SONA: Its all about gaining the people`s support

The State of the Nation Address is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of being a president, to which he/she boasts the achievements of the administration in front of all Filipinos, the critics, the supporters and those who are just wondering what is going on. One important aspect of the SONA is that it is a glimpse of the administrations plan for the future of the nation, in which for this fourth address its shows the plan of the administration for a public trusted and confident government in the road towards development.

This is the fourth SONA of our incumbent president Benigno Aquino III and for this writer it is somewhat different from the first three, perhaps because it is the address in the second half of his term, maybe because the guests in Batasan Pambansa keeps on clapping more every time the president pauses to catch his breath or maybe  because this SONA shows the results of the promises and plans Pnoy has stated during the previous ones, let us see.

As soon as the president started to speak one could hear the words “Sona po ninyo ito” or another set of words which draws the same meaning, but whats important is that the president represents his SONA as the achievement of the people in which it could be seen later in his speech on how this is so. President Aquino encourages the people to help each other and the country towards the road to development and prosperity — he gives a sense of patriotism and nationalism to the people — that in order for this nation to rise the people must help the government with its plans, in which in simple terms, the government cannot do it on its own.  This is how the president addresses his speech as the the speech of the people in which all of the governments achievements would never happen without the support of the people and that if the people continue to give support endless possibilities could be achieved.

The last statements of public support is very important because for this writer it serves as the foundation of his entire speech, in which the entire SONA revolves around achievements and plans to increase public trust and confidence in the government. As I have said above, the SONA is a glimpse of the nations future and president Aquino did not fail in providing that. He  stated numerous numbers such as 7.8% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2013, a 21.4% increase in tourism from the numbers during the year 2010,  and many more, but what is important with these numbers is that the president shows the people that they are on track, that this nation is improving and that it is in “the matuwid na daan”. The numbers he`s given shows the glimpse of an improving country and what is more important is how he asks the public support for all his other plans , such as the LRT and MRT fair increase, in which in return he provides the achievements and promises future plans in the public sector, such as an increased coverage in PhilHealth, an increase in the efficiency of cops, and his most recognizable achievement — the cleaning of government offices from corrupt officials, in which he points out Customs, NIA, and Immigrations.

The difference with his forth State of the Nation Address is that it is no longer centered on the flaws of the past administrations and what the government has to do in order to correct that. I praise the president because he spent half of his term in trying to fix the various corrupt systems in the entire country and now that these systems show signs of improvement, he is now telling the people that it is time to move forward and that together with their support the country could once shine.

Although the fourth SONA of President Aquino did address many issues/concerns regarding the nation, such as those in agriculture, land reform, peace and order, prospected bills in the congress, those in education and skills training, disaster preparedness and many more which did excite the public and gave them a confidence boost for the government, it lacked to the two main issues the public wanted to hear, which is the numbers and plans regarding poverty and the tensions regarding China.  But who knows what is running inside the presidents head, perhaps he is reserving this issue for another time or maybe because if he talked about it the nation might face unwanted tensions. All that we know is that this fourth SONA was a speech of the people, that all of the governments achievements are products of public support and that prosperity could be achieved if the public does its own part for this nation , as Pnoy always says “Kayo po ang boss ko”.

– Miguel Rey Ramos


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