Before I even start discussing what I thought of the SONA, I’ll tell you first what I think the SONA is. I view every SONA as an annual postcard from Malacañang that says, “Wish you were here,” with a picturesque tourist destination and a brief description of what happened during the trip or in our case, during the past year. It’s a postcard-SONA because it takes a while before we get the whole thing – its meaning and its effects.
And as I listened to the SONA with more certainty of the meaning and impact of the President’s address to me and all the other Filipinos, I was sure that our country is getting somewhere. I see the reforms and programs of the President and his administration trickle down to the masses. We are seeing the changes we used to think of as just foolish hopes of a country mired into poverty and corruption but now we see good glimpses of how people are starting to embrace the fact that we, as a country, can change and we definitely are getting somewhere.
The commendation of the President to the members of the police force who have done exemplary work reminded me that there are still noble men and women who work for the safety of us citizens that put their want to serve above any corrupt deed that would deter them from their duty. It wasn’t just the high-ranking officials such as the cabinet members who were getting praise but also the normal people, the ones who stand in the middle of the road to guide traffic and the ones who chase after thieves even when they are off-duty and unarmed.
The reforms that are pushing through in our society leave me quite optimistic. The upcoming reforms for the K-12 Program show that we are empowering more and more Filipinos in the pursuit of good-quality and globally-competitive education. Developments such as the increase of TESDA graduates, the increase of Philhealth enrolees, and the completion of 9,377 housing units for Typhoon Sendong victims give me hope that many Filipinos are getting the benefits that their taxes pay for.
Although we have made strides in our development, we still have some set-backs such as the current unemployment rate still being the lowest in Asia and recent issues such as the pork barrel scam. I understand that there will always be further problems to be addressed and from what I see now, I am quite hopeful that they will indeed be addressed. It may take time but we’re getting there.
– Olivia Solomon