The reforms instituted by the late former President Benigno Aquino III earned the admiration of World Bank executives who were impressed by his vision for the Philippines.
Motoo Konishi, a long-time World Bank executive who has stayed in the Philippines since serving as country director, wrote a fitting tribute about PNoy’s legacy.
“Over the 35 years that I served at the World Bank, I have worked with Presidents and Ministers in over thirty countries. But the four years as the Country Director for the Philippines has been the most challenging, most impressive and most rewarding because of the Aquino leadership and administration,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
It turns out that the US-backed development lender had a lot to learn from a leader of a small country like the Philippines.
“World Bank’s institutional goal is to eliminate extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity. On this, President Aquino will tell you three things. First, unless you improve governance and reduce corruption, you can never eliminate extreme poverty. Second, unless you can tackle climate change and natural disasters, you can never eliminate extreme poverty. And lastly unless you can grow the economy that lifts the entire country from bottom up and create meaningful jobs you can never eliminate extreme poverty. Those three conditions for eliminating poverty was really taken to heart by the World Bank,” Konishi said.
The former World Bank executive said the Aquino administration “walked the talk” when it came to good governance.
“Dear President Aquino, on behalf of all the World Bank staff who worked on the Philippines during your administration, it’s been a true honor and privilege to serve you. Bravo for the pride that you have brought back to the Filipino people,” he added.