President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will leave Malacañang on June 30 after nine years in power and step down.

president arroyo of the PhilippinesShe would like to leave behind a legacy of hard work an economy that is stable and bridge building internationally to push the country into the limelight with the international call centre sector. Her administration says that she has developed Metro Manila and changed its skyline into a modern metropolis and developments to the provinces of the Philippines.

Although she has been recognised for hard work, Arroyo has also avoided the issues dealing with graft and corruption which have plagued her administration including the $329-million National Broadband Network deal with China’s ZTE Corp. and the P728-million fertilizer scam. Or maybe the extravagant meals enjoyed by Arroyo and her entourage in the United states last year will be something she is more famously known for.
When the President and her entourage dined at Le Cirque, an upscale French restaurant in New York City, the bill reached $20,000 (or almost P1 million).

More recently the 112th Independence Day celebration last Saturday was tainted by the extravagant P10million spent on a 10 float parade to “show case the outstanding achievements of the 10 point agenda by the Arroyo administration”. Reminds me a bit of the Indian space project that got a bad international response with so much money spent on it as like the Philippines it has so much external money and charities working here yet can put money into projects that are not essential to the country.

Achievements like most political histories will be picked at from both sides problem is there are huge gaps in the well being of the country. Nobody mention the budget deficit as of 2009 which currently stands at P290 billion. A social weather station survey was carried out which not only showed around four million families had undertaken involuntary hunger at least once due to a lack of food but also 8.1 million (approx 43 percent) of families rated themselves as poor.

The period of time that Arroyo has been in power I personally can only think of several things that put the Philippines on the map (recognised internationally) firstly the shipping disasters involving various ferries, then Pac-man who has been the most positive ambassador for the Philippines in recent history. Finally the Journalists killed in the Maquindanao Massacre in November of 2009.

The Arroyo administration has been marked by political instability and constant scandals. There are high expectations for the incoming Aquino administration who already have their work cut out trying to stabilise the economy with its deficit before they start. Problem is in recent history are we looking to a new future or a pipe dream with history constantly repeating itself.