July 22 2013 – this was the day that President Benigno Simeon “PNoy” Aquino III delivered his fourth annual State of the Nation Address in Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City. PNoy delivered his SONA with the theme, “Sa Gitna ng Daang Matuwid.”
This was his fourth SONA and only two remains. PNoy opened the 16th Congress in a joint session of both houses and this marked his third year in presidency. It was around 4PM when the annual SONA started and ended at around 5:45 PM. Compared to his previous SONAs, this one was different. It was his longest delivered SONA so far. According to reports, it earned 88 rounds of applause from the audience, which included Senators, Congressmen, government officials, local and international media and other important people in the country.
PNoy’s speech wasn’t something that I would say that stuck me. It was pretty broad and normal. It was like an ordinary speech to me. Though, PNoy’s SONA was full. It was comprehensive. It enclosed a lot of things. I have to say, it was a typical PNoy speech that included the accomplishments of his administration in both the political and economical aspects, he also praised the people who made honourable and exceptional services for the country and for the people, and of course, he would not forget to mention and criticize those who are corrupt, this included public servants and government agencies.
His Excellency also mentioned in his Sona the people from his party who won the senatorial elections in the May 2013 elections, how successful was his program “Pantawid ng Pamilyang Pilipino Program”. He also cited the peace framework for the Bangsamoro, the housing program he had planned for the informal settlers, the TESDA scholars and the 7.8% GDP last year. He did not fail to mention his proud achievements which were the RH Law, Sin Tax Law, AFP Modernization Act and the K-12 Law.
Included in his speech was also the lading of the three police officers for their remarkable and outstanding service to inspire other people and lift the image of the PNP. Other people he honoured were the department secretaries, namely Albert del Rosario of DFA, Armin Luistro of DepEd, Rogelio SIngson of DPWH and who would not forget, the late Jesse Robredo of DILG for a job well-done.
PNoy was transparent enough to mention those who were corrupt to the government. He did not let it slip. He mentioned the former TESDA Administrator Boboy Syjuco, the Bureau of Immigration, the agencies of Bureau of Customs and the National Irrigation Administration.
A video of the testimonials of exemplary public servants was also included in the almost 2-hour SONA. He closed his speech with this, “I am Noynoy Aquino, and I proudly say to the world: I am a Filipino. How wonderful it is to be a Filipino in these times.”
The 2013 SONA may not be a feast to the ears to most people, but at least we have seen change and development in our country. The change may not be one that we have expected but change only happens step by step. We must be proud of what we have become because we come a long way. Let us give our country a chance and not bash it with thoughts and ideas that we can no longer grow and stand on our feet. Let us believe that we can still push ourselves to the limits and bring forth growth.