Press Release
June 8, 2010


As the 15th Congress opens for the next three-year regular session, Senator Edgardo J. Angara today said that it is imperative for the incoming Senate leadership to adopt a clear agenda for reform.

"There is a common sentiment among members of the Senate to pursue genuine, honest to goodness reform. We want to see a more systematic, more purposeful discussion of public policy - and not just garden-variety legislation but laws of real national significance," said Angara, former Senate President.

he added, "We must give priority to policy reforms that can direct the country's growth. First, we have to do more in terms of infrastructure. Our country of more than 7,000 islands needs to be connected and accessible through physical infrastructure and a good telecommunications network."

In Indonesia, an archipelago of 23,000 islands, has outpaced the Philippines in terms of growth. It owes its economic advance to ample investment in infrastructure.

Angara said that there should be a drastic overhaul of our social services: our health care, education system, and our huge housing backlog. These are productivity enhancing activities and provide the foundation for future progress.

Moreover, he said that we must confront a thick, paralyzing bureaucracy that makes governing the country very difficult.

Presently, the cost of doing business in the Philippines is a serious obstacle to investment and growth. To start a business in the Philippines, it takes 15 procedures and 52 days. We must cut red tape, reduce the number of steps to the minimum, and lessen the signatures needed to do business. In the process, we not only promote efficiency but also reduce corruption in government transactions.

"We need to make a drastic overhaul of how we spend limited resources in our national budget. Budgetary reform should focus on making our system of allocation achieve fairness, equity and transparency," Angara concluded.

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