Parallaxis

Aquino shapes an agenda

President Benigno Aquino III

The second year of Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III and his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) are upon us. As usual, it will be the people—of all persuasions—who will compete with him in reporting the state of the nation and actually report on him (or his performance). Such is the life of a president!

How do we judge a president’s performance? Usually, the basis would be this: it is the year’s performance since the last SONA. However, some want to measure his performance against the promises since he became the president. Still, others want to look at his performance vis-a-vis the problems and challenges facing the nation, as perceived by the observer.

Of course, all of them are correct. All of the above are valid criteria depending on the perspective one wants to adopt.

An objective appraisal of the State of the Nation will, more often than not, produce a mix of positive and negative conclusions.

However, there are others who seem to want to use an absolutist frame of reference—either the president is God’s gift to the Filipinos or he is the devil’s own spawn out to bring destruction on the nation. There is also the common pitfall of telescoping the timeframe of both the nation’s problems and their solutions within the present president’s performance thus far until the SONA.

I think the more valid framework to use is a historical one. This proceeds from the situation of the past, seeing the present Aquino government as a continuity (or discontinuity) from the past, and projecting the future from the present regime’s policies and programs. This detached point of view lends itself easier to a more objective appraisal of the SONA and president’s performance.

Applying this framework to the present government, I think the first year of the Aquino presidency was spent largely in transitioning from the past Macapagal-Arroyo administration, removing the obstacles to his consolidation of power, forming his own governance team, and fashioning his own program of governance.

It is only on his second year that the Aquino administration completed his consolidation of power, initiated various programs of anti-corruption and anti-poverty (the two major promises of candidate Aquino), and grappling with the immediate problems of governance.

I therefore expect the third SONA—covering his first two years in office—to expound on the president’s record of success in handling these challenges. The more interesting thing to watch out for, however, is his agenda for the rest of his presidency.

Ramon Casiple is a well-respected political analyst. He is also the Executive Director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER).

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Biker Beauty: Honda and David's Salon Pampering Day
    Biker Beauty: Honda and David's Salon Pampering Day

    Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI), and David's Salon recently held the awarding ceremony for the Metro Manila winner of the David's Salon Scooter Raffle Promo at the 5th level of SM Megamall Building A. Loyal patron Maria Theresa Guevara took home a brand new Honda Click 125i. Present to grace the occasion were David's Salon Creative Director Laura Charlton and HPI Assistant Vice-President for Sales and Marketing Hideo Nishinaga.To the delight of all those in attendance, guests were treated to …

  • ‘Next leader must not be newbie’
    ‘Next leader must not be newbie’

    Vice President Jejomar Binay believes the next president of the Philippines must have vast experience and a long track record in governance and in dealing with crises. “I am very much convinced that the local government is the best training ground for those who want to run for national government positions,” he said. Binay said he is determined to run for president in 2016 on the strength of his competence and track record. …

  • Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning
    Massacre suspect tests negative for poisoning

    A suspect in the Maguindanao massacre case who had been examined at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) tested negative for poisoning, medical records released yesterday showed. However, the Quezon City court handling the multiple murder case resolved to isolate Police Officer 1 Pia Kamidon from the rest of the accused detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig for his safety. In a two-page order, Regional Trial Court Branch 221 assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada ordered jail officials to …

  • ‘Homework first before Facebook’
    ‘Homework first before Facebook’

    President Aquino elicited laughter from students here as he reminded them to open books first before Facebook. “Finish your assignments first before making a raid in the Clash of Clans,” Aquino said, referring to a popular online game. In a speech during the turnover yesterday of two new three-story buildings at the Tarlac National High School, he said the government could only provide opportunities for learning but the rest of the work would be up to the students. The new school buildings …

  • Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement
    Espina resignation confirmed; Noy looks for replacement

    President Aquino ended speculations yesterday and confirmed that Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina had indeed resigned as officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police. As of this time, we are conducting various interviews and checks on the various candidates,” Aquino told reporters at the Tarlac National High School in Tarlac City. Aquino had kind words for Espina, saying that he stood by and defended the 44 slain police Special Action Force (SAF) commandos in the operation in …

  • Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation
    Palace welcomes G7 concern over sea reclamation

    President Aquino welcomed yesterday the Group of Seven industrialized countries’ expression of concern over rising tension in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, calling it a clear indication of the global scope of the problem ramped up by China’s massive reclamation activities in disputed waters. In Tarlac City where he led the turnover of new classrooms, Aquino told reporters that goodwill and not tension must prevail in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, where territorial …

  • DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12
    DepEd, TESDA tie up for K to 12

    The Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in the first two years of implementation of the K to 12 program. “We will use TESDA centers as technical-vocational laboratories for senior high school,” DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro said during the inauguration of 30 new classrooms at the Tarlac National High School yesterday. The classrooms were constructed in partnership with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. …

  • SE Asia Stocks-Philippine falls on foreign selling; others flat to weaker

    BANGKOK, April 17 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets ended flat to weaker on Friday as Philippine stocks slid on selling led by foreign funds and Singapore shares extended losses with investors ... …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options