The Aquino administration says 2012 has been a "year of rebuilding and renewal."
In a statement on the achievements of the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2012, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that while 2010 and 2011 were years of renewal, the year 2012 has been a year of "rebuilding and restoration."
"This year, we saw the full effect of political will used correctly and for the right purposes, knowing that power is merely lent by the people to their leaders to ultimately serve the country's best interests," Lacierda said.
"In 2012, we turned the corner, fixed the damage wrought by the crooked ways of the past, and established further that the straight path is the only way forward," he said.
Despite the devastation in Compostela Valley and Davao region wrought by typhoon Pablo, and the death of Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Lacierda said 2012 "was the best year for the Philippines in a long time, a time for celebration and pride for the reclaimed standing of our country as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other rising nations of the world."
"As the administration embarks on 2013, there is all the more reason for Filipinos to travel on the straight path under the leadership of President Aquino and the adherents to his noble cause," Lacierda said.
Among the achievements of the Aquino administration in 2012 were signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF); the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, and the appointments of new Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
Also seen as achievements were the signing of the Sin Tax Reform and the Anti-Enforced Disappearance laws, and the enactment of the Responsible Health (RH) Bill by both chambers of Congress; the signing of the 2013 National Budget on time for the third year in a row; and the robust economy.
According to Lacierda, the Aquino administration will continue with its reforms, warning criminals that their days are numbered.
"The message is clear: If a Chief Justice can be impeached-- and a former president put under hospital arrest for alleged plunder and electoral sabotage-- then so can anyone; a crime is a crime, regardless of wealth or status in society," he said.
"Without doubt, we are moving towards a society where fairness reigns-- fueled by a people empowered by its government," he said.
As for the biggest challenge for the Aquino administration, Lacierda said it is to continue inclusive growth and good governance and the alleviation of poverty.
"We have our responsibility to make inclusive growth a continuing reality and also our poverty alleviation campaign is continuous, also our good governance. These are the pillars of the governance of the Aquino administration," he said.
"The Philippines has taken the lead in upholding a peaceful, multilateral, and consensus-driven diplomatic approach as regards territorial disputes. In this regard, President Aquino has stood his ground thus gaining the admiration of his fellow leaders in the global arena," Lacierda said.
"We hope for the coming year that there will be a continued cooperation among the various branches of government," he said.