We’ve seen the gross incompetence and brazen arrogance of the current Duterte regime, so just out of my curiosity. I wondered. What if it’s Roxas who won the presidential election in 2016? Will our lives be different then? What sort of changes could Roxas bring to the country? Will PNOY’s famed ‘Daang Matuwid’ continues under his watch?
Mar Roxas leadership skills – right in his DNA?
Politics has always seemed to be part of the Roxas family. His grandfather was the former President Manuel Roxas and his father Senator Gerardo Roxas who fearlessly criticized the deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos then, of course, his brother Gerardo Manuel “Dinggoy” Roxas, Jr a representative of Capiz. These men weren’t all just mere posers — they’ve done well in the service of their constituents. They are great leaders in their own right, which whom I think Mar Roxas draws inspiration from.
Nevertheless, Mar Roxas career started in the House of Representatives in 1993. After his congressional stint, he was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry; and then in 2004, he was elected to the Senate with a staggering 20 million votes, the largest ever obtained by a candidate in any Philippine election in history. In fact, because of his astonishing achievements the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland named him as “One of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow who is expected to shape the future”.
During his term as Congressman and majority leader, he has done quite a lot in service of Filipinos. Here are some of the most noteworthy few:
- RA 8759 – establishing in all municipalities a Public Employment Service Office which serves as employment facilitation and information center, and links all job opportunities within the region;
- RA 8748 – amending the Special Economic Zone Act by directly allocating to the municipality or city 2% (out of the 5%) gross tax to be collected from the establishments operating in the ecozone and providing for disturbance compensation for persons to be displaced or evicted by publicly-owned ecozones;
- RA 8756 – incentivizing the establishment of regional headquarters to encourage investment and operation of multinational companies in the country and to generate more jobs.
- RA 7880 – also known as the Roxas Law, which ensures fair distribution of the education capital budget among all the provinces. This gave life to his advocacy for fair and equitable access to education, free from regional bias and political patronage considerations.
Then in 2000, he was appointed as Trade and Industry Secretary which coined him the name ‘Mr Palengke’ for his sturdy oversight on the welfare of the market vendors or small-business owners since he believed the economic value of ‘Palengke’ to our society is non-negligible. During those four-precious years. Mar Roxas also fought for consumer welfare and protection. He personally looked into the state of public markets and knew exactly what they need to make their lives much easier. Mar Roxas brilliant reforms and policies transformed SME’s for the better and gave many people a sustainable flow of income.
So now, the biggest question – what if Mar Roxas won?
Before we start comparing Mar Roxas and Duterte. Let’s begin to appreciate what Mar Roxas was good at — ”Economy”. And you know why? Roxas graduated from the best schools in the country and in the entire world. He first graduated in Ateneo de Manila in 1974 then studied economics at the Wharton School of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania 5 years later. He also served as an investment banker “mobilizing venture capital funds for small and medium enterprises,” in New York. But how about solving ”Crminality”? Could Roxas fix that? To answer this question we need to step back in time and appreciate his great achievements in reducing crime while he was still the DILG Chief during PNOY’s time.
- Mar Roxas Oplan Lambat-Sibat had been very effective in reducing crime in Metro Manila without butchering innocent civilians. Just imagine if Roxas would be the current president? We would have a much more responsible police force where their performance and actions were timely monitored and assessed. So there’s no need for ‘Tokhang’ and EJK’s.
- Mar Roxas would have had upheld the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling and re-assert our sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea. Compared to what Duterte is doing.
- Mar Roxas could have done a lot in keeping the plunderers stay in jail or even worst made sure that justice be served for the taxpayers who endured in hardships just to make sure they’re paying their taxes. I think Mar Roxas will surely improve sound government spending which was common in PNOY’s time and now worsened under Duterte who spends it on almost anything he like such as his inflated Intelligence Funds. *(Bad News for Revilla, GMA, Estrada, Enrile etc)*
- Mar Roxas as a savant financial expert surely understands the effects of imposing excise taxes on fuel-products and it’s indirect effects to how businesses price their goods brought about by the steep increase of operational cost. So if Roxas won, then we wouldn’t have to feel the unnecessary sufferings of TRAIN Law
- Mar Roxas could have been able to keep the number of drug-addicts lower than they are now by making sure that the entry of illegal drugs especially the ones from China and controlled by the Chinese Triad was to be stopped. Unfortunately, under Duterte this situation had gone from problematic to worst.
- Mar Roxas won’t allow the Philippines to enter in onerous loan deals with China which threatens to give away our ”patrimonial assets” to pay up the loans in the event of a default.
Of course, the list could go on and on but the simplest and most realistic fact of it all is that Mar Roxas promised to continue former President Aquino’s policies and reforms which has so far earned him many praises from the International community. So it’s alright to presume that if it’s Mar Roxas who won the elections. Life could have been much better today. Don’t you agree?