MANILA, Jan. 8, 2011—Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar V. Cruz said the Aquino government should work hard to keep the economy going and address inflation to mitigate its impact on the poor.

The poor will become poorer with the increase in prices of prime commodities, the prelate said.

He said Mr. Aquino should also address criminality because without law and order, there can be no development or progress.

There should be a clear and concrete national plan otherwise the present government would simply be reactive and never pro-active, Cruz said.

“Competence with integrity should be manifested in this government otherwise down the drain the country goes,” he added.

Cruz also urged the government to put a closure on the previous administration’s graft and corrupt practices by persecuting those involved.

For his part, Jaro Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo said President Benigno Aquino should attend to graft and corruption in government, food sufficiency, health care, housing and employment generation if the government would seriously address poverty.

Meanwhile, the CBCP’s Public Affairs Office Chair and Kalookan Bishop Deogracias S. Iniguez said Aquino should focus on poverty, graft and corruption, education, environment and an assurance that those elected and appointed individuals would serve as appropriate role models.

As far as Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro V. Arigo is concerned nothing has really changed.

“It’s still a rotten system, although corruption of massive proportion has been exposed, I still want to see concrete actions taken which will all lead to conviction,” he said.

He added though there’s already some awareness of corporate social responsibility, although “the greed for profit is still rampant and at the expense of labor and damage to the environment.”

The 72-year old prelate added lobby money still talks loudly as he awaits genuine reform. (Melo Acuna/CBCPNews)