In a heavily attended press conference, President Aquino unveiled his latest and much anticipated revenue measure to cut the Government’s projected deficit of P 325 billion.
“ After consultation with my family and Shalani I will be endorsing a number of consumer products so we can repay our national debt. With my 88% trust rating my advisers have told me that we can earn enough to balance our budget in 4 years.”
In keeping with his Filipino First vision for the nation, the President will only endorse products that are locally sourced and designed and that are environmentally friendly. He has already signed multimillion, multiyear contracts with Bench, Jollibee, and Happee and is reviewing a number of others.
Trojan has offered him P 100 million a year but he will consult with his spiritual advisers before moving.
The President’s announcement was the reason for the Government’s recent successful $1 billion 10 year bond offering. The lead manager for the issue said: ” By putting his name on the line the President has shown he is serious about cutting the deficit”.
However not everybody is happy with the latest fiscal initiative.
The Foreign Chambers of Commerce criticized the new revenue measure as discriminatory. In a letter to DTI Sec. Greg Domingo, the chambers wrote: “ The President campaigned on the principle of level playing field yet he will only endorse Filipino products. This will discourage foreign investments in the country”.
A group called Artists No Longer For Noy and said to include Piolo, Diether and Aga; accused the President of unfairly competing with the private sector. “With his positive image the President will corner the sponsorship market for everything except hair products,” they lamented.
Congressman Pacquiao filed a bill in Congress banning Presidents with more than a 10% approval rating from officially endorsing products. The measure is certain to be approved given the Congressman’s ring record and his own success as a product sponsor.
Presidential spokesperson Lacierda indicated the President will most likely veto the measure as discriminatory: “ Setting the threshold at 10% approval will allow Ex-President Gloria to come in under the cap. That is not right”.
Already there are reports GMA is scouting for products to endorse but is receiving few offers except for Vista Land.
To support the new fiscal initiative, the President announced the formation of a Philippine Commission on Good Grooming (PCGG) to be headed by his sister Kris.
Ms. Aquino rejected accusations that her appointment violates the President’s campaign promise that no relatives would be placed in high office.
“ First of all, I am the only other family member in Government. Another family that I know has four.” She refused to elaborate but when badgered winked: “What is the opposite of “A Good?”
She also indicated her mandate goes beyond the President. “I am doing makeovers on all Cabinet heads. They are all sartorially challenged and indistinguishable from one another. The public has problems identifying who is who which makes accountability difficult,” she said.
One plan is to color code the barongs of Cabinet officials- red for Finance, Blue for DOTC and so forth- so they are easily spotted on TV.
Others claim Kris is not the right person to head PCGG: “ She advises Boy Abunda on his clothes. If that is a measure, President Noy could be the laughing stock among heads of state.”
Kris denies this allegation: “ I only suggest. Boy ultimately makes his own decisions.”
Already Kris has been seen with the President shopping in the Mall of Asia. This is to disprove accusations that the President has no clothes.