Monday, July 28, 2008

109 Claps for the 2008 SONA

Amidst all the protests, walkouts and dressing up a la red carpet premiere, the recently concluded State of the Nation Address had a simple message: government is doing something.

As I always say to my jaded, disoriented, and dismayed colleagues from the private sector, in fairness to PGMA, the SONA is really telling the truth. It is true that we reached new highs in the fiscal and monetary side of the economic spectrum, it is true that NFA rice is still the cheapest in Asia. It is true that our credit rating has remained stable this year. As this is one of the most anticipated days in the Philippine political system, the last thing that this administration would do is report false facts. Thus, the 109 claps that highlighted 109 achievements and pledges, are true to its form.

What went wrong then? Of course, there are always to sides to every story. And obviously, the administration would only highlight the good points and definitely be silent on the bad points. Would you report your misgivings to a thesis defense? Would you report your failures and lapses in an investigatory project? That is precisely what just happened in SONA. Unfortunately, it failed to highlight points that really mattered to the masses, which is the majority of the Filipino population. What happened to free education? What's the progress of social projects? How is poverty being alleviated? How can we counter inflation? How do we improve job generation?These and a few more points are what some of our masses were expecting from an hour of speech. Unfortunately, there is only too few to highlight on these points, thus they deem the SONA uninteresting. Lying and failuer to mention are two different things. The only problem of the last SONA was that it failed to say things that mattered most to the majority of the population (except of course for the 90-day texting discount!)

Another thing is the usual highlighting of best practices and isolated events. Just like what Sen. Mar Roxas mentioned (I cannot recall the exact words), there are some accomplishments in the SONA that were too isolated. We just hope that these isolated events become the general picture in the near future.

The next two years will be very crucial for the President. These two years will be the defining years of her political career. If anyone would recall the President's ten-point agenda and BEAT THE ODDS, these two years are teh culminating years for them. Hopefully there is still enough time.

Despite all these bickerings and one-sided accomplishment reports, I still believe that there is hope for this country. As long as the President receives claps from the selected audience, that means there are still developments in the country that is worth listening, that is worth applauding. We just hope that in the next SONAs to come, there will be applauses coming from more than just the seating capacity of the House of Representatives.

3 comments :

Bubbles said...

On the contrary, a lot has been said about providing basic services to Filipinos: national social welfare program, housing loan, health insurance, tech voc training, jobs.

What was lacking, i believe, is a clear roadmap on how to overcome economic slowdown. The projects discussed were very masa-centered and failed to consider what should be done in the long term to soften impact of crisis such as what we're having (e.g., objective and realistic food sufficiency program).

I miss blogging ;)

Jurb said...

Roadmaps indeed. Another thing, When it comes to roadmaps, PGMA provides a different roadmap every year: Super Regions, Constitutional Amendment, etc. However, what has been said the previous year is already forgotten the following year...

Thanks for the comments, boss. :)

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