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The First State of the Nation Address of Philippine President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III
I am writing this through HubPages in order to become part of the history of my beloved country.
Filipinos, living in and out of the Philippines are monitoring the fate of the country in the hands of its 15th president, His Excellency, Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. The 26th of July 2010 saw the opening of the joint 15th Congress (House and Senate) and the much-anticipated State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the leader of the archipelago.
Social networks in the internet played a major role in disseminating valuable information and requests to the present administration to alleviate the economy of the country. The administrators of the president’s account on Facebook received wishes and pleas coming from Filipinos in different strata of the society to help the government know the real situation, especially in the grassroots level.
Among the major pleas of Filipino people to P-NOY or President Noynoy (President Aquino) are:
- Thrusts/programs of the administration to stabilize the economy of the nation
- How to fight graft and corruption in the government
- Advocacy on the environment
- Concrete plans and programs for the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)
- Priority on education
Meanwhile, the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (New Alliance of Patriots) or BAYAN presented the People’s Agenda through a progressive rally that include:
- To file cases against the people who committed graft from the former administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
- To trash the existence of Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)
- To stop extra-judicial killings
- To fully implement the Agrarian Reform program
Even though, they’ve already made an effigy or dummy of President Aquino, they will not burn it; instead serenade the president about the urgent needs of the Filipino people.
Other rallies included the friendly groups and the sympathizers of the present administration.
The First SONA of P-Noy Part 1 c/o pilipinasmabuhay100
The First SONA of P-Noy Part 2 c/o pilipinasmabuhay100
The First SONA of P-Noy Part 3 c/o pilipinasmabuhay100
The First SONA of P-Noy
It lasted for just 39 minutes, spoken in our Filipino language, Tagalog; much to the delight of the public.
The first 15 minutes of the speech revealed the controversies/anomalies in the primary agencies that consumed more than half of its budget this year. These agencies are MWSS (Metropolitan Water and Sewerage System, NAPOCOR (National Power Corporation) and NFA (National Food Authority). He also mentioned the anomalies in calamity fund and road user’s tax.
He personally perused the documents of the different agencies and was astonished by the massive corruption during the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Almost ¾ of the total national budget for 2010 (1.54 trillion pesos) was spent by the Arroyo administration. The huge part of calamity fund was allocated to only one district in Pampanga during the wake of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng last year (the district of the presidential son).
After that, President Aquino laid his plan or the road map of his legislative agenda, reiterating the ZERO-BASED APPROACH. It means they will eradicate unnecessary projects. He also explained the formation of TRUTH COMMISSION that will investigate anomalies done by the past administration, including tax evaders, extra-judicial killings, among others.
He also announced the interest of both local and foreign investors to participate in the so-called PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP that will build projects, like a expressway starting from Manila going to nearby provinces of Bulacan, Nueva Vizcaya and Cagayan Valley in the northern part of Luzon.
There’s an interest in upgrading the military equipment of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the merchant ships of the country. He happily announced that the tourism industry will have a more emphasis this year by building its main office. He said that the government will not spend even a single cent on the two departments because there are local and foreign businessmen who are interested to fund such projects.
His emphasis on agriculture will be establishing more grain centers, road networks and the inclusion of railway system to facilitate more production and fast delivery of goods, thereby escaping bribes from the police authority and the rebels.
His last 15 minutes emphasized on the BUILT-OPERATE TRANSFER (BOT) SCHEME in order to create more jobs. President Aquino announced that registration of business name and processing of application will be shortened.
He promised that all Filipinos will be given fair treatment. He presented his plans for social services, standardization of educational system (patterned to global standard), the PHILHEALTH . He started mobilizing the League of Provinces and the League of Cities to help him maximize the services intended to ordinary citizen. He appealed to all elected public officials to help build the projects of the government, regardless of political party affiliations.
President Aquino laid important bills for the 15th Congress to approve: FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY BILL, upgrade of PROCUREMENT LAW, NATIONAL LAND USE BILL, WHISTLE BLOWER’S BILL, WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM.
He also called the participation of the leftist groups to make a compromise with the government through peace process, like the Mindanao Peace Talks and the CPP-NPA-NDF Talks. President Aquino challenged the latter to bare concrete suggestions (as in PEOPLE’S AGENDA) instead of negative criticisms. He further said that “it’s difficult to start peace talks when the air still smells of gun powder.”
Lastly, he called the attention of the MEDIA to present an unbiased news and give a fair public discourse to important issues of the government.