SONA 2013

As per mandated by the Constitution, President Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address last July 22, Monday. His 103 minute speech highlighted the achievements of his administration for the past three years in office. Compared to the country’s condition before Pres. Aquino assumed presidency, he has truly propelled our country towards the “daang matuwid”, which he has always aspired for us. We have witnessed rapid progress in different sectors in our economy, as evidenced by the statistics mentioned in the speech. PNoy started off with the education sector, where problems such as lack of classrooms and books have been addressed, as well as improvement in the quality of education through the implementation of the K-12 program. He stressed the importance of education, as it could lead to higher employment rates such as the case of the TESDA-DOLE scholars. He discussed future plans to further provide students with greater job opportunities by helping them get through high school. Advancements in the agricultural and fisheries sector will largely decrease the amount of our imports and increase productivity in order to maximize our land and water resources. Health and disaster management programs have turned out to be successful. The country’s most treasured spots have been given glory with successful tourism campaigns. The issue of corruption in government offices has been duly addressed. Collecting taxes is now very efficient. The taxation system allows us to earn 40 billion pesos, which can be allocated to programs for overall welfare. Our country has been recognized as the “rising tiger”, and the “brightest spark” by various international institutions. We also hold the record for the highest increase in GDP of 7.8% in East and Southeast Asia. The Philippines has experienced two consecutive ten-place jumps in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum.
As expected, the SONA of PNoy has garnered various opinions and criticisms. The speech was met with huge speculation from the public eye. While some ended up praising PNoy and all the work he has done to bring our country to greater heights, some were not pleased, continuously looking for loopholes or lacking points in the speech. Some argue that growth in numbers and statistics does not imply overall development. We are still faced with plaguing problems such as widespread poverty, high unemployment rate, and unsystematic government functions. Personally, I am an avid supporter of our President and his effective leadership and intelligence. To quote Pres. Aquino, “Ang sabi nila: Alam naming hindi masosolusyonan sa isang tulog, sa isang taon, o kahit pa ba sa anim na taong termino ng isang Presidente ang lahat ng problema ng bansa. Pero simulan mo lang, at tiyak, kasama mo kaming mag-aaruga nito.” PNoy has only been in office for three years, and yet he has exceeded expectations with the successes he has brought our nation. Let us focus on the great achievements he has attained rather than on the parts on which he lacks. PNoy describes the previous administration as “Gagawin ang lahat para kumapit sa kapangyarihan, kapalit ang pagdurusa ng kasalukuyan at susunod na henerasyon ng Pilipino.” President Aquino is a perfect example of a leader and a public servant who strives to provide humble service not only to the present generation, but also to the generations to come. Let us be part of the solution and together strive to put our nation on the road to success.

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