• Tough times face Aquino in final half of his term – de Ocampo


    The first half of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s term was marked by laudable accomplishments, but the final three years will present tough challenges since he will be facing political and economic storms, according to former Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo.

    De Ocampo said the last half of Aquino’s presidency will be full of challenges because of the unprecedented devastation of Central Visayas from Super Typhoon Yolanda and the alleged releases of billions of pesos in government funds to fake non-government organizations controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.

    Rebuilding the shattered towns in typhoon-hit areas will take years and the government will need a enormous amount of money to put up new bridges, repair damaged roads and other infrastructure. Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan estimated that the cost of rehabilitation and reconstruction could go as high as $5.8 billion.

    “Sure, some might think [the President]has three years more to go, but remember, Typhoon Yolanda and ‘typhoon’ Napoles cannot be solved that quickly,” de Ocampo said. He cited Sen. Joker Arroyo’s statement that the problems generated by the Yolanda and Napoles would take 30 years to resolve.

    De Ocampo, who is chairman of the RFO Center for Public Finance and Regional Cooperation, said Aquino will run out of time to resolve the country’s problems because he will not have a “full” three years to address them.

    He noted that the second half of 2015 and first half of 2016 will be full of “distractions” as preparations for the presidential campaigns peak.

    “Three years? It’s not even three years as [Aquino’s] term would end midyear in May 2016,” de Ocampo said.

    “This would really measure his ability to prove if he would be a mere “lame duck” or not,” he added.

    De Ocampo agreed with the observation of Philippine Economic Society President Alvin Ang, SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. President Alan Ortiz and University of the Philippines economist Ernesto Pernia that Aquino will also have to face the challenges in the manufacturing sector. The President will also have to attract more investors and prepare the country for the Asean Economic Community integration in 2015.

    In his presentation titled “Fearless Forecast 2014,” de Ocampo emphasized that 64.1 percent of the economists and businessmen in the country believe that the Philippines is not ready for the Asean economic integration.


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    1. Any leader of any country will have a tough time specially a poor country like the Philippines dealing with the aftermath of a cyclone dubbed as the strongest ever recorded in history plus the strong earthquake that devastated Bohol and Cebu. These are natural, unpredictable events that you can not assign blame on any leader. How he will manage this, will show the result of the government’s over all efforts to rebuild the overwhelming destruction in the history of the county by nature, gone haywire due to climate changes. Besides, time may be too short to finish the rebuilding, but no matter what, there is no shortage of criticism for political pogi points. May God, guide the present leaders to do the right thing without any political consideration.

    2. wilmer andrada on

      If Pres. Aquino will revamp his cabinet and hire technocrats instead of political and personal buddies, I think the rest of his term will not be branded as lame duck.With the PDAF gone and the DAP under scrutiny, he should show strong leadership and resurrect our country in a new paradigm of governance.Together with our Congress he should present a Marshall Plan or a Blue Print for the Nation from the remotest Barangay devastated by calamities to the towering structure of Metro Manila.Stop all those amorphous projects that promote political patronage or temptation to thievery.We need a solid National Health Care System so the poor and the penniless will get medical services and nobody should go bankrupt because of an illness.We need a National Student Assistance or Loan Program so our youths can pursue their dreams.We need to simplify bureaucracy in our government operations to make it more efficient,transparent , honest and accountable. We do not need to reinvent the wheel for our nation to go forward. There are successful models in other countries that we can copy or modify. Examples are The Kibbutzim of Israel in the resettlement of our homeless, jobless, and displaced people or squatter dwellers.We should learn how Singapore exceeded our country in business , infrastructure and cleanliness. France has the best Healthcare System in the world.The Railroads of Europe are well established.China quickly gained economic dominance in a short time despite being a communist country.Collectivism can even be experimented in some sector of our economy.We need a clear vision from our leaders and the courage and leadership to pursue these dreams.

    3. Will de Ocampo please enumerate what laudable accomplishments BS Aquino had done 1st half of his term. I am very excited to know what they are. Hey, de Ocampo, if you read this comment, please facilitate to reply.

    4. The Phils is not ready because the govt don’t have the will to do it.They are also under enormous pressure from vested interest who wants to protect their turf to the detriment of the Filipino nation.It’s not due to lack of talents I remember in the ’70s where the Singapore govt employees Pinoy accountants and auditors because they haven’t got the qualified people to do it. Since then Singapore has gone from strength to strength leaving the Phils well behind and so did Thailand,Malaysia,Vietnam,Taiwan and others.Until the Phils get it’s act together by having a proper 20 year govt program nothing will eventuate it is a revolving door of people who wants to destroy each other and cancel out it’s other each and every election time.