As students of the University of the Philippines, it is our duty to familiarize ourselves with the nation’s current state of affairs. In doing so, we not only integrate what we learn in the classroom to real-life situations in the country, but also prepare ourselves as future leaders of society. That being said, I must regretfully admit that I am not up to date with much of the news and therefore apologize in advanced for my limited knowledge and any ignorant remarks I may make regarding President Aquino’s fourth State of the Nation Address last 22nd of July.
From the country’s growing agricultural sector, the Pantawid Pamilya Program, agrarian reforms of the Hacienda Luisita issue, to general growth against the context of the World Economic Forum – socio-economic achievements (with dashes of education, security and health measures) arguably characterized much of last week’s SONA. Indeed, while all of these are outstanding and certainly worth mentioning, limitations such as the actual extent of their success comes to question. That is, for the average Filipino, to what extent can he or she actually feel the improvements being made? A report was made just last April that poverty incidence in the country remained unchanged for the past 6 years. Personally, while things do seem more organized than before there seems to be little improvement as we still see a number of slums and street children throughout Manila alone. Then again, perhaps statistics have changed since then and as such, further research will have to be made regarding this.
Another issue I found with last week’s SONA is that perhaps President Aquino focused too much on certain details that could have easily been summarized in a few sentences or bullet points. That way, issues that weren’t mentioned could have had some room for explanation. Examples of such include the FOI Bill or the pork barrel scam, or even the status of OFWs who contribute much to the country’s economy. Nevertheless, I realize that not everything that’s happened in the country can be mentioned in that 1½ hours, just as the Aquino Administration cannot solve all the issues in 6 years.
With so many things to be done in the country, we cannot rely on the Administration alone. We likewise need to play our parts as responsible citizens. From volunteering for dangerous emergency rescue operations, actively participating in political events, to even the simplest act of remaining up to date with the country’s state of affairs – each of us has a role to play and the potential carry it out.
http://www.pcoo.gov.ph/sona2013-english_jul22.htm (Accessed: 25-July-13)
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/396237/ph-poverty-unchanged (Accessed: 28-July-13)