DON SALVADOR BENEDICTO – Former President Fidel V. Ramos yesterday took a swipe at some officials of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III, describing them as narrow-minded, although he did not mention names.
If this administration wants to fast-track development, they should plan it not just for six years, Ramos said, when asked about the use of the multi-billion peso Disbursement Acceleration Program to accelerate development spending, which some describe as unconstitutional.
FVR, who led the inauguration of a 1.7-kilometer zip line in Brgy. Igmayaan, Don Salvador Benedicto, after a fellowship breakfast with Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, said “You must not look at the very narrow short range of six years, which is the term of the president, you must plan for one whole generation”.
Senate President Franklin Drilon, who had earlier justified the use of DAP to spur government spending, said the government could not afford to do away with it.
As explained by the Department of Budget and Management, Drilon said that the purpose of the DAP was to start spending “appropriations which are not being spent.”
When asked about his rating of the Aquino administration from a scale of one to 10, Ramos said, “What is difficult is that some of us are narrow-minded”.
The former president admitted that corruption cannot be wiped out in the government. “But we can moderate it,” Ramos said, citing the use of Pagcor and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds, among other contingencies.
He said they should not be abused by those in power.
Ramos also stressed the need for teamwork in nation-building. He said the Philippines ranked 114th among 185 countries in human development, which measures poverty and health, among others, as reported by the United Nations last year, which was far behind to rank number 70, compared to 15 years ago.
“Let's not allow it to happen. We can do better,” Ramos said, adding that it will serve as a challenge to all Filipinos.
“We must aspire for higher positions in the community of nations,” he added.*GPB