Press Release
February 24, 2010

(Speech of Senator Benigno S. Aquino III at the People Management Association
of the Philippines, February 24, 2010)

President Jimmy Isidro, officers and members of the People Management Association of the Philippines, Ladies and Gentlemen: Magandang hapon po.

Your PMAP National Human Resources Agenda calls for people-centered development. I share this key advocacy with you. It is reflected in our platform on job creation and education.

The ever-increasing number of Filipinos that seek employment overseas reflects a serious dysfunction in our economic system: We are not generating enough jobs in our own country. Our overseas Filipino workers have to leave, live separately from their families, and endure not just homesickness, but, in many cases, oppression and exploitation.

The government should not depend largely on remittances by OFWs to keep the economy afloat. We need to develop and generate employment opportunities right here at home.

If I become president, I will prioritize jobs that provide the people with opportunities that will help ease them out of poverty.

In the Aquino presidency, we will make education the central strategy/ for investing in our people, reducing poverty and building national competitiveness.

In the long term, investing in education will be the key to attaining the maximum potential for each and every one.

That meaningful change cannot happen overnight. In the short-term, we will focus on making improvements in our investment climate to create more opportunities for job-seekers.

First, we will encourage free and fair competition in a level playing field. We will make our bidding and procurement policies and processes more transparent, and punish those who circumvent procurement laws through collusion and other illegal means.

Second, we will make doing business easier by shortening and simplifying the approval process. This will benefit not only new businesses but also existing companies engaged in day-to-day transactions with government.

Third, government will not use its regulatory powers to make life difficult for legitimate enterprises obedient to the law. Conversely, regulatory capture will not be a feature of an Aquino administration.

The bottomline is, our people cannot achieve their fullest potential with persisting and systemic corruption. This problem has deprived the poor for so long of the resources that are meant for the basic social services they so desperately need: food, shelter and education. As a result, corruption hinders the development of our people into productive members of our workforce.

The real essence of democracy is in our ability to free every citizen from hunger. Taking immediate steps in lessening corruption will surely help address this crisis. Through a society/ free from the cudgels of excessive corruption, we can empower our people to build sustainable lives not just for their families but for future generations as well.

Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.

Maraming salamat po.

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