MANILA - A multitasker with a legendary work ethic, former President Fidel V. Ramos' leadership style was such that he brought out the best in everyone, his former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary, economist and professor Cielito Habito said Monday.
"His worth ethic was legendary. He’s always multitasking, that’s one of the most impressive things about president Ramos," Habito said in an ANC interview.
"He had read all of the materials to be presented in the cabinet beforehand and therefore before the presentation stops, he’s ready with his questions and comments. That’s the kind of person he was. He never wasted any time. Always focused on the problems, bring cabinet members on short notice to address problems," he added.
Among the most notable acts of the former leader was saving the country from the energy crisis and the "debilitating" brownouts through several measures such as creating a department focused on energy and the entry of the private sector to fill the gap, Habito said.
Another sector which benefited from the Ramos administration is telecommunications. Habito said Ramos opened up the industry to improve communication lines.
It was during the Ramos presidency that the Philippines was labeled the next "Tiger Economy" due to economic liberalization and inflow of investments.
"His economic program is summed up in 5 Ds - democratization, decentralization, devolution, deregulation and development that’s sustainable. And I think all of those put together was the secret to the economic dynamism that we saw through the 1990s, through his entire presidency," Habito said.
"We became the darling of the whole international business world because investments were boosted," he added.
Habito said he admired the former president's leadership, which focused on unity, solidarity and team work regardless of the political affiliations of his cabinet members.
"It was the kind of inspiration which I’d like to describe as him being a leader who brought out the best in everyone. Indeed that is my mark of an excellent leader, someone who brings out the best in those who leads," he said.
Meanwhile, current Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Monday vowed to honor Ramos' legacy of using social reform and people empowerment to boost economic transformation.
"On behalf of the National Economic and Development Authority, I offer my deepest condolences to the family of former President Fidel V. Ramos....He provided the country with much-needed stability against threats from within," Balisacan said.
"We will continue to honor and build on his legacy as we pursue the country’s long-term vision of a matatag, maginhawa, and panatag na buhay for every Filipino," he added.
Ramos the country's 12th president, died on Sunday. He was 94.