Last July 22, 2013, our president gave his fourth State Of the Nation Address or SONA inside the halls of Batasan Pambansa. He tackled a lot of issues that our nation is facing and he also disclosed to us his plans for the improvement of our country. But before I delve into the facts he presented, I will tell you something. In this day and age a lot of people have become cynical and pessimistic. However, there are still some who like to see life as a blessing, a gift given to us to be enjoyed and cherished. What I will present to you are the statements that PNoy gave in his speech, and my positive opinion based on what I have observed from his SONA.
President Aquino’s speech focused mainly on the theme that the Philippines must reform the obsolete and ineffective methods used by the old government. He proposed change that will be good for us. What we need is to learn from the past to make the future better. I watched his SONA a little late, because I had not antipicated that what time it would start. But I did watch it to the end. Now, here are some of the projects that he proposed, and some of the things that he has done :
-Increase MRT-LRT toll rates
-Completed Jalau River Multipurpose Project II (where a good, stable and abundant source of rice can be harvested)
-Results of PPP which includes the creation of 6 new airports and a link road in SLEX
-Plans to connect NLEX to SLEX
-3.8M added jobs because of improved tourismZ
-Reduced corruption in local government departments (eg. MWSS-from 30M LOSS to 333M PROFIT)
-Country has a higher GDP rate (7.8%, highest in Asia)
-Called out corrupt government officials
-Showcased the potential of Filipinos and told us that we are all part in the process of making our nation better
Out of all the things he said that I still remember, I can say that he has done a good job. I may not like the proposed increased fare in the MRT personally because it affects me in a negative way, but all the other things are essentially good. My favorite was his plan to connect the NLEX and the SLEX together. If it is completed, traffic in EDSA would be significantly reduced, since trucks carrying produce and other vehicles who would like to get out of the Metro would have an alternative route. The added jobs because of the increased tourist visits are definitely a big plus. His Public-Private Partnership is a very good way to entice foreign investors in giving us their money. And once we have enough money, then we can start making some big changes.
All in all, I really liked his speech. He may not be the best president, but he sure is doing a good job trying to be one. Let’s be realistic, our president will never be able to solve all of our problems magically in just six years. What he is trying to do, however, is to treat the symptoms so that our transition from a sick, decrepit nation to a first-world developed country will be smoother. Let’s try to look at the glass as half-full, not half-empty. Also, let us remember that change starts within each one of us. It very easy to just point our fingers and blame someone who is in power. But, we must come to realize that we must also help ourselves if we really want to be better. The government can only do so much, you know. Besides, when compared to the past administration, he really is doing a good job.
-Astin Louis R. Padlan