TRANSPARENCY in government is a cornerstone policy that President Benigno C. Aquino III has promised to uphold. It has been put in doubt because of his perceived reluctance to divulge the report of the commission that investigated the hostage-taking tragedy last August 23 but he could still make good on his pledge by widening public access to government documents, starting with those on the budget.
BENIGNO Simeon ‘Noynoy’ C. Aquino III became the Philippines’ 15th president on June 30, 2010 or exactly 70 days ago, triggering a contagion of hopefulness among Filipinos. He wooed and won votes with a slogan that was simple, yet catchy: ”Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap.” Without corruption, there’d be no poverty.
THE NATIONAL Anti-Poverty Commission or NAPC was created by Republic Act No. 8425 or the “Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act” that came into force on June 30, 1998, the day the first supposedly “pro-poor” president, Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada, came to power. The law was a legacy of his predecessor, Fidel V. Ramos, who took a fancy for periodic meetings with representatives of the basic sectors and organizations of the poor.