Statement of Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III
On the week of March 28-April 1, 2016
[Released on April 2, 2016]
During last Monday’s proclamation rally for the Liberal Party, President Aquino spoke about his hope for the Filipino people—that we may one day look back on this time and say, “Kasama ako sa humubog sa magandang bukas ng Pilipinas… Naging parte ako ng positibong pagbabago.”
Indeed, we Filipinos hold our destiny in our own hands. More than ever, as we approach yet another crossroads in our history, it is imperative that we consider our choices wisely, as these will affect not just our own future, but also that of millions and generations of our countrymen.
Each of us has an important role to play. On Tuesday, the President delivered this same message during the commencement exercises of graduate students from the Development Academy of the Philippines. He expressed his support for the graduates—who finished the Master in Public Management, Major in Local Governance and Development program—and encouraged them to always “pursue the difficult right over the easy wrong.”
The next day, the President attended the opening ceremonies of Publish Asia 2016, an annual gathering of journalists and publishers from around the globe. In his address, he highlighted the crucial role of media in delivering accurate and timely information to the public, and the accompanying burden of this responsibility. The President pointed out that while sensational headlines and controversial articles may pay off in the short term, news agencies should refrain from lowering their standards, as in the long run readers will learn to distinguish such writing from fact-based journalism, and consequently turn toward more reliable sources.
Later that afternoon, the President led the inauguration of two school buildings for Grace Park Elementary School in Caloocan. Praising the successful coordination among DepEd, PAGCOR, and DPWH, he stressed that our investment in education continues, and that by the end of his term the administration will have built more than 185,000 classrooms.
Also this week, President Aquino undertook visits to Laguna and Cavite, and attended the 25th anniversary celebration of the Center for Community Transformation. In Laguna, he inspected a Kaertech Electronics facility, and in Cavite the next day turned over a building for Carmona Elementary School and launched a Shared Service Facility for the garments industry. In both provinces, the President also met with local leaders and the community.
At all these events, the President emphasized our country’s complete turnaround since 2010, and reiterated the danger of straying from the Straight Path. After all, there is no assurance that a leader not committed to Daang Matuwid would continue the reforms initiated by President Aquino. Under an inexperienced, corrupt, or reckless leader, there remains a strong risk that crucial programs like the 4Ps and PhilHealth, for example, would fall by the wayside. Keeping this in mind, let us discern well the principles and platforms of our candidates, and vote for a more progressive future for all Filipinos.