Last July 22, 2013, Pnoy delivered his yearly report of what the government had done last year in the House of Representatives. Last July 22, 2013, the Filipino people listened in front of their televisions as they wait for Pnoy to tackle the different issues his administration is facing. After Pnoy delivered his speech, however, a lot of people were disappointed and a lot thought that he could’ve tackled a lot more timely issues. Many commented that since this is his longest SONA, he should’ve talked about the Freedom of Information Bill or the Php 10 billion pork scam.
Of course I also waited for him to discuss the FOI or the Pork Scam, but I was not that disappointed of his SONA. I was actually a little bit entertained. Pnoy is unique in a way that he does not care what his underlings think of him or what the Filipino public thinks of him.
I think this was the first SONA ever where the president openly scolded some agencies in the government. The line that struck me most in his speech was, “Saan po kaya kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha ang mga kawani sa ahensyang ito?” The previous presidents patronize and take pride of the cabinet and what they’ve done. They never scold government agencies in public, especially in SONAs. Only Pnoy was bold enough to resort to shaming, thinking that when their reputations are put at stake at least something will be done. And yes, it did have an effect, some secretaries have handed in their resignations right after. Although Pnoy didn’t accept their resignations, I hope their faces are not as thick as we think them to be.
Again, Pnoy was bold enough to inform the public of certain hikes, specifically the fare hikes in the LRT and the MRT and the increase in the contribution of the SSS members. I, personally, am not against of these hikes. The LRT and the MRT fare subsidies is an example of how the taxes of a Filipino, regardless where he lives, is always concentrated in the development of NCR and some parts of Luzon. LRT and MRT will never help in the daily lives of the commuters living in Mindanao or Visayas so why should they be burdened by something that will only benefit a small percentage.
Every SONA, the president is given the opportunity to share with us what he has accomplished and what he is planning to do and also every SONA people are not contented of what they had heard. But this SONA, Pnoy was bold enough to challenge us to stop complaining and to start to take action. He has asked us to own our part in this country’s development. I know there is still a lot to work on and a lot to do, but are we ready to step up to lead the Philippines to a future that we will all be proud of?
Coleen Abigail V. Villaluz