For almost 2 hours that Pnoy took the stand today, I could barely keep up with the stats and list of projects he sprinkled his speech with. It was tiring to listen to him enumerate what I could not relate to. Or rather to things I did not want to hear.
The administration was able to save money, deliver jobs, help the poor, implement livelihood projects, increase GDP, improve military weaponry, hold a peaceful elections in ARMM, save OFWs in the middle east, and upgrade our health and education systems. He even praised some and scolded a few. His future projects include a better pension scheme for the AFP/PNP, creating more jobs, giving homes to the informal settlers, improving the Civil Service code and other decrees, and continuing the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4P) and other pet projects.
The list of good things that his administration did were long and buried deep within the context of his Daang Matuwid mantra. These were great, to give him credit, but personally, these were not the assurances I wanted from him.
I listened to his entire lengthy and rather boring speech, wishing that he would mention something about the abolition of Pork Barrel (PDAF) , oil price hike, tuition fee increase, the extrajudicial killings, human rights violation, welfare of the OFWs, increase in wages, the thorny relations we have between Taiwan and China, corruption in the government, Freedom of Information act, and US forces in the Philippines. These topics were absent or mentioned in fragments because maybe he deemed these things not pressing.
Perhaps the President wanted to blind us with numbers instead of report to us, his BOSSES, the exact truth we need to hear – that more than half of what he promised is still nowhere in sight.
Pnoy won in 2010 because of his anti-corruption and anti-poverty slogans and yet we see no real, concrete fruits of these promises. He could scold and threaten straying trapos all he wants but unless we have an effective system (er Ombudsman) to actually catch these criminals, he will only end up with a scratchy throat. The PORK is making everyone aspire to become thieves rather than public servants. Isn’t it time they get rid of it?
I also hope that his 4P will become sustainable in the soonest possible future because I fear that it will not due to loans that finance the entire program. Why not funnel more attention to creating jobs instead of having the needy subsist on a meager stipend every month? Creating opportunities for employment will not only help MORE people, but it can help boost the economy and productivity as well. Do we encourage dependency with 4P? Maybe. According to Pnoy, 4P will now include supporting the children of those listed under the program to finish high school BECAUSE having a secondary education increases the chances of landing a job. Do we also encourage the omission of choosing/taking tertiary education? I have nothing but respect for those who have to leave school and work but I think the Government should put focus on providing ACCESSIBLE, quality yet affordable education. TESDA cannot handle all these if this is the reason why Pnoy praised the agency so much. So why in hell do tuition fees increase, especially in State Universities?
Even the country’s strength to defend our own shores was not even discussed, making us seem like push-overs when we definitely are not. It is not enough to be proud because the country was named Most Romantic Tourist Destination by this magazine and that; no, it has to be something more than that. They cannot smother us with titles like that. I have had enough of getting second best of everything, especially how our OFWs are being treated in foreign lands. Aside from our territory, do we not need to protect our people too? Pnoy should have said something about foreign policies and how these policies will aim to benefit us, not lecture us on how much a freaking fighter jet costs and how a squadron of it is out of our budget. Why, is he intending to blast all the illegal fishermen with those? We need to stand our ground and we need our President to have the balls to make policies that will serve exactly that.
The SONA felt more like a white wash than what it really should be – a report of the state and if we rot in ruin. It was all destinations and good deeds and future promises. He lacked the plan to back up his grand idea. The President is lucky because he is still very popular but how long can he rule the land with just that? The people can also become impatient of change and with just 3 more years to his term, I wonder how he plans to pull it off. He needs a time frame and a map, at least.