Presidency of Benigno Aquino III
Benigno S. Aquino III
|15th President of the Philippines|
June 30, 2010
|Vice President||Jejomar Binay|
|Preceded by||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo|
February 8, 1960 |
|Political party||Liberal Party|
|Relations||Benigno Aquino, Jr. (Father)
Corazon Aquino (Mother)
Kristina Aquino-Yap (Youngest Sister)
|Alma mater||Ateneo de Manila University|
|Presidential styles of
Benigno S. Aquino III
|Reference style||His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III|
|Spoken style||President Aquino|
|Alternative style||Mr. President|
The Presidency of Benigno S. Aquino III began at noon on June 30, 2010, when he became the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aquino is the third-youngest person to be elected president, and the fourth-youngest president after Emilio Aguinaldo, Ramon Magsaysay and Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino is the first president to be a bachelor, being unmarried and having no children. Aquino is the second president not to drink alcoholic beverages; the first president not to drink alcohol was Emilio Aguinaldo. Aquino is the eighth president to be a smoker. Aquino is the first graduate of Ateneo de Manila University to become president. Aquino is the third president who will only hold office in Malacañan Palace, but not be a resident, following Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos. Aquino is the first president to make Bahay Pangarap his official residence. Aquino is the third president to use his second given name, Simeon, as his middle initial, as Manuel L. Quezon and José P. Laurel did. Aquino is the second president to be a child of a former president, his mother was former President Corazon Aquino; the first president to be a child of a former president was President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is the daughter of former President Diosdado Macapagal.
The presidential transition began on June 9, 2010, when the Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Aquino the winner of the 2010 Philippine presidential elections held on May 10, 2010, proclaiming Aquino as the President-elect of the Philippines. The transition was in charge of the new presidential residence, cabinet appointments and cordial meetings between them and the outgoing administration.
Official residence 
The presidential residence of Aquino is Bahay Pangarap (English: House of Dreams), located inside of Malacañang Park, at the headquarters of the Presidential Security Group across the Pasig River from Malacañan Palace. Aquino is the first president to make Bahay Pangarap his official residence. Malacañang Park was intended as a recreational retreat by former President Manuel L. Quezon. The house was built and designed by architect Juan M. Arellano in the 1930s, and underwent a number of renovations. In 2008, the house was demolished and rebuilt in contemporary style by architect Conrad Onglao, a new swimming pool was built, replacing the Commonwealth-era swimming pool. The house originally had one bedroom, however, the house was renovated for Aquino to have four bedrooms, a guest room, a room for Aquino's household staff, and a room for Aquino's close-in security. The house was originally intended as a rest house, the venue for informal activities and social functions for the First Family by former President Manuel L. Quezon. Malacañang Park was refurbished through the efforts of First Lady Eva Macapagal, wife of former President Diosdado Macapagal, in the early 1960s. First Lady Macapagal renamed the rest house as Bahay Pangarap. During the presidency of Fidel V. Ramos, the house was restored and became the club house of the Malacañang Golf Club. The house was used by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to welcome special guests. Aquino refused to live in Malacañan Palace, the official residence of the President of the Philippines, or in Arlegui Mansion, the residence of former presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel V. Ramos, stating that the two residences are too big, and also stated that his small family residence at Times Street in Quezon City would be impractical, since it would be a security concern for his neighbors.
Traditionally, it is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines who administers the oath of office to the incoming President and Vice President, however, Aquino refused to allow Chief Justice Renato Corona to swear him into office, due to Aquino's opposition to the midnight appointment of Corona by outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 12, 2010, two days after the 2010 elections and a month before Arroyo's term expires. Instead, Aquino formally requested Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines Conchita Carpio-Morales, who opposed the midnight appointment of Corona, to swear him into office.
Aquino took the oath of office on June 30, 2010, at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila. The oath of office was administered by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales, who officially accepted Aquino's request to swear him into office, reminiscent of the decision of his mother, who in 1986, was sworn into the presidency by Associate Justice Claudio Teehankee. After being sworn in as the fifteenth President of the Philippines, succeeding Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Aquino delivered his inaugural address.
Interim Interior Secretary 
On June 29, 2010, Aquino officially named the members of his Cabinet, with Aquino himself as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government, a position that Vice President-elect Jejomar Binay initially wanted, however, Aquino stated that the post is not being considered for him, but has offered Binay various positions, such as, to head a commission that will investigate the outgoing Arroyo administration, the posts of Secretary of Agrarian Reform, chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), and the chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), but Binay refused. However, on July 15, 2010, Binay has accepted the offer of Aquino to take charge of the housing sector as chairman of HUDCC.
Major issues of presidency 
Aquino's speeches 
Major acts as president 
Major legislations signed 
Domestic policies 
No ‘wang-wang’ policy 
During the inaugural address, Aquino created the no ‘wang-wang’ policy, strengthening the implementation of Presidential Decree No. 96. The term ‘wang-wang’ is a street lingo for blaring sirens. Presidential Decree No. 96 was issued on January 13, 1973 by former President Ferdinand Marcos, regulating the use of sirens, bells, whistles, horns and other similar devices only to motor vehicles designated for the use of the President, Vice President, Senate President, House Speaker, Chief Justice, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection and ambulances. However, despite having the privilege of using ‘wang-wang’, Aquino maintained he would set the example for his no ‘wang-wang’ policy, not to use ‘wang-wang’, even if it means being stuck in traffic and being late every now and then. Aquino also traded the official black presidential Mercedes Benz S-Guard limousine for a white Toyota Land Cruiser 200. After the inaugural address, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority began to enforce Aquino's no ‘wang-wang’ policy, confiscating ‘wang-wang’ from public officials and private motorists who illegally used them.
Formation of a truth commission 
On June 29, 2010, Aquino announced the formation of a truth commission that will investigate various issues including corruption allegations against outgoing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Aquino named former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. to head the truth commission.
Executive orders 
On July 30, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 1, creating the Truth Commission. The commission is tasked to investigate various anomalies and issues including graft and corruption allegations against the past administration, government officials and their accomplices in the private sector during the last nine years. The commission has until December 31, 2012 to complete its mission. Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. will head the commission.
On August 4, 2010, Aquino implemented Executive Order No. 2, signed on July 30, 2010, ordering the immediate removal of all midnight appointments made by the previous administration for violating the 60-day constitutional ban on presidential appointments before a national election.
On August 6, 2010, Aquino implemented Executive Order No. 3, signed on July 30, 2010, an executive order revoking Executive Order No. 883, signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 28, 2010, that automatically promoted lawyers in government executive service to the rank of Career Executive Service Officer III (CESO III).
On August 9, 2010, Aquino implemented Executive Order No. 4, signed on July 30, 2010, reorganizing and renaming the Office of the Press Secretary as the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and creating the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). Aquino appointed former ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) anchor Ricky Carandang and Herminio Coloma as secretaries of the new media communications group.
On September 1, 2010, Aquino implemented Executive Order No. 5, signed on August 25, 2010, an executive order amending Executive Order No. 594, signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on December 20, 2006, stating the rules governing the appointment or designation and conduct of special envoys. Executive Order No. 5 prevents special envoys from using the title "ambassador".
On September 8, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 7, ordering the suspension of all allowances, bonuses and incentives of board members of government-owned and-controlled corporations (GOCCs) and government financial institutions (GFIs) until December 31, 2010.
On September 9, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 8, reorganizing and renaming the Build-Operate and Transfer Center (BOT) to the Public-Private Partnership Center (PPP) and transferring its attachment from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
On October 1, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 9, amending Section 1 of Executive Order No. 67, signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on January 22, 2002, and reorganizing the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement created under Executive Order No. 199, signed by former President Joseph Estrada on January 17, 2000.
On October 2, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 10, declaring October 2, 2010 as the Nationwide Philhealth Registration Day (NPRD) and directing the Department of Health (DOH) to lead concerned government agencies to facilitate the nationwide Philhealth registration.
On November 8, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 11, transferring the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Office of the President.
On November 9, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 12, delegating to the Executive Secretary the power to approve compromises or releases of any interest, penalty or civil liability to the Social Security System (SSS) pursuant to Section 4(6) of Republic Act No. 8282, otherwise known as the Social Security Act of 1997.
On November 15, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 13, abolishing the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) and transferring its investigative, adjudicatory and recommendatory functions to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs and the Office of the President.
On November 19, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 14, transferring the control and supervision of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) from the Department of Health (DOH) to the Office of the President.
On December 9, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 18, abolishing agencies under the Office of the President such as the Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group (PASG) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change.
On December 20, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 15, granting combat allowance to uniformed members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) who are directly involved in combat operations against members of National Security Threat Groups.
On December 22, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 17, forming the EDSA People Power Commission, designated to organize the nationwide celebrations commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution.
On December 30, 2010, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 19, extending the suspension of the grant of allowances and other incentives to members of the Board of Directors/Trustees of Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs).
On January 6, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 20, extending the duration of operation of the Presidential Middle East Preparedness Committee (PMECC), led by Special Envoy Roy Cimatu, to June 30, 2011.
On January 14, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Orders No. 21 and 22, reducing the rate of import duty on milling wheat, cement and cement clinker to zero under Section 104 of the Presidential Decree No. 1464, otherwise as the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978.
On February 1, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 23, declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests and creating the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force.
On February 10, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 24, which prescribed rules to govern the compensation of members of the Board of Directors/Trustees in Government-Owned Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs).
On February 24, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 26, declaring the implementation of a National Greening Program (NGP). The NGP will plant some 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares for a period of six years, from 2011 to 2016.
On February 28, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 27, implementing the reduction of real property taxes and interest/penalties assessed on the power generation facilities of independent power producers under build-operate transfer contracts with Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations in Quezon.
On March 14, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 28, reorganizing the Single Negotiating Panel into the Philippine Air Negotiating Panel and the Philippine Air Consultation Panel, mandated by the Philippine government's Domestic and International Civil Aviation Liberalization Policy.
On March 14, 2011, Aquino signed Executive Order No. 29, authorizing the Civil Aeronautics Board and the Philippine Air Panels to "pursue more aggressively" the International Civil Aviation Liberalization Policy.
On March 14, 2011, Aquino also signed Executive Order No. 30, transferring the Land Registration Authority (LRA) from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Hourly broadcast of original Filipino musical compositions on radio 
On August 14, 2010, Aquino directed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to fully implement Executive Order No. 255, issued on July 25, 1987 by former President Corazon Aquino, requiring all radio stations to broadcast a minimum of four original Filipino musical compositions every hour.
Launch of official presidential website 
On August 16, 2010, Aquino launches his official presidential website. The presidential website's aim is to create communication between Aquino and the people, getting feedback from the people, telling Aquino their woes and grievances.
PAGASA ‘Reorientation’ 
On July 14, 2010, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) called an emergency meeting in Camp Aguinaldo to assess the damage caused by Typhoon Basyang. Aquino attended the meeting to obtain information on the damage caused by Typhoon Basyang and to personally monitor the repair and recovery work in the aftermath of the typhoon. In the meeting, Aquino criticized the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) for failing to predict and to warn the residents of Metro Manila that Typhoon Basyang would ravage Metropolitan Manila.
On August 6, 2010, Aquino announced the removal of Prisco Nilo as administrator of PAGASA. PAGASA was directly under Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Undersecretary for Research and Development (R&D) Graciano Yumul. A special order from DOST Secretary Mario Montejo, dated August 5, 2010, designated Yumul as PAGASA administrator, replacing Nilo. On August 7, 2010, Malacañang announced that Yumul will be heading PAGASA temporarily, for only three months, as PAGASA will undergo a "reorientation" to improve its services. Aquino has yet to name the new administrator who will permanently head PAGASA.
Education reform 
During Aquino's first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Aquino announced his intention to reform the education system in the Philippines by shifting to K–12 education, a 12-year basic education cycle. K–12 education is used in the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Reproductive health 
On September 30, 2010, Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said that Aquino might face excommunication from the Catholic Church for supporting the Reproductive Health Bill, the plan to distribute and give Filipino couples the choice to use contraceptives for artificial birth control. However, despite the possibility of excommunication, Aquino said that he is not changing his position on contraceptive use. In January 2013, Aquino signed legislation which funds contraceptives for poor individuals; the law has been challenged in the Philippine Supreme Court.
Foreign policies 
First official trip to the United States 
On September 20, 2010, Aquino delivered his departure statement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), before leaving for his first official trip to the United States. Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto Romulo, Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Trade & Industry Gregory Domingo, and Secretary of Energy Jose Rene Almendras, including 34 businessmen and 12 officials and support staff of the Presidential Communications Operations Office joined Aquino in the trip. On September 28, 2010, Aquino arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), after his week-long working visit to the United States. Aquino delivered his arrival statement at NAIA.
Citibank Economic Conference 
Meeting with the Filipino community in the United States 
On September 26, 2010, during a visit to the Seasons Market Place in Milpitas, California, Aquino was greeted by cheering members of the Filipino community of San Jose, California. Aquino also delivered his speech in front of the Filipino community at the Mission San Francisco de Asís in San Francisco, California.
Millennium Challenge Corporation 
On September 23, 2010, Aquino delivered his remarks at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact agreement signing ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The US$434-million MCC compact agreement will fund the Aquino administration's various programs on poverty reduction, revenue generation, and infrastructure development.
Statement before the 65th United Nations General Assembly 
Meeting with Obama 
On September 24, 2010, Aquino had a seven-minute one-on-one talk with President of the United States Barack Obama during the 2nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-US Leaders Meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. During the meeting, Aquino recognized the United States’ commitment to reinvigorating its relationship with the region and its individual nations at a time of ever-increasing complexity in global affairs. Obama expressed his determination to elevate RP-US relations to a higher level, and welcomed the Aquino administration’s anti-corruption efforts. Aquino and Obama also discussed military matters, about the possible removal of thousands of tons of war materials that Allied forces had left behind on Corregidor Island during World War II.
First official trip to Vietnam 
On October 26, 2010, Aquino delivered his departure statement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), before leaving for his first official trip to Vietnam. On October 31, 2010, Aquino arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), after his first official trip to Vietnam. Aquino delivered his arrival statement at NAIA.
Meeting with the President and Prime Minister of Vietnam 
On October 26, 2010, Aquino met with President of Vietnam Nguyễn Minh Triết at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam. Aquino and Triết signed four memorandum of agreement on four areas of cooperation, namely, higher education, defense, oil spill preparedness and response, and search and rescue at sea. Aquino also met with Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyễn Tấn Dũng. Aquino delivered a toast at the State Banquet hosted by Triết at the Government Guest House.
Meeting with the Filipino community in Vietnam 
On October 27, 2010, Aquino delivered his extemporaneous remarks during a meeting with the Filipino community in Vietnam.
Statements during the ASEAN Summits in Vietnam 
On October 28, 2010, Aquino delivered his statement during the ASEAN Leaders’ Retreat in Hanoi, Vietnam. On October 29, 2010, Aquino delivered his statements during the 13th ASEAN-Japan Summit, 13th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, 13th ASEAN-China Summit, 13th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, and 3rd ASEAN-UN Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. On October 30, 2010, Aquino delivered his statements during the 8th ASEAN-India Summit, 5th East Asia Summit, 2nd ASEAN-Russia Summit, ASEAN-Australia Summit, and ASEAN-New Zealand Commemorative Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.
First official trip to Japan 
On November 11, 2010, Aquino delivered his departure statement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), before leaving for his first official trip to Japan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Yokohama, Japan.
APEC CEO Summit 
APEC Economic Leaders Meeting Retreat 
Manila hostage crisis 
On August 23, 2010, in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila, the site of Aquino's presidential inauguration, the Manila hostage crisis occurred. Aquino expressed concern over the matter and gave his condolences to the victims. Aquino defended the actions of the police at the scene, stating that the gunman had not shown any signs of wanting to kill the hostages. Aquino ordered a "thorough investigation" into the incident, and would wait until it is completed before deciding whether anyone should lose his or her job. Aquino declared that the media may have worsened the situation by giving the gunman "a bird's-eye view of the entire situation". Aquino also made reference to the Moscow theater hostage crisis, which, according to Aquino, resulted in "more severe" casualties despite Russia's "resources and sophistication". On August 24, 2010, Aquino signed Proclamation No. 23, declaring August 25, 2010, as a national day of mourning, instructing all public institutions nationwide and all Philippine embassies and consulates overseas to lower the Philippine flag at half-mast, in honor of the eight Hong Kong residents who died in the Manila hostage crisis. On August 25, 2010, at a press conference in Malacañang, Aquino apologized to those offended when he was caught on television apparently smiling while being interviewed at the crime scene hours after the Manila hostage crisis. Aquino said;
On September 3, 2010, Aquino took responsibility for everything that happened during the Manila hostage crisis. Aquino actually has direct supervision of the Philippine National Police, since Aquino had asked Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo to address other concerns, such as coming up with a comprehensive plan on delivering social services to and relocating informal settlers in coordination with the local governments.
Administration and cabinet 
Judicial appointments 
Aquino appointed the following to the Supreme Court of the Philippines: