Transparency


MANILA, Philippines - In a few days, P-Noy will be receiving a "verdict" on his performance for the first 100 days of his administration. On two criteria, sincerity and transparency, he will, I am sure come out with flying colors. Even if at times, his being too open may have made him vulnerable to criticism. For example, while the budget for his last foreign trip was made known to the public, there was little publicity on expenditures made by his predecessors. For example, in most of her foreign trips, GMA would take along dozens of allies and their relatives, book her entourage in some of the most expensive hotels, but little was known about these except for the La Cirque affair. P-Noy was criticized about his $15,000 PR budget but we know that this was a regular item in the foreign visits of most past presidents. The "hotdogs and burgers" gained him points, although some felt that there could have been more focus on serious issues. But he did not disappoint us with his debut at the UN and at the Global Pinoy town hall meeting where he showed his grasp of the varied problems facing our overseas kababayans.I don't think P-Noy anticipated the number and complexity of decision areas that he had to face after only three months. With his political capital, credibility, and moral ground, he should be able to confront these problems and pursue a decisive and steadfast course. But his mantra of "kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap" and "matuwid na daan" although still relevant, may sound simplistic today in the midst of complex forces that could be divisive and destructive. There is the danger that faces many a leader - that of being isolated from the people, and of not having access to as many diverse perspectives. One expectation is that he would fulfill his pledge of support for the Freedom of Information bill. As many know, the bill which was expected to be passed into law during the last Congress encountered a hitch through lack of quorum during the final stage. The Right to Know Coalition has written an appeal to P-Noy to prioritize the bill that is based on the last Bicameral Conference Report on the FOI of the 14th Congress. Specifically, this would be based on House Bills 11 and 53 filed by Rep. Rodolfo Biazon and Lorenzo Tanada III, respectively, and Senate Bill 158 filed by Senator TG Guingona. …

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