Aquino administration notches tangible gains in first year (2)

10:39, June 28, 2011      

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A report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the country' s central bank, said that in March the net inflow of FDI into the country was 167 million U.S. dollars or a jump of 142 percent year- on-year.

The National Statistics Office also reported that the country's merchandise exports rose by an annual 19.1 percent in April, the fastest growth rate this year.

But some administration critics are saying that Aquino should focus more on nurturing the economy and in solving some pressing problems instead of worrying so much about a territorial dispute.

For example, one critic says, the administration should think of creative ways on how to save the floundering talks with both the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the communist New People's Army (NPA).

When he assumed power a year ago, Aquino immediately resumed the peace negotiations with the two main rebel groups in the country that were scrapped by the previous administration. Now hopes for the success of these talks have dimmed.

Early this month, the National Democratic Front (NDF), the political arm of the NPA, unilaterally canceled the talks after the government refused to release some of the captured NPA leaders. Since then, there have been no signs when the talks with the NDF would resume.

In the case of the MILF, the two sides met again June 27-28 in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the MILF proposal to establish a sub-state in the Southern Philippines.

The Christian majority in the region, however, had vigorously opposed the idea.

But it is in the fight against corruption that the Aquino administration has still to show some tangible results.

Efforts by Aquino to flesh out his campaign mantra of "Kung walang corup, walang mahirap" (If there are no corrupt officials, there will be no poor) have been stymied when the Supreme Court junked his Executive Order No. 1 creating the Truth Commission that would have prosecuted corrupt officials of the previous administration.

After the Truth Commission was dissolved, Aquino has not made new moves to wipe out public corruption in the Philippines as he has pledged during the campaign.

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