Ramos' ex-writer: FVR a visionary leader, master in human relations

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2022 01:50 PM

Then presidential candidate Fidel Ramos greets supporters while barnstorming in his home province north of Manila on May 7, 1992 as the campaign for that month's national elections nears the homestretch. Ramos, former military chief and defense secretary, is the candidate of then President Corazon Aquino's People Power party. Romeo Gacad, AFP/File
Then presidential candidate Fidel Ramos greets supporters while barnstorming in his home province north of Manila on May 7, 1992 as the campaign for that month's national elections nears the homestretch. Ramos, former military chief and defense secretary, is the candidate of then President Corazon Aquino's People Power party. Romeo Gacad, AFP/File


MANILA — The late President Fidel V. Ramos was a visionary leader who wanted the Philippines to become an industrialized nation, his former close-in writer said Tuesday.

According to Jojo Terencio, Ramos launched the "Philippines 2000" program, which opened the country's economy, dismantled monopolies in transport and communication sectors, and solved the energy crisis. 

"When he assumed the presidency in 1992, he had a vision. He wanted the Philippines to become a newly industrialized country when his term ends supposedly in 1998," he told ANC.

Under Ramos' term, the country became known as an emerging tiger economy.

As President, the bespectacled leader also initiated the comprehensive Social Reform Agenda, which lessened poverty incidence to 30 percent, Terencio said.

Despite being a "minority President" after garnering only 24 percent of the votes in the 1992 elections, Ramos formed a "rainbow coalition" that facilitated his legislative agenda in both chambers of Congress, he added.

According to Terencio, one of Ramos' best legacies in terms of administrative processes in the executive branch was the Completed Staff Work concept.

"Any project, contract that reached his office or table must have undergone thorough processing, evaluation and endorsement," he said.

"Ang sinasabi niya lagi nun sa Cabinet or sa'min, 'If you were the President and you were given this kind of document, how would you feel?'"

"'If you think it's mediocre, don't even submit it to me'," he added.

For Terencio, one of the most valuable lessons he learned from Ramos was in human relations.

"The former President is a master of human relations. Meaning, he's real, he does not exclude anyone. His was an inclusive presidency. Wala siyang ini-alienate na tao," he said.

Terencio is the author of "Behind The Red Pen," which delved into the presidency of Ramos from 1992-1998.

Ramos, popularly known as FVR, died on July 31 at age 94. He was laid to rest at the Philippines' heroes cemetery on Tuesday.

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