said.
He cited the government’s initiatives to improve the state of infrastructure in the country, including transportation systems like airports and railways.
“This will not only ensure that the Philippines becomes more competitive, but that the benefits of trade, investment, and growth are able to reach even the most far-flung communities of the Philippines,” he said.
The PECC general meeting was attended by business, government and civil society leaders from the Asia-Pacific region. (MNS)