• A do-nothing Aquino administration?


    First of two parts

    How time really flies! Four years ago, Benigno S. Aquino III became the President of the Republic of the Philippines on 30 June 2010. Yet it looks like Nothing Much has changed for the better for the good of our country and people. How sad for us, Filipinos.

    Last Thursday, 26 June 2016, there was a heavy downpour in Metro Manila for close to one-hour from three to four in the afternoon. Immediately thereafter, there was flooding in major thoroughfares in the metropolis. The traffic along C-5 Road in Taguig was moving at a snail’s pace from the corner of Kalayaan Avenue in Makati towards the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

    Amazing that after four years, the Department of Public Works & Highways (DWPH), which President B.S Aquino 3rd is so proud of, cannot even fix the flooding in just two sections of C-5. It took two hours for vehicles to navigate the floodwaters since they could only use one out of the three to four lanes per direction. The other lanes were under water. Columnists have written about the flooding in C-5 way back in 2011, but to no avail.

    There was also heavy flooding along President Osmeña Highway (continuation of SLEX) near Buendia Avenue (now Sen. Gil Puyat Ave.) as reported in both mainstream (radio and television) and social media (Facebook). This explains why the traffic at SLEX in late afternoon and evening was very light because vehicles got stuck at C-5 and Osmeña Ave.

    It makes you wonder why President Aquino commended the performance of DPWH and even gave them a bonus during their 115th anniversary June last year !

    Public works and transportation
    The most visible accomplishments of any administration is what the public see on the road in terms of public infrastructure and transportation. However, the Aquino presidency hardly has anything to show to the Filipino people and foreigners alike. There are no new expressways – elevated or at grade, no new domestic airports or seaports to speak of that could have been completed in four years.

    During the time of President V. Ramos, there was the world-class rehabilitation of the 84-km North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), the 16-km elevated Skyway on top of SLEX and the new 22-km Star Express in Batangas from Sto. Tomas to Lipa City. Not many people know that the 94-km Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) got started during the short term (2.5 years) of President Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

    President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo completed the SCTEX in 2008. She started the 89-km Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), the continuation of SCTEX to Northern Luzon. Former President Arroyo also extended the Star Express (20 kms) to Batangas City and connected it to the SLEX through a 7.3-km link road. Lastly, the 14-km Cavite Expressway (Cavitex) along the Manila Bay was also built during Arroyo’s term.

    P-Noy’s PPP projects & MRT3
    Even with the much-vaunted Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects, both the Department of Transportation (DoTC) and the DPWH hardly have anything to show, but issues and controversies. The only new airport projects are the Mactan-Cebu Airport and the Puerto Princesa Airport awarded by the DoTC this year. Yet they are mired by questions about the financial capability of the winning bidders and their performance track records.

    The Filipino-Indian consortium of MegaWide & GMR won the Mactan-Cebu Airport, but Senator Sergio Osmeña III has asked the Supreme Court to stop what he believed is an anomalous award by the DoTC. The Korean company Kumho won the contract for the Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan. However in this, DoTC apparently violated two of its own rules that they promulgated, but that would be another story.

    With the DPWH, the 4-km P900-million SLEX-Daan Hari Link Road that was awarded to Ayala Land, Inc. on December 2011 did not move for two years. It is only in the past six months of 2014 that work has begun to be done. The Link Road should have been completed before the contract awarding in late 2011. However, the DPWH stole the PNCC-NDC project that began in 2009 and repackaged it as “PPP” project of P-Noy.

    On public transportation, it appears that a hallmark of the Aquino administration is in inflicting suffering to the Filipino people whom the President professes are his “Boss!” This is most evident in the long queues of passengers at MRT3 that have spilled over to the different stations on the street along EDSA. Even Filipinos living overseas could not believe the suffering caused by the President’s incompetence.

    However, instead of addressing the overuse and abuse of MRT3 by giving the concession to the private sector, the DoTC’s MRTA officials wanted to do on their own the buying of the urgently needed coaches. Later, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic accused the MRT General Manager of trying to extort $30 Million (P1.3 Billion) for a P3.7 Billion contract (2012) from a Czech coach supplier whose Chairman & CEO has confirmed the allegation.

    No concrete achievement in public infra
    At this juncture, President Aquino cannot show any concrete achievement for significant public infra and transportation project worth over P1.0 Billion. Hopefully, P-Noy will not cite the 14.4 km Iloilo Circumferential Road worth P1.9 Billion that is obscenely overpriced. The dubious DPWH project came from the notorious Disbursement Acceleration Program Fund (DAP) whose constitutionality or not the Supreme Court will decide soon.

    The project proponent of the P1.9 Billion Iloilo Circumferential Road is no other than Senate President Franklin Drilon, the most prominent son of Iloilo and Panay, who is also a Liberal Party stalwart or heavyweight and close ally and friend of President Aquino.



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    1. emgarciajr@gmail.com on

      We are full of oligarchs,,,,,,all rentseekers,,,,,real wealth creation is at a snails pace.

      why is the Salim group welcome here ? They together with Suharto devastated and left Indonesia so poor….is it because their model is so likable to the powers that be,,,,?

      Aynaku, putangina bayan na ito , napaka CPORRUPT

    2. I DISAGREE WITH THE WRITER COMMENT THAT THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT HAS DONE NOTHING! I do not belong to any group. I am not yellow, nor blue nor red! I am an OFW like millions of Filipinos working abroad for 30 years to help our family. As OFW I am proud to be considered new heroes because of our tremendous contribution to our economy.! Whilst we are working hard, honestly, and ethically in other countries our supposedly elected officials in the legislature, congress, other offices have been robbing our countries of billions of pesos. The PDAF scam would not have been discovered if not for the act of God who have been faithful to millions of Filipinos who have been suffering and miserably isolated. I am sad to say that the writer is one sided and has not emphatize with the challenge with what government is facing. All I see in most of our news papers are one sided and bias comments. Let’s learn how to cirticize professionally. One must be blind not to see the improvement in our economy, justice system, infrastructure, etc. I am encourage not just the improving economy but also the arraignment of those involved in the pork barrel scam. I have the opportunity to visit many countries and exchange views with business executives and most have been positive about the direction of the current government in prosecuting government officials who have plundered our country. I just hope that we collectively help our country by presenting solutions. Otherewise you will be judge as part of the problem.

      • Kindly give specifics on significant accomplishments of the Aquino administrations. I will be happy to write about them. Same thing I have told my friends who are either supportive of the Aquino administration and those whose spouses have been appointed by President Aquino to top government posts. However, I have not received any, “Improvement in the economy” means NOTHING unless with ” INCLUSIVE GROWTH,” which the Aquino administration now says it will focus in their last two years.

    3. westphilippines on

      The first task of a good leader is to bring reality! But the “Daang Matuwid” as promised remains a promise: Sadly, we do not learn! Promises are made to be broken! I can not recall if he did swear to have “Daang Matuwid” in his governance. Again, I will remind you Mr. Writer, I got it from you that the road to hell is paved with good intentions! Lack of competency can not be substituted by mere intelligence. Mabuhay ka!

      • Yes, the Road to Hell is Paved with Good-Intentions. Likewise, Daan na Matuwid puede patungo sa Bangin!

    4. Folks, let us look forward to the 2nd part of this article of Mr. Rick Ramos. It is getting to be very interesting and revealing. Hope fully some yellow will read this column as well.

      • Second part for what..Hope Mr. Ramos will reason out in the 2nd why it did not happen. The Part I for example, talking about infrastructure. Did he know that your president have to clean up the DWP for it is full of corruption, substandard project and overpricing which he inherited from Gloria. To clean it takes time, that’s why better off without projects than full of projects with corruption and overpriced. Commentators who will scare you and looking who will be blame for it, don’t know what he is talking about especially if he hates somebody who he blames for it. Criticism is good, but if its done without fairness, with hate, the cause of the problem and suggestion to correct the problem, then he should not be good commentator.

      • Mr. Erwin, agree that the system needs a total clean up hence you, like PNoy wants to play the blame game again on the previous administrations. However, with PNoy’s men already in their respective assignments, do we see any improvement, even the smallest? Is it not so that everything in the country is getting worse? What and where can you show us that things are now improving, statistics? survey reports?. It has been said by many time and time again that good intentions are not what this poor country needs, it is competence and leadership which, unfortunately, after 4 years of waiting, your PNoy has not delivered even how small because the man really know what he is doing. The only clear change done as of today, is punishing personal and alleged political and personal enemies and of course the now world famous bribery to legislators and continued corruption. These “changes” will be known as the darkest part of Philippine history.

      • Romeo Samson on

        Opinions and criticism are just part of Newspapering, It is within our basic right to voice out opinions and criticism against any wrong doing of the sitting regime… part of our democratic rights.

        Erwin, you can dispute the writer’s opinion, if you like.

    5. It is PNoy’s misfortune to have cast his lot among crooks – the same kind of crooks PNoy keeps bashing in his speeches. I totally agree with you that inspite all the promises PNoy made at the start of his administration, nothing beneficial to the Filipino people has been achieved. If anything, PNoy seems to have the same fization as his late mother – and that is to portray themselves s being graft-free (which may be true but not necessarily extend any concrete benefits to the populace) and to focus their attention on their perceived personal enemies. Cory persecuted the Marcos/Romualdez families and now PNoy well we all know who they are. Don’t get me wrong, I despise all the political families PNoy is chasing but surely if their graft cases can be handled more efficiently and expeditiously. At any rate, the Phils continues its inevitable decline into the abyss – so my suggestion to me all pinoys: prayers alone is not going to change the political and economic situation of the Phils – it needs to be complemented with concrete actions!

      • The problem of corruption in our country can’t be solved overnight and certainly can’t be solved by blaming PNoy. The Marcoses, Lopezes, Ramoses, Enriles, Arroyos, Estradas, Binays including the Chinese Billionaires who have been supporters of the crooks, etc. have all continuously became richer at the expense of millions of Filipinos. Millions of Filipinos are still miserably isolated and continue to suffer from lack of income. We all know how politics works in our country. I just hope whoever run for President, Senator, Governors, congressman, Mayors, councilors, etc. should first have fear of God and second have knowledge and skills to carry out his/her duties.

      • During the Presidency of Corazon C. Aquino, the PCGG SPARED then Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) from any investigation and recovery of the illegal wealth he accumulated during the Marcos Regime. Then PCGG Commissioner Bautista said it on national television. It is about time that the national government recovers ill-gotten wealth from the Marcos Regime to the administration of President B. S. Aquino III.
        Yes, Mother & Son are Vindictive as if it is a Religion.