Ang mandato nating nakuha sa huling eleksyon ay patunay na umaasa pa rin ang Pilipino sa pagbabago. Iba na talaga ang situwasyon. Puwede na muling mangarap. Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pinangarap.”
—President Benigno S. Aquino on his First State of the Nation Address
Let’s face it; it isn’t really easy being president. I experienced being class president twice and I could attest the difficulty in managing such a small class size of about thirty students. Every once in a while, you would have a dispute with one or some of them, including your closest friends, regarding the decisions you made which may be unfavorable with them. I don’t think that I made an important decision wherein everybody is truly happy. That’s why I could imagine how difficult it is being a president of a developing country like President Benigno Simeon “PNoy” Aquino.
However, after a year since his first SONA, was there really any significant change in the Aquino government? Are we really going anywhere with his “matuwid na daan” or straight path? But a straight path does not equate to the RIGHT path. Also, driving nonstop on a straight path without knowing where to go is detrimental for all of us as it may lead us crashing to the brick wall or worst, fall down the pit. Do we really have a destination for the straight path of his?
First, I wonder what would he say on his State Of the Nation Address later. I talked to several people and they said that it would be like “State of the Nation and Arroyo”. I really wish in vain that he’ll not talk about her on the present SONA. It’s sickening hearing his blame game over and over again. I thought that a year ago, that was unsurprising because he just acquired the position and he was still adjusting with the condition of the state left to him by the Arroyo administration. Also, he enjoys his popularity of being the “clean” image as the ex-President Arroyo left her post stained with suspected corruption emanating from her alleged rigged win on 2004 Presidential Elections and her husband and friends had supposedly garnered wealth from the taxes of people.
With this, he made several attempts on eradicating corruption including the famous “Truth Commission” which was trashed by the Supreme Court because it was worded too anti-PGMA and clouding the right of every men with the presumption of innocence because it is as if she is already guilty with the wordings of the Truth Commission and it’s up to her to prove it otherwise, that which is contrary to law. Equal protection clause was also violated because it specifically pointed her administration only and not previous administration like Estrada’s, wherein he was convicted of plunder, and Ramos’, where several projects like the Freedom Park in Pampanga was also stained with corruption. Now, with his SONA, I challenge PNOY with eradicating corruption without being selective on his subjects under investigation. Everyone, including his allies, must be investigated if there is something dubious with his or her integrity in the government.
Also, he’s only proving his incompetence with blaming her everything including the lack of budget for the military that’s why the Manila Hostage Crisis happened. Oh, please. You do not need the best of equipments to stun a single person. I must strongly declare that the president’s lack of directive is the cause of it. Lastly, I want him to clean his own backyard too by dividing Hacienda Luisita to his tenants because if he fails in doing so, it would seem that the whole Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program would go to waste. A leader must lead by example and if he fails to do so, no one would even bother sharing their land with their poor and striving tenants. I really hope hard that he would stop criticizing her because he is just dividing the country. More than a symbol of a “clean” leader, he must be a symbol too of unity and solidarity.
Second, I can’t really think of a project that he made which is really significant. If you ask an ordinary Filipino, he would remember his campaign anti-“Wang Wang” or the banning of the use of celebrities and politicians of sirens only. But what else did he do for our country? It’s really difficult to think of any other orders made by him. For example, he promised a lot of jobs made last SONA but the sad reality is, the unemployment rate rose from 7.1% to 7.4%. He also cut budget for state universities, including University of the Philippines, much to the dismay of the students. He said that it’s just a political will to enforce the K+12 education in the country. But why bother adding years in our primary and secondary education when we barely have money to sustain classrooms and books for our children? The class size reaches up to 80 students sardine in a very small classroom or worst, under the tree. Three to four students are sharing a piece of tattered book, too. Why not address these problems first before adding more burdens to the teachers with the changes in curriculum? Also, we did not see any changes with the opening of the new school year this June. Well, some classrooms were painted and additional books were also given and then that’s it. Where did the additional funds go then?
But still, I credit him for his Conditional Cash Transfer Program or Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Project. In this program, gives conditional cash grants to indigent families who have children ages 14 years old and below. A P500 monthly cash grant is given for health and nutrition expenses while P300 monthly cash grant is given per child up to the maximum of three children for educational expenses, that’s a maximum of P1,400 a month. That is good if they indeed invest it in education and health as they are essentially the best possessions a man could achieve in his lifetime because that cannot be taken away from you. However, can we really safely let the wisdom of the indigent parents rule on how they are going to spend the money? It’s not that I’m prejudicing the indigent people but they might use it instead with other expenses like beer, cigarettes or drugs perhaps. Hence, it’s better if we ask for studies and reports made by the DSWD for the effect, both positive and negative, of this project. I want the SONA to explain on how they are monitoring these and how many families were benefitted by this project correctly.
There are more things to anticipate in the SONA like whether or not he would support the RH Bill or what are our plans in protecting the Spratly or Kalayaaan islands on the West Philippine Sea. However, whatever he would say in this SONA, I firmly believe that all of us Filipinos must watch and listen with his second SONA. We may vary on beliefs and standpoints but in the end, we are on the same boat. We are on the same country and everything that he would say today would affect us in one way or another. There is no room for apathy because with our apathy lead us to this point wherein we have been taken advantaged of, abused, and corrupted by our leaders. If we want change we must listen and follow him with his directives.
Personally, I do not like him but he is still my president because democracy tells me he is so and I respect that. I want us, Filipinos, to unite for once in dreaming again for our country. And with that, I sincerely hope that you won’t fail us with your fresh year being our president again. Enough with your measly mistakes because even though the Lord said to forgive seventy times seven times, you have to know that we, the silent majority, are keeping our list.
With all that said, good luck and God bless you with your SONA, Mr. President. And yes, we do not care about your love life.