Brighter 2011 for PNoy?

AFTER last year’s “trial and error” style of governance, the Aquino administration is expected to deliver this year more substantial actions for the good of more people, not only for the good of those around him.

What better way to start the new year than give the public a good performance. (The military, for instance, seemed to have scored big early with the arrest of a top communist leader in the Southern Tagalog region.)

Unfortunately, natural calamities seemed to have started early to threaten the southern part of the country. Thousands have already left homes and farms in Mindanao because of floods brought about by heavy rains in the past days. It would be another headache for the cash-strapped economy.

Despite the challenges though that the new administration of President Aquino encountered last year, it was not a dismal start, at least according to Catholic bishops, an unlikely group to praise the president who is seen to favor artificial contraception.

Former Manila Bishop Teodoro Bacani Jr. gave the president 90 percent grade for his efforts to eliminate corruption in government. “People look up to him. We cannot say the same thing for the previous leadership which the people did not trust,” the bishop was quoted as saying.

The prelate, however, said the president has to work doubly hard this year to push for economic development that will be felt by the men and women on the streets. We think, this is what matters most, that people will feel something is being done.

Another prelate hopes the president will get more experience as days pass. (It is unfortunate that Malacañang has become a training ground of sorts, but what can we do? We’ve put the president there and he brought with him “inexperienced” people he can trust.)

Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo said Aquino “tends to compensate for his lack of experience by surrounding himself with a lot of people with different backgrounds and expertise.” There’s nothing wrong with it until the “experts” start clashing and put the president in an awkward position.

There are those who say they hope the president will do better this year and work more in curbing corruption. (A Social Weather Station survey conducted from Nov. 27 to 30 had 93 percent of Filipinos saying they are entering 2011 with hope, up from the 89 percent the other year.)

The president admitted he would not be able to immediately address all the problems of this country, not even in six years. The people know it and are not expecting that much. What many want to see is just a glimmer of hope that something can still happen in our beautiful Philippines.

And despite the early rains and floods, we hope for a brighter 2011 for this new government. Joe Torres

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