December 19, 2010
MANILA, Philippines – From jump-starting the peace process to finding new love.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Sunday issued a list of his wishes for his political ally, President Benigno Aquino III, and the country 6 days before Christmas Day. The President’s much talked about love life has made it to the senator’s list.
On top of Pangilinan’s list was an end to the armed conflict in Mindanao.
“An end to the armed conflict around the country could lead to the emergence of cities such as General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao City,” he said.
A new image for the country’s tourism industry was also high on his list.
The legislator lamented that while other countries in Southeast Asia are attracting 12 to 15 million tourists annually, the Philippines is only drawing “some 3 million tourist arrivals” yearly.
“It has been said that other countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) are doing so much more with so little in terms of natural wonders and beautiful sites while we are doing so little with so much,” he said.
Pangilinan also hopes that the country would finally address the ballooning population.
“The fact remains that unless we are able to address the issue of population management, we can never realize our true potential as a nation. The government can only provide for so much of its citizen before there is chaos. An informed choice is what Filipinos need to manage the booming population,” he said.
As for the bachelor President’s love life, Pangilinan noted: “I hope all the best for our President, but more than that, I wish for him to finally find that special someone so that the media can focus their stories on the more substantive aspects of being the leader of a nation.”
His other wishes:
– For the CCT (conditional cash transfer program for the poor) to be implemented soon: “I share the President’s fervor in lifting our countrymen out of poverty. We would like to see the CCT be implemented the soonest so we can assess right away its impact on our nation’s marginalized sector and tweak the system as necessary.”
– A united Malacanang: “We would like to see a more disciplined and cohesive team working towards achieving progress in the country. Let us be rid of the factions within. Filipinos are naturally resilient
and love to laugh. But it does us no good to laugh at the follies of those who represent PNoy.”
– Stable gasoline prices: “We make an appeal to those controlling the prices of this very important commodity: Let us give our countrymen a chance to rise above subsistence. Let us find a compromise wherein your business can still thrive without the poor suffering at the end of the consumer chain.”
– For Filipinos to start thinking of fishing as a viable industry: “There is more to the country than agricultural farming. We have one of the longest coastlines in the world and a treasure trove of aquamarine resources. The Philippines can easily be the aquamarine resource powerhouse of the world.”
– To be rid of garbage: “The tragedy of Ondoy should serve as a powerful lesson to us all. Cleaning up the environment also gives one a sense of pride and dignity, no matter what social class he or she belongs to.”
– More private-public participation in worthy projects: “ The Gawad Kalinga is an exemplary example of how the synergy of government and private sector partnerships can bring about sustainable reforms for
our communities and indeed, the whole nation. We all hope for a better nation, and as a people we will collectively realize these hopes only when more of us are willing to make a stand, take the risk, move out
of our comfort zones and pledge to commit to doing our share in helping shape our communities and in helping move our nation towards a new direction.”
– For smugglers to go to jail: “Smuggling affects the sustainability and profitability of our trade industry. It has been pervasive for far too long. We would like to see these unscrupulous traders finally put to jail. Smuggling is an indication of pervasive corruption in the country. We hope to stamp out all forms of corruption in the Philippines, and we need to make examples of them by punishing them.”
– For rice prices to be stabile: “Rice has been the cultural staple of Filipinos. And yet not all of our countrymen are able to afford to have them on their tables. For us to have economic stability, we will need to have food security. Addressing the gaps that affect the prices of rice will greatly improve the lives of our impoverished people. One cannot dream of prosperity after all if one has an empty stomach.”
Another government official, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, on Sunday also wished the President “good health, peace of mind, less stress and more time for himself.”
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