Valenzuela City Congressman Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian today said the plunge in the Aquino administration’s satisfaction ratings should serve as a wake-up call and a challenge for President Aquino to make good his campaign promise to uplift the lives of the poor in the last two years of his term.
Gatchalian, at the same time, called on his fellow lawmakers in the Senate and the Lower House not to be distracted by the huge drop in the two chambers’ net satisfaction ratings and instead concentrate on their legislative work, particularly bills that address the concerns of ordinary Filipinos.
“The Aquino administration used inclusive growth and ‘Tuwid na Daan’ as tenets for governance, but the ratings indicate that there is a need to step up efforts in reducing poverty and generating employment,” said Gatchalian, a senior vice chair of the House committees on Metro Manila development and on housing and urban development.
Saying that poverty cannot simply disappear in a stroke of a hand, Gatchalian pointed out that poverty reduction needs a long-term strategy and this will definitely go beyond the present administration.
“The Aquino government has laid out the foundation by investing in crucial social programs such as the conditional cash transfer and the K to 12 and by enacting key policies on reproductive health and on universal healthcare, among others. But it is high time to also address the public’s foremost concerns like job opportunities and affordable prices of commodities,” Gatchalian said.
The June 27-30 Pulse Asia survey showed “controlling inflation” as the top national concern, followed by “improving/increasing the pay of workers”, “fighting graft and corruption in government”, “creating more jobs”, and “reducing poverty of many Filipinos”.
Gatchalian said these are the issues that should be addressed by both the executive and the legislative branches since failure to do so will mean a disgruntled populace whose sentiments and grievances can be reflected in the surveys of both Pulse Asia and Social Weather Station.
Gatchalian said the issues of the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF and the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP could have contributed in the huge plunge in the President’s ratings but the same survey shows that these are not the primary concerns of the ordinary Filipinos.
“The challenge for the Aquino administration in the last two years of its term is to make the lives of the poor better by providing jobs and stabilizing the prices of rice, petroleum products, and electricity. If the government can do this, it can finish its term in 2016 with flying colors,” Gatchalian said. (Monica Cantilero)