Low Memorial Library, Columbia University
23 September 2014

President Benigno S. Aquino III spoke of hope and permanence of reform despite challenges that will continue to come under his administration when he gave his policy statement at the World Leaders Forum held at the Low Memorial Library in Columbia University.

In his speech before university students and academic professionals, he cited several challenges that the country has confronted and will always continue to be getting. According to the President, the first challenge was to restore integrity to government by making erring public officials or those who had exploited the system for personal gain held accountable. Next is the need to pursue large-scale reforms in agencies linked with corrupt practices through the simplification of bidding procedures.

The third challenge the President cited was to empower the Filipino people through investments in social services, health and education. The fourth challenge would be addressing the country’s vulnerability to disasters and other effects of climate change.

“There are always challenges on the horizon. Among others, we are undergoing a systemic transformation of our public transport system, and implementing a long-delayed modernization for our armed forces. With the peace talks between government and Muslim secessionists successfully concluded, the task of boosting up Muslim Mindanao can begin,” the President said.

After his speech, a question and answer session followed the World Leaders Forum, which was co-sponsored by Weatherhead East Asian Institute. Established in 2003 by Lee C. Bollinger, the forum is a year-round event series aimed to create an open dialogue on economic, political, and social questions of the present.

*  *  *