2010 in Retrospect

Opinions Unlimited

by Atty. Tony(APA) Acyatan (Atty. APA – chairman of Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is PICPA past national president and Accountancy Hall-of-Famer, and past chairman of ASEAN Federation of CPAs).

GOOD YEAR?  Philippine economic statistics for Year 2010 are definitely positive.  But the bigger rays are the buoyant hopes in most Filipinos’ hearts and minds.  The last presidential elections which elevated the new administration brought new paradigms in business and industry.  It is expected that the once-prevalent graft and corruption in government will somehow be controlled, if not totally eliminated in the near future.

Leadership by example sets the tone for honesty and good governance.  So far – no one among the new cabinet members has been involved in anomalous deals.  The next stage is for them to institute anti-graft systems down the line.  Government employees should be reminded that “a public office is a public trust” and that they are “servants of the people”.  President Aquino should warn ombudsmen at the LFTRB-LTO, Registers of Deeds and LGU Property Assessors to be vigilant in their day-to-day activities.

PERSONALITIES:  Of course, it was President Benigno Aquino III who led the “stars” of Year 2010 – winning the presidential elections that he did not desire in the beginning.  He currently enjoys highest trust ratings from his “bosses” – the Filipino people. Manny Pacquiao is the other big man for the Philippines and the world – garnering an unprecedented eight boxing crowns – aside from becoming the congressman from Sarangani.

The world-famous “little girl” is no longer named Gloria; it is Charisse – the new darling of the singing world.  We pray that she will remain simple and continually imbued with humility so that her universal successes won’t go to her head.  Other groups of Filipinos who brought the Philippines into global recognition are the UST Concert Singers, the national football team which injected fame into the sport, and our chess players led by our youngest grandmaster.

WEATHER:  For Southern Luzon and Bicol – 2010 weather was kinder, compared with the previous year.  But as we were writing this column, we were informed of the big floods that hit the communities and towns around Mayon Volcano.  Indeed the region is susceptible to flooding with its terrain  – especially starting from the heights of Mayon and down to the nearby coastal areas. Governor Joey should be ready with plans to avert these kinds of situations.

The resort areas (and hotsprings) in Sorsogon are now almost washed out (at least temporarily) – caused by the recent eruption of Mt. Bulusan and the heavy rains that brought down the accumulated ashes.  The resiliency and grit of the Bikolnons are again put to the test. Based on past experiences, those who were adversely affected by the volcanic eruptions will survive, to emerge with energy to fight for another day!

RICE IMPORTS:  Sec. Proceso J. Alcala is steadfast in his programs to reduce if not totally eliminate the need for rice importation. The Philippines was last self-sufficient in rice during the early 1970s with the production gains ushered in by the Masagana 99 Program (99 cavans of palay harvest per hectare). It involved not only financing but also technical provisions of certified seeds, farm chemicals, fertilizers and farm extension services.

It will be harder to replicate that grand success now.  Our rice-farming areas have been reduced (thanks to the mushrooming housing subdivisions (and golf courses?).  But financing support and agricultural extension services can be made available to our farmers.  We have better-yielding varieties and improved irrigation facilities.  Honestly, the primary key to balance our rice supply and demand is for Filipinos to reduce their rice intakes and eat more fruits and vegetables.  Too much carbo is diabetic!

THOUGHTS:  As we ponder about our future, we realize that our future depends on what we do as a people.


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