In his 4th State of the Nation Address, President Benigno Aquino III once again acknowledged his promise of a ‘daang matuwid’ towards the country’s growth and development. Reported to be the longest SONA he has delivered, this year’s speech mostly consisted of the achievements of the current administration which include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, housing units for victims of past typhoons, and improvements in agriculture, health and tourism among others. More than these, Pnoy cited the 7.8% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2013 which is the highest growth recorded in Southeast Asia.
Accompanying these achievements are the plans that Pnoy laid out for the coming year. Some of these are increasing the number of CCT recipients, a 1:1 police to pistol ratio, improvements in infrastructure and many others. He also said that there is a need for a raise in MRT and LRT fares. I think that this is a good move for the administration. Charging a higher price for MRT and LRT rides would not have a big decrease in the number of passengers. This will spell a lower subsidy to be given to passengers. With this, the money “saved” by the government from the subsidy can be used to fund the improvement of other public services. The president also talked about fighting corruption, even mentioning corrupt government agencies. I admired him in doing this because it takes a lot of guts for him to expose the negative side of his administration for which he will surely be criticized.
Despite the accomplishments of the administration in the previous year, I felt like the SONA was too optimistic for the listeners’ part and that it failed to address some issues that many Filipinos expected him to talk about like the territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea. It seems to me that the SONA was not able to completely present the real condition of the country because of these overlooked issues. Nevertheless, I believe that the Pnoy is still on the right path, the ‘daang matuwid’ since he made mention of a lot of improvements in various sectors which can eventually translate to further economic development.
Coreen Giselle B. Santos | 2012-56258