Amid criticisms of 'Noynoying', President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III claims that the Philippines has "definitely" been making progress.
In an interview with CNN correspondent Anna Coren, Aquino said that when he entered politics in 1998, "the constant [phrase] was ‘we don’t have money, we don’t have money, we don’t have money’."
"Now last year we were being criticized that we had the money and we were not spending it quickly enough. And I think that’s such a turnaround from roughly a year, a year and a half ago," Aquino said in the interview, aired over CNN Talk Asia.
He also said the government has been investing in education and infrastructure projects and trying to make the Philippines attractive to foreign investors.
He said that if overseas Filipino Workers decide to work abroad, it should be "from choice as opposed to necessity."
"My personal dream is that if they are here, then we don’t have issues about what happens to the nuclear family down the line. Especially (when) both parents are gone," Aquino said.
In a Yahoo! Southeast Asia online poll in April, majority of users said Aquino has to 'move faster' on economic issues.
This came after a Pulse Asia survey that gave the President low marks on reducing poverty, controlling inflation, and raising salaries.
The Aquino administration has been trumpeting its drive against corruption and the President said "we are winning, but we are not stopping the efforts."
Several former members of the past administration--including Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo--are facing graft and poll fraud charges.
"We are trying to expedite the cases so that there is certainty that there is conviction and jail time for people who have violated [the] laws," he said.
He said that failure to charge and convict corrupt public servants in the past "sustained all of the endemic corruption that we have had to deal with."
Aquino speaks on other issues
August 2010 bus hostage taking:
“We pride ourselves on our hospitality and things like that should not happen to our guests. So we have instituted quite a number of measures, both in terms of police and security forces but also with regards to the judicial system.”
“Now, we believe that the cases we filed are proper, are well evidenced, are supported by evidence, and that there will be conviction at the end of the process.”
The interview have replays scheduled on Tuesday, May 8 at 3:30pm and Thursday, May 10 at 12:30pm.
The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …