MANILA — Political and business leaders must draw inspiration from the people and always bear in mind their welfare over the long term, President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Wednesday.
Leaders must realize that their success relies on the people and the communities they serve, the President told members of the ASEAN Business Club (ABC) during their courtesy call at the Palace.
“These are the very same truths that have ignited the resurgence of our country,” he said.
He noted that whenever his administration is lauded for the progress the country has made, he is always quick to say that the transformation of the Philippines is “a collective achievement, built on the shoulders of a people prepared to undertake the difficult task of reform together.”
He recounted that the country’s transformation began in 2010, “when Filipinos took a stand against corruption and impunity, giving the present administration the mandate for change—a mandate aimed at eradicating corruption and fostering inclusive and equitable growth.”
The administration’s thrust, he said, is massive investments in the people through skills training and education, health, and social services, as well as enhancing the state of national infrastructure.
The commitment to good governance has already borne fruit, as evidenced by the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals and the recent credit-rating upgrades by all three major credit-rating agencies, placing the Philippines at investment grade or higher, he added.
“No longer are we the ‘Sick Man of Asia.’ We are now Asia’s bright spot—a viable destination for investments and tourists,” President Aquino said, citing the IT-BPO sector, manufacturing, and a robust domestic demand as among the major drivers of the economy.
The President also told ASEAN businessmen that his government is fully committed to service a revitalized economy, and a people with renewed optimism and desire to take part in nation-building.
The Ayala Corp. is hosting nearly 50 delegates of the ASEAN Business Club in the Philippines, which coincides with the World Economic Forum on East Asia being held in the country.
The ASEAN Business Club is an association of the chief executives of ASEAN’s biggest business enterprises that are committed to the advancement of the ASEAN agenda.
Apart from the courtesy call, the ABC members also met with the President’s economic team in a round-table discussion.
The regional business organization is a private sector-derived initiative of the ASEAN’s leading businesses that brings leaders together to understand and help shape the growing connectivity among ASEAN economies.
The group organizes opportunities for the business and government sectors within the region to discuss effective measures in enhancing ASEAN integration.