JULY 16, 2012 (BLOG WATCH: THE EQUALIZER)  From - In what could be a preview of his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 23, President Benigno Aquino III on Friday highlighted before a group of foreign visitors the key achievements of his two-year-old administration—“inclusive growth” and increased social spending to make sure that “no one is left behind.”

"Freedom From Want"

Wise spending has led to strengthened health care, education and social services, the President told participants of the 7th North American Ambassadors, Consuls-General and Tourism Directors Tour, who paid a courtesy call to him in Malacañang on Friday.

The economic growth of 6.4 percent posted in the first quarter “surpassed the expectations of most, if not all, analysts,” Mr. Aquino said.

More importantly, this growth has been felt broadly through the economy, and not just by a select few, he claimed.
He cited as an example the falling unemployment rate and self-rated hunger for the whole country, as shown in a recent survey.

According to a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey for the second quarter of 2012, the unemployment rate went down to 26.6 percent in May, the equivalent of 10.9 million unemployed adults. This was significantly lower than the 34.4 percent unemployment rate recorded in March, or 13.8 million unemployed.

Self-rated hunger for the whole country, from the same survey, went down to 18.4 percent in May, compared to 23.8 percent in March, the SWS said.
The President also boasted of the increased spending for social services, to the tune of P567.9 billion, or around 31 percent of the entire 2012 budget.

“No one is left behind.”

“We are indeed making sure that no one is left behind, and we will be hard at work over the next few years to accomplish this goal. I am very pleased to share that the good news doesn’t stop there,” said Mr. Aquino.

He talked about putting a lot of work into improving the country’s infrastructure in support of tourism, including airports and seaports.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has allocated P9.4 billion in 2011 and 2012 to construct, rehabilitate and improve roads leading to all of our tourist destinations.

Mr. Aquino said the public works efforts were complemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications, which has focused its attention on upgrading primary and secondary airports, as well as enhancing air traffic control systems.

Mr. Aquino underscored his commitment to boost the country’s tourism, saying his administration had made good progress in the tourism sector to revitalize the country’s socioeconomic growth.

The President cited increased tourist arrivals, though still small compared to those of the Philippines’ neighbors.

He reported that in the first five months of 2012 alone, the country saw the arrival of more than 1.8 million tourists, more than half of the yearly average of three million arrivals in the years before he took office.

He explained that his administration was paying particular attention to tourism because with it, “we can successfully pursue our agenda of inclusive growth, given the multiplier effect on jobs and the amount of money it brings into our country.”

The Third SONA

“The President should talk about transforming society, his vision and aspirations for the country, and what he wants the country to be.”

Transformational leadership is defined as a leadership approach that causes change in individuals and social systems. In its ideal form, it creates valuable and positive change in the followers with the end goal of developing followers into leaders.

Enacted in its authentic form, transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale and performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms.

[These include connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the mission and the collective identity of the organization; being a role model for followers that inspires them; challenging followers to take greater ownership for their work, and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of followers, so the leader can align followers with tasks that optimize their performance. From Wikipedia]


A Commitment to Transformational Leadership:
1. From a President who tolerates corruption to a President who is the nation’s first and most determined fighter of corruption.

2. From a government that merely conjures economic growth statistics that our people know to be unreal to a government that prioritizes jobs that empower the people and provide them with opportunities to rise above poverty.

3. From relegating education to just one of many concerns to making education the central strategy for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.

4. From treating health as just another area for political patronage to recognizing the advancement and protection of public health, which includes responsible parenthood, as key measures of good governance.

5. From justice that money and connections can buy to a truly impartial system of institutionsthat deliver equal justice to rich or poor.

6. From government policies influenced by well-connected private interests to a leadership that executes all the laws of the land with impartiality and decisiveness.

7. From treating the rural economy as just a source of problems, to recognizing farms and rural enterprises as vital to achieving food security and more equitable economic growth, worthy of re-investment for sustained productivity.

8. From government anti-poverty programs that instill a dole-out mentality to well-considered programs that build capacity and create opportunity among the poor and the marginalized in the country.

9. From a government that dampens private initiative and enterprise to a government that creates conditions conducive to the growth and competitiveness of private businesses, big, medium and small.

10. From a government that treats its people as an export commodity and a means to earn foreign exchange, disregarding the social cost to Filipino families to a government that creates jobs at home, so that working abroad will be a choice rather than a necessity; and when its citizens do choose to become OFWs, their welfare and protection will still be the government’s priority.

Government Service
11. From Presidential appointees chosen mainly out of political accommodation to discerning selection based on integrity, competence and performance in serving the public good.

12. From demoralized but dedicated civil servants, military and police personnel destined for failure and frustration due to inadequate operational support to professional, motivated and energized bureaucracies with adequate means to perform their public service missions.

Gender Equality
13. From a lack of concern for gender disparities and shortfalls, to the promotion of equal gender opportunity in all spheres of public policies and programs.

Peace & Order
14. From a disjointed, short-sighted Mindanao policy that merely reacts to events and incidents to one that seeks a broadly-supported just peace and will redress decades of neglect of the Moro and other peoples of Mindanao.

15. From allowing environmental blight to spoil our cities, where both the rich and the poor bear with congestion and urban decay to planning alternative, inclusive urban developments where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy and safe communities.

16. From a government obsessed with exploiting the country for immediate gains to the detriment of its environment to a government that will encourage sustainable use of resources to benefit the present and future generations.

This platform is a commitment to change that Filipinos can depend on. With trust in their leaders, everyone can work and build a greater future together.

Posted by EQ at Saturday, July 14, 2012

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