Life can be so unfair. Some people will hate you just for being ugly. Then again, some people will still hate you just for being beautiful. But if you believe the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) report on the satisfaction rating of President Noynoy Aquino’s first 100 days in office, you can be forgiven for thinking that Noynoy Aquino is quite possibly the luckiest man alive, his looks notwithstanding.
There are many things in life that just seem so unreal. Things like the Pyramids of Egypt or Stonehenge in the UK can make you go, “I cannot believe it is man-made!” But SWS surveys in the Philippines never leave us with any doubt about the endless possibilities of what men can do and this includes the likely manipulation of “trust” ratings to favour one person or another.
The results of the SWS survey “had 71% of the respondents saying they were satisfied with Mr. Aquino’s performance, compared to the 11% who said otherwise, for a net satisfaction score of +60.” Just to stress, only 11% were unsatisfied with P-Noy’s performance according to SWS. This despite all the gaffes and errors P-Noy committed since Day One in office, most of which even a close Aquino ally, Professor Winnie Monsod, had pointed out.
The survey results seem so unreal so it is either the survey firm did not ask the right people or the Filipinos who participated in it definitely have very, very low expectation issues. Either way, they are both undesirable thoughts. Let’s not forget to mention that the SWS is owned and operated by friends and family members of P-Noy. I guess we can expect a high “trust” rating until his last day in office in 2016 even when majority of the Filipino people become increasingly dissatisfied with his performance.
But in addition to reacting with disbelief when you see the Pyramids or the Stonehenge or the result of SWS “trust” surveys on P-Noy, you may also ask the question: What was the point of it, really? Indeed, it seems to me that building the Pyramids, the Stonehenge site, or conducting SWS surveys for P-Noy were all exercises motivated by vanity. It just simply fails to provide a satisfying answer to the perennial question: So What?
The most vocal and informed Filipino citizens on the Net tend to be the most frustrated and anxious about P-Noy’s handling of the economy and some of the local issues that continue to derail his management of the country. Some issues like his final recommendations on the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) report particularly the slap on the wrist he gave his friend and Department of Interior and Local Government Undersecretary, Rico Puno for his incompetence in handling the bungled Mendoza Hostage Crisis on the 23rd of August 2010 and on being implicated on the jueteng scandal has disappointed many Filipinos and Hong Kong Chinese citizens alike.
P-Noy’s latest decision to grant amnesty to ex-military personnel and convicted mutineer Antonio Trillanes has sealed the tradition of management by impunity which has contributed to the lack of accountability in our public officials. What “hope” is there for a better tomorrow for the rest of the Filipino people? As has been pointed out in this blogsite over and over even before he was elected, P-Noy is part of the problem and not the solution to the woes of the Filipinos. It seems that some of the survey respondents don’t really have a clue what P-Noy stand for. They are like lemmings who routinely jump off cliffs for reasons unknown to mankind.
In some internet forums, his supporters always come out in his defence by saying, “He is only one man. He needs everyone’s cooperation to succeed.” It would have been better had they applied what they are saying to all the previous Philippine presidents. And in any case, cooperation need not be just blindly following P-Noy’s decisions. Cooperation also comes in the form of being vigilant in criticising his wrong decisions which can greatly affect the rest of the population. They also say that it is too early to criticize P-Noy. Well I say that it is too early to say that he is a success.
On his 100 days performance report, P-Noy spoke with a wisdom that can only come from someone with very little experience and a lot of arrogance. Like a little boy full of pride, he praised himself rather than acknowledge that he still has a lot of issues to resolve. When he spoke about our country’s problems and said “Nag-ugat ito sa isang gobyernong parang tatlong matsing na nagbingi-bingihan, nagbulag-bulagan, at gumawa ng sariling katotohanan,” he might as well have been talking about himself as well because he doesn’t really listen to what some people — his “boss”, according to him — have to say about his management style.
P-Noy just kept going on and on about working hard without yielding any meaningful results. He even takes credit for the accomplishments of the previous administration for the $430M Millennium Challenge Corp (MCC) grant, among other things. He is lucky indeed, for majority of Filipinos are the sort of people who are easily impressed by pomp and pageantry like Noynoy’s “wang-wang” grandstanding even when a lot of the bigger issues aren’t really being addressed.
He might have scored brownie points for his support of the RH Bill with some of his detractors but that will only translate into something if he sticks to his guns even under Catholic Church pressure bearing down on him.
P-Noy never fails to mention how he is so good at saving on funds. But no amount of saving from income generated from tax collection will be enough to build all the infrastructure and facilities to cater for a population that keeps on growing. Tax revenues is dependent on people having jobs. When people have no income, there will be no taxes to collect from them. It is that simple. There are quite a number of Filipinos who have been unproductive their whole lives and cannot break out of the cycle of poverty. So obviously, P-Noy needs to stimulate the private sector with fewer regulations to induce the sorts of investments that create more jobs for the Filipino people.
Even his promise of creating more schools with the emphasis on using the money he saved will not be enough to train people to help them become more entrepreneurial. Our manufacturing sector seems to be irreversibly descending a slippery slope and can no longer compete with China, Vietnam, India and Bangladesh. Besides, he also needs to address the reality that it is in our cultural DNA to be less competitive than other ethnic groups a concept I explored in my previous blog. With P-Noy’s tendency to turn a blind eye to our own failures, Bloomberg.com may have been right when they predicted before the May 2010 elections that P-Noy may be bad for the economy.
Life can be so unfair. But when you are President Noynoy Aquino, everything seems so rosy particularly since he has friends and relatives who will greatly benefit from his impeccable public image — no matter what he does.