Press Releases

Statement on the passing of former president Benigno S. Aquino III

June 24th, 2021

I am deeply saddened and shocked by the sudden passing of Former President Benigno S. Aquino, my former classmate and my friend of many decades. He was my classmate in Ateneo and had the same economic teacher- PGMA.

I was Governor of Albay during the entire term of President Aquino. With his support, Albay became one of the world’s leaders in in DRR where he initiated Project NOAH, a success story in disaster management and also in climate change adaptation. This was best exemplified by his support of the Albay declaration, which his administration promoted as the national framework for the mainstreaming of global warming actions where the Philippines was a recognised leader G77 in UNFCCC negotiations which translated to local and national climate change adaptation This culminated in my co-chairing, the first Asian, in 2013 of the United Nations Green Climate Fund (GCF), which continues to support crucial climate change adaptation programs in the country today.

He sought to make governance more modern and responsive. It was under President Aquino’s term that budgeting became more participatory through the bottom-up budgeting (BUB) system.

His expansion of socioeconomic programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program continues to help lift millions out of abject poverty. His work to engage the private sector in the country’s development is also a model which continues to inform regional and national development. In the world stage, the Philippines became recognized as a rising economic power and an active participant in solving the world’s problems.

President Aquino will be remembered for his sincere desire to serve the country, the best way he can. I extend my heartfelt condolences to his siblings and his loved ones in their time of loss.

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