By Ernie Reyes
MANILA – Recognizing the Aquino administration’s promotion of honest and effective governance that led to unprecedented economic growth and uplifted the lives of Filipinos, Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Tuesday filed Proposed Senate Resolution (PSR) 765 honoring the life and legacy of President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III.
“The past five days have been trying for a lot of us, lalo na sa pamilya, mga katrabaho, at mga sumusuporta kay PNoy. Kakaibang pagluluksa rin dulot ng maraming limitasyon ng pandemya. Ngunit ito ang hindi magbabago: ang pagkilala at pag-alala sa mga nagawa ng administrasyong Aquino para sa mga Pilipino,” Pangilinan said.
The Liberal Party president said Filipinos may use Malacañang’s Proclamation 1169 declaring 10 days of national mourning ending July 3 to express their condolences to the late President’s family and friends, as well as their own grief.
“Naging maikli ang burol dahil sa pandemya, pero hindi natatapos ang pagluluksa ng bansa. Merong mga community prayer memorials sa iba’t ibang bahagi ng bansa ang pwede nating puntahan o itayo sa ating mga komunidad,” Pangilinan said. Existing community memorials have been set up in Muntinlupa, Malabon, Cavite, Quezon, Pampanga, Tarlac, Albay, Cebu City, Iloilo City, Negros Occidental, Zamboanga City, among others.
President Aquino died in his sleep last June 24, 2021. He was 61.
PSR 765 highlights the accomplishments of the Aquino administration that elevated the Philippines from being the “Sick Man of Asia” to being one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Aquino’s term saw the highest six-year average growth of the economy since 1978, with an average of 6.2% growth from 2010 to 2015, with focus on infrastructure, public-private partnership projects worth P194.87 billion, and foreign direct Investments of up to $5.74 billion in 2014 — a 436% increase from 2010.
With transparency and anti-corruption as its thrusts, the Aquino government was able to lower the unemployment rate to 5.6% in October 2015 and expanded the PhilHealth coverage to 92% or P93.45 million of the P101.45 million 2015 projected population, Pangilinan said.
“More than 7 million individuals were uplifted from poor status to non-poor, alongside efforts to ramp up the coverage of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program from 786,523 poor households in June 2010 to 4.4 million poor households and displaced families as of June 2016,” the resolution said.
“Tinotoo ng pamumuno ni PNoy na kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap. Marahil maraming magsasabi na numero lang ang mga ito, ngunit hindi maikakaila ang pagbabago ng buhay sa marami mating mga kababayan,” Pangilinan said.
The Aquino government also spearheaded the Philippines’ historic win in the Permanent Court of Arbitration over China and asserting Philippine sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea.
Other landmark reforms implemented during his term were the K to 12 Basic Education Program, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, investments in agriculture, and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamaro that paved the way for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao under the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
“It was an honor to serve alongside him in the Senate, to be the campaign manager of their slate as they ran for President in 2010, and again to serve as one of his Cabinet Secretaries in 2014 to 2015. We witnessed how hard he worked, and how it was always for the good of the people. Maraming salamat, PNoy,” Pangilinan said.
A two-day wake was held at the Heritage Park in Taguig and at the Church of the Gesu at the Ateneo de Manila University on June 24-25.
He was buried alongside his parents, President Cory and Senator Ninoy Aquino, at the Manila Memorial on Saturday, June 26.
Thousands of supporters, clad in yellow or waving the Philippine flag, yellow cloths, and even plastic bags, lined the streets of the convoy to Manila Memorial in honor of the late President. (ai/mtvn)