PNoy too focused on cleaning up after GMA, says ex-Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno

(SPOT.ph) Former Budget Secretary Prof. Benjamin Diokno has warned President Noynoy Aquino that his "Daang Matuwid" campaign has made him too concerned about cleaning up after the previous administration that he ends up not doing enough to improve the economy, reports ABS-CBN News. Diokno, who was interviewed by radio dzMM, critiqued several points in Aquino’s governance-from underspending to relationships with foreign investors.

 

Diokno, who served as budget undersecretary and secretary for Presidents Corazon Aquino and Joseph Estrada, respectively, said that Aquino was following the steps of his mother who did not approve any infrastructure projects for six months. "No projects (means) no corruption," Diokno said, however adding, "Hindi naman pwedeng ganoong ang pagpapatakbo ng gobyerno (But it's not good for governance)."

 

Government underspending, he said, is too high at P52-53 billion. This, he believes, curtails progress. "Suppose you have a family and you want more money in the bank, but you don’t send your kids to school, don’t get medical help when someone’s sick or don’t fix the roof when it’s leaking. That’s wrong because the government is supposed to provide services."

 

Dioko also predicted that Aquino's plan not to impose new taxes until 2013 will be problematic, explaining that it would be an election year, hence no one would be available to approve the taxes. According to Diokno, the President must listen to his economic advisers, adding that Aquino does not benefit enough from the expertise of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga, and Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

 

The 16.6-percent dip in foreign direct investments in the first quarter of 2011 shows that President Aquino has yet to earn the trust and confidence of foreign investors, said Diokno. He advised Aquino to establish more credibility and honor contracts with foreign investors. This, he said, would also improve Aquino’s plans to develop public-private partnerships.

 

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News.

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