THERE'S a lot of positive energy there, was how Asian Development Bank (ADB) Secretary Woochong Um described how it is working with the present administration.
Visiting Davao City for the Philippine Economic Briefing on March 9 at the SMX Conference Center, before which he spent time along with other ADB officials for a one-on-one interview, Secretary Um underlined the importance of the commitment of and sense of ownership to programs and projects by a country to making ADB programs on major concerns like infrastructure, social development, and climate change work. They have encountered no problem with the present administration with regards commitment.
"That's something that is incredibly strong in this relationship and you can sense it from the top all the way to the bottom, everyone wants to get these things done and I think that's a great encouragement in the last year and a half that we have been working with the administration," he said. "And I see very positive energy generated and I think everyone is really serious. Give them time I see things happening."
One other thing, he said, is that they sense that the administration is very much aware that they have to get things moving within five years, and that awareness manifests a government that is in a hurry to execute changes to set things right before its term ends. That bodes well for a country that has been just cruising along and getting worse since the Edsa Revolution in 1986.
Um admits that even as the government is focused on setting in place the needed infrastructure to serve as the backbone for an inclusive growth, infrastructure programs do tend to hit snags along the way, and there may be delays that will require extend the implementation beyond, but that does not mean that these programs will not be in place.
"For infrastructure, you don't know whether we will finish everything, but I think the design of the investment programs there is in the way that it will continue beyond that -- I think the Government is very conscious about the five-year timeline," he said.
Thus, we can understand the frustration of Dabawenyos and the people who know who understand how this administration works when groups and individuals are bent on impeding the projects, programs, and vision of this administration. This goes even for those claiming to be allies but are obviously there for personal aggrandizement, the way past politicians have been amassing power all for themselves. We're not out of the woods yet, the corrupt still have some foothold on power and what we can do to contribute is to grab this window of opportunity to serve the greater good.
Let's do our share fast before the old hands grab this opportunity back.
But like in everything, caution still have to be applied, and it is up to us, the citizens to ensure that projects and programs are not rushed at the expense of sustainability, and yes, the people. This is where strict monitoring and checks have to be set in place and operational.
Yes, we have a government in a hurry to get things done given its limited time, it will take a nationwide cooperation to ensure that the vision of inclusive growth is indeed achieved and the opportunistic officials are held at bay if not forever retired. This is within our power as well: through the coming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections and the 2019 elections.