Pagbabago

MANILA, Philippines - The central message in President Aquino's one and a half-hour address to the Nation is pagbabago or transformation. He first introduced anomalies in the past - the North Rail, the GOCC bonuses, Pagcor, and the huge debts left behind, before presenting the achievements of his administration during the past two years. These are in the sectors of the economy, health, education, infrastructure (airports, irrigation, roads, energy, etc.). This should help dispel some criticisms by critics that his administration had failed to deliver what was promised during the last two SONAs.

The statistics looked impressive, especially since they were juxtaposed with the accomplishments of the past administration. He spoke also of what he plans to achieve until 2016. These included projected targets - a great idea, according to one who thought this was one way of making him accountable. But, as he had said, it is us, the people, who made these possible. And we - P-Noy and the people - will have to take responsibility for the kind of future that we want to create. This is not an impossible task, he said of the reforms implemented thus far. And we can do much more as long as we do what is right. His speech drew about 108 applauses.

P-Noy's address resonated as he primarily touched on people's most basic needs - health for all (5.2-million poor benefiting from PhilHealth, more community health teams deployed, decrease in dengue cases), education for all (increase in budget for basic and higher education, more TESDA scholarships, classrooms and textbooks), decrease in unemployment rate, and increase in Conditional Cash Transfer beneficiaries to 3.1 million), among others.

He also cited glowing reports on the economy - increase in varied ratings (credit, a GDP of 6.4%, and the Philippine Stock Exchange Index, and favorable assessments from international credit rating agencies; progress in the upgrade of infrastructure - domestic and international airports, national roads, electrification of barangays, increased productivity in rice and exports in coconut products, increased budgetary allocation for the AFP-PNP modernization program which had brought about these outcomes - higher moral among the law enforcement agencies, return of rebels, capture of bandits, and a lower crime rate; ARMM reforms, rationalization of the Mining Act, improved response to environmental threats (disaster risk reduction management program, project NOAH, and advances in the peace process as shown in progress in the negotiations with the MILF. Expectedly, the most applauded part was his endorsement of the Reproductive Health bill.

The President also conveyed what he felt about the need to assert our territorial rights in the West Philippine sea (they must respect us if they want respect from us) but that it should be done through a "win-win" and peaceful process.

While others had advised him not to dwell on the past, he noted that the task of transformation will require looking back; that while we may forgive what had happened during the past decade, we should never allow ourselves to forget horrendous events such as the Maguindanao massacre, or extrajudicial killings of political activists, and past human rights violations. Therefore, he said, righting the wrongs include bringing the former President to justice.

On a 10-point scale, I would give the President a grade of 8. This is for being able to communicate to the man in the street, and for being able to put across his stance on a sensitive topic such as the territorial conflict with China without offending the other party. This of course is much higher than what the Movement for Good Governance had given which was a score of 5.59.

But as I had said in my June column, the SONA is expected to provide a guide for Congress, and therefore, the President could have provided a more coherent framework for policies and programs that he plans to carry out. in the next four years. In fact, some of the elements for this framework had already been articulated in his address such as "convergence" or bayanihan, where various agencies converge to address a common problem. The economic growth that we now experience did not just happen. It was the consequence of his "matuwid na daan," his credibility, and the administration's efforts to establish a level playing field and ensure transparency and accountability. Finally, there is an even more important element needed for this framework - that of consolidating or crafting new legislation that address existing social and economic gaps. My e-mail is florangel.braid@gmail.com

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.

  • Noy leaves for US
    Noy leaves for US

    President Aquino leaves today for the United States to begin his three-day North American trip that will culminate in a state visit to Canada. The President departs at 8 a.m. on a chartered Philippines Airlines flight to Chicago for a one-day working visit. From Chicago, the President will proceed to Canada where he and Prime Minister Stephen Harper will witness the signing of bilateral agreements on labor cooperation, development assistance and infrastructure development. Canada is home to …

  • China accuses Phl of violating South China Sea Code
    China accuses Phl of violating South China Sea Code

    China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back again after repeated criticism of China’s own construction work. China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement in 2002 to refrain from occupying uninhabited reefs and shoals in the sea, and from building new structures that would complicate disputes. In a statement released just before …

  • Noul to bring stormy weather to central, northern Luzon
    Noul to bring stormy weather to central, northern Luzon

    Tropical storm  Noul  (international name) will bring stormy weather to the eastern section of Central and Northern Luzon this weekend, as it slightly gained strength and moved westward toward the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday. Rene Paciente, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) senior weather forecaster, said the eastern section of Central and Northern Luzon, including Aurora, Isabela and Cagayan, may experience rains with gusty …

  • House asked to allocate P500-M legal aid for OFWs
    House asked to allocate P500-M legal aid for OFWs

    The House of Representatives was asked yesterday to appropriate P500 million for legal assistance for distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). Reprieved death convict Mary Jane Veloso mirrors the tragedy of many OFWs in search of better job opportunities abroad “who become victims of human and drug trafficking and other forms of exploitation,” according to Bill 5704 that the seven-member Makabayan bloc of lawmakers had filed. The lawmakers said Veloso’s family claims that they were not …

  • World’s best place to be a mom: Norway is tops; Phl 105th
    World’s best place to be a mom: Norway is tops; Phl 105th

    Norway ranks as the world’s best place to be a mother, well ahead of the United States, which dropped to the 33rd spot in the annual scorecard released by Save the Children on Monday. Somalia is the worst place, just below the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The Philippines placed 105th out of 179 countries, but the Save the Children report, which profiled Metro Manila among other cities, said that the National Capital Region has done better than most megacities …

  • Philippines' largest telco sees costly, painful fight
    Philippines' largest telco sees costly, painful fight

    Philippine Long Distance Telephone, the country's largest telecommunications firm, said Tuesday it expects to spend nearly $1 billion in a "painful" fight to survive the consumer shift to digital from traditional phone services. The listed company said net profit for the first three months of the year was flat at 9.4 billion pesos ($211 million), and the full-year net profit would likely fall below the 34.1 billion pesos it posted last year. "It's either we pivot or we perish," PLDT chairman …

  • China says Philippines violating South China Sea code

    China has accused the Philippines of violating a 13-year-old informal code of conduct in the South China Sea with its building work on disputed islets, firing back again after repeated criticism of China's own construction work. China and the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed an agreement in 2002 to refrain from occupying uninhabited reefs and shoals in the sea, and from building new structures that would complicate disputes. In a statement just before midnight …

  • Mineski’s 2015 SEA grand finals to be held in Malaysia

    Twelve teams from seven countries will be participating in this year’s Mineski Pro-Gaming League South-East Asian Grand Finals (MPGL7 SEA Grand Finals), set to take place from May 9-10. For the first time, the finals will be held outside of the Philippines, instead taking place in Selangor, Malaysia as part of the 2015 Selangor Cyber Games. “The decision to move the grand finals from PH to Malaysia came into mind last year, right after the Season 6 grand finals,” said Marlon Marcelo, …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options