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July 22, 2013When our country’s President Benigno Simeon Aquino III delivered his

fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the BatasangPambansa in Quezon City. As far as
we could remember, in his first SONA during 2010, his most memorable line having been
delivered after his inaugural, “we can dream again.” While in 2011, we observed that the way he
addressed his SONA highlighting corruption sounds really personal and in his SONA last year,
in 2012, he declared, “Nothing is impossible if the Filipino people see that they are the only
Bosses of their government. They themselves will lead you to meaningful change.
As like the past SONAs of the president, he will report to us what his administration has
accomplished for the past fiscal year, what are still in progress and his future plans for his
remaining three years in office. I had listened, read, re-read, analyzed and dissected his past
SoNAs and came into the conclusion that they are half truths and half lies, half dreams and half
realities, and half believable and half ridiculous. The first and second SONA’s were all about
lambasting the previous ARROYO Administration, it is somewhat like the president was still on
an election campaign that he has no good words for the former president and her administration.
It was good to hear that we have experiencing economic growth during his presidency.
He stated in his SONA the accomplishments and the status of our goals last 2012. Goals include
Economy, Employment, Poverty alleviation, Education, Peace and order/defense, Foreign
Policy, Infrastructure, good governance, disaster preparedness, and legislative wish list. An
improvement may be observed in some aspects but failed in others.
Many Filipinos still do not feel the economic growth that the Aquino administration
keeps on trumpeting, Cubao Bishop HonestoOngtioco and Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said.
Yeah, I know more Filipinos would agree to this statement since many of us, especially those
who were poor and unemployed do not feel a good economy. I think Aquino administration
should do more for the poor. His PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program is relevant but there are
some who were not deserve to benefit it because there are poorer Filipinos who should be the
one to benefit it.
I was actually like very much disappointed and frustrated that his speechwriters focused
only on the evils that had been done in the previous administration, without even a hint or a
statement that the former president had at least done a good job especially in economic aspects of
our country. Instead of presenting or providing us the picture of the patch that his administration
wanted to lead us into, 60% of the content of his speech have been on the evils of the previous
government. I questioned him and his speechwriters on that aspect because if he had prepared for
the position, he and the rest of his official family should have already laid the policies and plans
that his government will take.
During the campaign period, his slogan was TUWID na DAAN (with the caption: PAG
WALANG KORUP, WALANG MAHIRAP) and this was echoed in all his election/campaign
sorties and speech engagements, even up to now. But I don’t think he and the rest of the
government officials are RELIGIOUSLY PRACTISING THIS sacred dictum that they had been
selling to the public.
The third SONA was tamer in regard to the past administration and focused
on what he had done so far, what he has been doing and what will he be doing.
But still 20% of the content of the speech is all about GLORIA again and the previous
administration. And, this is really so frustrating and disappointing that we keep on looking at the
back, the past mistakes, instead of making sure that these mistakes will not happen again the
future. I hope I had already laid the foundation of the flow of this manuscript.
Most of what he is stating was the accomplishments of the country during his term, what
he wants to achieve more for the Filipinos but he missed to tell how and when he will do that. He
missed to state his major plans for the next succeeding years of his term, the steps of achieving
his goals for the country. I was looking for his strategic plan for jobless Filipinos, for reduction
of poverty rate and for the development and modernization of agriculture and as well as fisheries
and forestry but it was lacking in his speech.
He even forgot to address our OFW’s. It was so disappointing. I know our OFW’s were
been waiting for his words for them. The status of conflict between nations in West Philippine
Sea, the unresolved extrajudicial killings, and the issues in Mining were not also mentioned.
Although he declared a 7.8% economic growth, unemployment rate increases because jobs were
decreasing and poor farmers were not given enough agricultural funds.
Since daangmatuwid (straight path) is the trademark of P-Noy Administration, I believe
that it is better if he had given specific time or period for the Investigating Agencies to come out
with the results regarding issues on Cadavero, PDAF(Priority Development Assistant Fund)
scam, MRT extortion and others. I know we all want to hear from him declaring that he would
not allow even his political allies to commit abuses and corruption because he himself will make
sure that they will pay under the law.
His fourth SONA has the longest duration compared to his previous speeches but there
are still concerns of the countries he missed. He focuses more on accomplishments but not in his
plans for the country. But after all this, whatever status we have, we cannot blame him directly
because we all know how hard to lead a country. He was been a good leader and I do believe that
he is doing well and all we have to do is to participate and do our part as his Boss as he said and I
think he should advice his judicial and legislative councils to follow the straight path of
governance as a trademark of his administration.
I am hopeful that P-Noy's continue the arrangements "economic laws & policies" of our
country to have become more attractive to foreign investors. We cannot afford to slip downward
because I only charge our policies do not conform to those of progressive nations. Just make sure
that all provisions in our laws including the revisions are correct. Fresh investments will be the
lifeblood of our economy rising. We need to sustain our economic growth. MAKE ALL THE
necessary revisions, PROOFREAD policies THESE LAWS AND, OR AND GUARD
AGAINST illegal unauthorized insertions. Another thing, we need to act fast to mitigate climate
change and minimize massive flooding. We need more flood-control projects like Laguna de bay
- manila bay link, ring road embankment, dams and water reservoirs, etc. And lastly, continue to
strengthen agriculture and fisheries sector modernization and technology thru upgrades. These 3
things must be prioritized Mr. P-NOY. Good luck and more power.
After reading some feedback news about Aquino's SONA, still have not claimed they
heard saying they want to hear and it is said they are dissatisfied with some areas of
accomplishments. I say to those people who think they are smart especially those in the business
industries, Mr. Aquino cannot include everything you want to hear in His speech. If they want
specifics, then go see His cabinets for answers. The militant who clash with police outside the
national congress does not do well understand what they judge. If you ask them, only a handful
seems to have a clear direction of what their group wants. The difficulty we are mindful of other
people. Said that, not concentrated complaint.
Do I agree with what he's been saying? Yes. And no. There are no overt lies and spinning
in the President's SONA, for even a malfunctioning democracy as ours does not need propaganda
to soothe disgruntled citizens. Fact-checking is easy. The Philippines possesses a free and
combative media. Journalists may be murdered but still they continue. We've learned from the
time of Marcos dictatorship - cracking down on the media is the first sign of tyranny.
People do not really fear the government, but neither do they really trust it. If anything, it
is harder to rouse citizenry out of apathy for the government's initiatives. Who believes election
promises anymore? Change is a constant promise of every new administration, and the poor
remain poor, and the rich get even richer. The gap seems only to stretch with every generation.
However, it is also true that change does happen within a perceptible timeframe. My
grandfather was born to a farmer's son, he worked as a cook, and my father became a lawyer. My
mother was farmer's daughter, she became a teacher. The difference between a bare existence
and that of middle class can be as short as one generation. This is where people put their trust
and hope - not in their government, but in their children.
The SONA was said to be very comprehensive, covering a lot of areas which include the
current administration’s accomplishments on economic and political aspects. The president also
expressed his praises for those public servants and government departments for their outstanding
performances in the battle against corruption, and his dismay to those corrupt officials and erring
government agencies through verbal criticisms.
It has been three years since majority of Filipino voters elected the son of the so-called
“heroes” into the highest office in the land and once again, he faced everyone to tackle and
address the issues of the country during his leadership. The main issues mentioned above where
obviously those he thought were good accomplishments. In fact, the statistics he presented on
almost all of those really increased and was impressive which he was proud to say that his
administration had done something good for the country and its people. If we take a look at the
bright side of things, based on the increase and improvements for example on our agricultural
sector, the tourist visit on both foreign and domestic, the benefit of 4Ps, will really tell that there
were indeed good changes and better management of the Philippines in his 3 years of service.
But on the second thought, the culture of impunity remains alive and well under his
presidency. The State of the Nation Address should not only be about what you did good for the
country and the people, it should also be about being honest, admitting your flaws and
expressing your plans on how to treat those issues because SONA is supposed to be what you
can address the entire nation whether it’s good or bad. When we take a look at the back of those
accomplishments that he presented, we can really see lots of issues that should be addressed
more like the unresolved case of the Maguindanao massacre, the unemployment rate, the other
side of 4Ps, Philippines’ territorial disputes with our Asian neighbors like China and Malaysia,
US Military’s usage of Subic in their military services and many more.
As he also mentioned in his SONA 2013 about the PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program
(4Ps), the Filipinos without realizing that it could be considered another short-term or “BandAid”
solution thought this was very helpful to them. It is indeed helpful now but how about after
Aquino’s term? The government is increasing their budget on this project instead of focusing on
how to give these people permanent jobs and not just rely on their cash transfer. The president
also gloss over briefly on issues about China and Malaysia which he knew it would only give
Filipinos more questions and doubt about their security and safety. He also high lightened the
Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro that will pave way for peace in Mindanao not
mentioning their agreement which according to reports, 50-50 sharing but with incremental
increases in access to fossil fuels and uranium not minding people’s perception in the deal as
giving in the rebel forces of the MILF and technically giving away the region.
But he never forgot to mention the economic growth of the country which will be the
number one basis of majority of us to say that he had done a great job in making the Philippines
better economically. Unfortunately, this economic growth rate will not really mean much to the
unemployed Filipinos because the primary driver of the Philippine economy is the spending of
the consumers and the government and this does not create permanent jobs for people outside the
retail and building industry especially the poor families.
Despite all these unveiled issues during SONA 2013, it is still good to know that
somehow, he is trying to make a name for the country and his accomplishments were the fruit of
his and his administration’s leadership and hard work.President Aquino’s ending statement is
also very commendable which he expressed how proud he was to be a Filipino and encouraged
everyone to be proud also. He said,"Ipinagmamalakikosabuongmundo, Pilipino ako.
Napakasarapmaging Pilipino sapanahongito."
You can’t really please everybody. It is also important that we support our leaders too so
that they will implement their plans and projects easily. Let’s just hope that his plans will be
realized before his term will end in 2016 because as the saying goes, “Plans are only good
intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work”.