State of the Nation Address
Our Honorable President Benigno S. Aquino III again delivered his 4th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 22, 2013 as mandated by the Constitution. President Noynoy started to address the nation at exactly 4:03 in the afternoon in front of the joint Congressional session and other members of the 3 branches of government in Batasang Pambansa Complex.
SONA this year were focused on the achievements of the government on his term such as approval of the Sin Tax Reform Law and “Responsible Parenthood Law” (RH Law), reforms in Education System (K-12), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), increase in number of TESDA graduates, increase in Philhealth enrolles from 62% to 81% and improved benefits, allocation of P6.2 billion for flood control in Metro Manila, completion of 9,377 housing units for Typhoon Sendong victims, 63% reduction in number of private armed groups, 21.4 increase in foreign tourist arrivals in 2012 and 7.8% GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth during the first quarter of 2013.
In his SONA, Aquino commended his cabinet members saying that his cabinet members are “sacrificing to help transform our nation”. He saluted DFA Secretary Alberto Del Rosario who led the repatriation of some 20,000 Filipinos from Libya. The whole SONA lasted for almost 2 hours. The President was applauded 90 times, stammered 35 times, and coughed 8 times, according to a radio report.
I have noticed that the President failed to mention the Freedom of Information Bill, which was in the Congress for so many years and up to now is not yet passed. This must be one of the priority bills that must be passed to prove to the whole nation that this government is really aiming for transparency. Another thing that is noticeable in President Aquino’s SONA, even from the 1st to the 4th is that he acknowledges the achievements of his cabinet members. He does not grab the credit for himself, even though he can do it, because after all he is the President of the Philippines. This is one of the traits that a leader must possess, and our President has it.
He also said that this is the time for those honest and hardworking people to shine and step-up especially in the government. He said also presented 3 police officers and commended their heroic deeds, which must be the role model of every government officials. After the 4th SONA, many Filipinos are hopeful that President Noynoy will continue his efforts to run after corrupt officials and bring back the trust of the people to the government.