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President Aquino on his legacy

With just a little over a month before the end of his term on June 30, President Aquino has begun to speak out on what he has accomplished in the last six years. In an interview, he said he hopes the nation will remember that he had stayed true to his promise that he would be leaving a country that is better than when his administration started in 2010.

On the whole, this would sum up his legacy to the nation. It is highlighted by outstanding economic progress as measured in a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that hit a high of 7.1% in 2013, marking the Philippines as among the top in Asia. The GDP has settled down to 6% this year, still notable in a world of struggling economies.

The Aquino administration will also be noted for its core campaign “Daang Matuwid” under which it sought to curb corruption in government. The President set a personal example that he urged his fellow officials in the Cabinet, in the various agencies of the Executive Department, in the co-equal legislative and judicial branches of government to emulate – with varying success.

Just as the Aquino administration dissected the ills and failures of the previous administration, its own record will be assessed by succeeding officials. He must expect criticism of two funding programs – the Priority Development Assistance Fund and the Disbursement Acceleration Program. He must accept the deficiencies that held back the Bangsamoro Basic Law project despite its noble and ambitious goal of peace in Mindanao.

There are indeed so many plans, projects, and programs for which the Aquino administration will be known and remembered. They will all be assessed in time. Some are bound to be continued like the Conditional Cash Transfer program needed to help the poorest of the poor. Some will be intensified, like the steady acquisition of planes, ships, and ammunition, to boost our national defense and security.

In his interview this week, President Aquino said it was an honor for him to have served the Filipino people. There were many challenges, internal and international, which he said he faced with the thought that the people were behind him.

He is confident, he said, that he is leaving something better than what he found – a more progressive, a more confident, a more ambitious, a more striving country and people.