Last July 22, 2013, President Benigno Aquino III has again delivered his State of the Nation Address. In his speech, he told all the Filipinos listening to him, “Ito ang inyong SONA.” What does this statement even mean?
He mentioned several issues like unemployment, education and agriculture. He was proud of the things the government has done, the inputs and outputs of the previous year. But what are the outcomes of it all, really? What are the effects of these to the masses?
I remember PNoy mentioning how TESDA graduates have high employment. But if we think about it, these graduates are skilled, therefore they are easily hired locally and abroad. What about unskilled labor? Majority of the working population are unskilled and not a single thing was said about them. How can these people relate to the SONA that was supposedly for them?
There was also a part where PNoy updated us about K-12 and its promises to uplift the quality of education in the country. But what are his plans for the SUCs? Especially here in the University of the Philippines where education is being “commercialized” with STFAP and public-private partnerships. What will happen to the students who cannot pay tuition and end up dropping out or even worse, committing suicide? These issues, PNoy failed to address.
Point is, I don’t really think PNoy’s SONA is for the masses. His SONA targets investors for he highlighted the good things that only investors would want to hear. He failed to address the real issues that we, as citizens of the country, should be aware of so that we could also do something about it.
“Ito ang inyong SONA.” No, not really. But maybe next year PNoy, hopefully.