It was a good year-A A +A
Thursday, January 3, 2013
IT LOOKS like 2013 may be a good year for the Philippines, if one were to gauge media and survey projections while 2012 approaches its journey into history. In spite of several natural calamities that wasted large portions of our territory, there continues to be an air of optimism among Filipinos that points to better times ahead.
Leadership played a vital role in producing this positive outlook. If it did one thing right, the Benigno Aquino III Administration displayed political will, that commodity that was so rare in past government administrations. The national psyche leaned and found comfort in the decisiveness of the leadership to make unpleasant but necessary decisions, and in turn found the courage and the resolve to move the country forward.
It took guts to prosecute the former President of the crime of plunder, knowing that she still possessed enough clout and influence to turn the heat on against the Aquino Administration. It took extraordinary courage and political will to file charges against the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court almost in the same period of time. And it required a rare sense of foresight (the mirror-image of “risk”) for PNoy’s Administration to replace the convicted Chief Justice with one of the most junior among the justices of the Supreme Court, risking the ire and the cooperation of its senior members but ensuring that the one with apparently the least “baggage” leads the Judiciary.
2012 will be remembered as the year that three incredibly hard, highly controversial but seemingly necessary pieces of legislation were proposed by a President and passed by Congress. These were the Reproductive Health Law, the Sin Tax Law and the Anti-Enforced Disappearance Law. Past administrations could not even support one of these, so great was the pressure of lobby groups against enacting them. Again, it required extreme diplomatic savvy coupled with enough arm-twisting to convince the congressmen and senators to pass them through the legislative mill. And pass them they did. And sign them into law the President did.
2012 may also be the year that the Filipino nation gained the respect and acceptance of its Asean and Asian neighbors when, even without a reassuring word from the United States of America, we stood up, spoke out and protested China’s intrusion into areas in the West Philippine Sea which we claimed as ours. Of course with its military might and our own puny defense capability China continued to bully us about; but that we chose not to take the bullying sitting down has earned us the grudging respect of our neighbors who, for the past several generations, looked contemptously at us only as “little brown Americans”. No more. Not any more.
On the economic side, 2012 was the year that the Philippines stood out, apparently the brightest and most-improved economy inside a sea of nations skidding in the throes of a worldwide financial depression and crisis. As it closed for the last time in 2012, the stock market congratulated itself for breaking records. There is every indication that when the year ends, the country shall have surpassed even its own ideal economic projections. Yes, indeed, we seem to be headed for better times.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 03, 2013.