Every year the state of the nation address tries to retaliate what has become of our country and its citizens. With his fourth SONA, this is what exactly President Benigno S. Aquino III tried to do last July 22. The state of the nation address is not merely a report of the development and growth that we have attained but also and more importantly, it is the reality the Filipinos have to face regarding the condition of the nation.
In the onset of President Noynoy’s SONA he expressed his gratitude for the Filipino people who have been his strength ever since he started his service for them. His gratitude was also evident throughout his speech, as he mentioned people who have been of great help to his administration and to the country. He made a personal connection to the citizens by commending individuals for their efforts in helping him transform our nation, giving us a set of role models to look up to. He was even appreciative of the little things done for him by his presidential security group. It was clear that the president was not alone in his journey towards achieving the country’s “malawakan at pangmatagalang kaunlaran”.
Like in all state of the nation addresses, the president reported the achievements of his administration in various sectors such as agriculture, education, business and trade. In my opinion there was not much discussion on concrete plans his administration would take in the future such as how they would be able to generate more jobs for the people. He also didn’t really tackle on the recent issues such as the Pork Barrel and Freedom of Information bill. It was rather odd that he was silent about these issues because weren’t they part of his mission in fighting poverty and corruption? One of the highlights though of the SONA that caught me by surprise was how he single-handedly criticized government agencies for their corruption and inefficiency in performing their duties. It was how the president commented on the agencies’ lack of responsibility that shocked me. “Saan po kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha, kayong mga nasa [tiwaling] ahensiyang ito?” Specifically it was more on his choice of words (kapal ng mukha) in scrutinizing these people that struck me. Despite the setbacks to his speech, it was nice to know that we were moving as one nation. We still have time to continue transforming society.
With the president’s report, I believe that the Philippines has come a long way from where we started. There have been improvements in our government and solutions to the problems we once faced. I believe that there is still hope for the country as long as we are optimistic with what is ahead of us and of course, we continue to do our part in transforming our society. President Noynoy ended his SONA by including the Filipinos in his speech. He mentioned how it wasn’t only his SONA but also ours to claim, it was our SONA too. Hopefully, each and every Filipino are convinced to become active members of society and head on; face the (bright) future ahead of us.
– Melissa S. Sta. Maria