MANILA (UPDATE) - Current and former economic managers as well some of the most prominent business groups paid tribute to former President Fidel Valdez Ramos who died on Sunday.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said he and the National Economic and Development Authority offer their condolences to the Ramos family.
“He provided the country with much-needed stability against threats from within. He was also a visionary. His foresight and steadfastness enabled the Philippines to weather the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and be among the continent’s Tiger Cub Economies,” Balisacan said.
Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said Ramos was a strong and decisive leader under whose administration government budgeting took on the mission of becoming an instrument for economic growth.
“In 1992, his administration's Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) made improving the quality of life of every Filipino its development vision,” Pangandaman said.
Former Central Bank Governor Jose Cuisia said Ramos had “an excellent work ethic, promoted professionalism consistently, and always emphasized teamwork!”
“Without his valuable support, we would not have been able to pass the bill creating the new Bangko Sentra ng Pilipinas,” Cuisia said.
It was under Ramos that the New Central Bank Act of 1993 was passed, establishing the BSP, and giving it fiscala nd administrative autonomy from the National Government.
The Philippine Stock Exchange also hailed Ramos for unifying the Manila and Makati Stock Exchanges.
“The initiative and determination of President Ramos to have just one Exchange for the country paved the way for the development of the Philippine stock market. We will forever be grateful for all he has done and the legacy he left to the capital market,” said PSE President and CEO Ramon Monzon in a statement.
“He will always be considered a pillar and a vital part of PSE’s history. His demise is great loss not only to our nation but to the Philippine business community as well,” said PSE Chairman Jose Pardo.
The PSE said during Ramos’ term, the benchmark index gained 12.3 percent while value turnover grew by 863.7 percent. They said this was a testament to the confidence on the economic reforms instituted by the government.
The Management Association of the Philippines said Ramos’ administration made impressive reforms on energy, economic liberalization, infrastructure and social reform, among others, which fuelled an engine for national progress built on his twin themes of people empowerment and global competitiveness.
“FVR was an epitome of management excellence for nation-building,” MAP said.
The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines meanwhile said Ramos pushed hard to promote foreign investment into the Philippines, to create jobs for Filipinos, and to reduce poverty in the country.
“We join Filipino political and economic leaders in remembering the great contributions of President Ramos to making the Philippines the Asian Tiger economy that it has become to be,” JFC said.
The Federation of Free Workers also said it mourns the death of Ramos.
FFW noted that Ramos was a hero for breaking with the dictatorial regime of former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr, which was why the labor group endorsed him for the presidency in 1992.
“We're deeply sorry for the profound loss of FVR,” said FFW president Sonny Matula.