we think PDI’s article on aquino’s 2012 SONA is an excellent report on it.
Aquino: Nothing is impossible
SONA is President’s narration of changes
The Philippines has achieved change, and the Filipinos themselves have made it happen.
President Benigno Aquino faced a joint session of Congress Monday to deliver his third State of the Nation Address (Sona). He did not claim credit for the improvements in national life in the past year. All credit he gave to the Filipinos. He thanked them for the achievements.
He said that in the 25 months that he has been President, he learned that “nothing is impossible because if the Filipino people see that they are the only Bosses of their government, they will carry, they will guide you, they themselves will lead you to meaningful change.”
“Nothing is impossible to a united nation,” Mr. Aquino said. “It was change we dreamed of, and change we achieved.”
Toward the end of his one-hour-and-a-half-long speech, he said: “Isn’t it a great time to be Filipino?”
And the benefits of change, he said, are now par for the course: Roads are straight and level, and properly paved; relief goods are ready even before a storm arrives, rescue services are always on standby, and people are no longer left to fend for themselves; sirens only blare from police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks—not from the vehicles of government officials.
“Reforms were established as we cut wasteful spending, held offenders accountable for their actions, and showed the world that the Philippines is now open for business under new management,” the President said.
He reported eight credit rating upgrades, 44 stock market record highs, and a first-quarter 2012 gross domestic product growth rate of 6.4 percent, “much higher than projected, the highest growth in the Southeast Asian region, and second only to China in the whole of Asia.”
On his social, health, education, employment and infrastructure programs, Mr. Aquino reported achievements and announced progress on plans:
• The conditional cash transfer program for the poorest poor has been extended to 3.1 million households as of February from 760,357 when he took office in June 2010.
For next year, the program will cover 3.8 million households, five times bigger than the program he inherited from the Arroyo administration.
Under the program, the beneficiaries get P1,400 a month on the condition that pregnant women get regular prenatal checkups, mothers bring their children to clinics for immunization and parents keep their children
TO MY BOSSES: “This is not my SONA. This is the SONA of the Filipino nation. You are the wellspring of change. It’s possible. It is a great time to be Filipino.”
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the President said, 1,672,977 mothers are now getting regular checkups; 1,672, 814 children have been vaccinated against diarrhea, polio, measles and other diseases; and 4.57 million children no longer miss classes because of poverty.
• Eighty-five percent of all Filipinos have been enrolled in PhilHealth, compared to 62 percent in 2010. This means 23.31 percent more Filipinos have gained access to health insurance in the past two years.
Better news: 5.2 million poorest households will benefit from PhilHealth programs, including treatment for such diseases as breast cancer, prostate cancer and acute leukemia.
“The process,” Mr. Aquino said, “is this: Go to any government hospital, show your PhilHealth card, get treatment, and you will go home without shelling out a single centavo.”
• By year-end, the government will have built the 66,800 classrooms needed to solve the classroom shortage in public schools, acquired the 2,573,212 chairs needed to solve the furniture shortage, and done away with the 61.7-million-book shortage to achieve the 1:1 textbook-to-student ratio.
“We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase,” Mr. Aquino said. Then he suggested a solution: “Perhaps the responsible parenthood bill can help address this.”
That drew the loudest of the 100 bursts of applause that interrupted Mr. Aquino’s speech.
• A proposed 43.61-percent increase in the budget of state universities and colleges next year.
• A steady decline in the unemployment rate from 8 percent in 2010 to 7.2 percent in 2011 to 6.9 percent this year.
• The completion by 2016 of airports in Panglao, Bohol; Daraga, Albay; Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental; and the upgrading of the international airports in Mactan, Cebu; Tacloban, Leyte; and Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
• Full repair of the flaws of Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport before the next Sona in July next year.
• Completion by 2015 of the extension of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 to Cavite, which would ease traffic in Las Piñas, Parañaque and Cavite, and the addition of two elevated expressways that will connect the North Luzon and South Luzon expressways, and reduce travel time between Clark in Pampanga and Calamba in Laguna to 1 hour and 40 minutes.
• Drawing 2.1 million tourists in the past two years, compared to 1.3 million during the nine years of the Arroyo administration. The goal for this year: 4.6 million tourists.
• Reduction of rice imports from 1.3 million metric tons in 2010 to 500,000 metric tons this year. Weather permitting, the Philippines may start exporting rice next year.
Turning to national defense, the President said the government allocated P28 billion for the modernization of the military. “This will soon match the P33 billion set aside for the program in the past 15 years,” Mr. Aquino said.
Benigno S. Aquino III
Third State of the Nation Address
July 23, 2012
State of the Nation Address
His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines
To the Congress of the Philippines
[Delivered at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, on July 23, 2012]
Maraming salamat po. Maupo po tayong lahat
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Bise Presidente Jejomar Binay; mga dating Pangulong Fidel Valdez Ramos at Joseph Ejercito Estrada; ang ating mga kagalang-galang na mahistrado ng Korte Suprema; mga kagalang-galang na kagawad ng kalipunang diplomatiko; mga kagalang-galang na miyembro ng Kamara de Representante at ng Senado; mga pinuno ng pamahalaang lokal; mga miyembro ng ating Gabinete; mga unipormadong kasapi ng militar at kapulisan; mga kapwa kong nagseserbisyo sa taumbayan; at siyempre sa akin pong mga boss, magandang hapon po.
Ito po ang aking ikatlong SONA, at parang kailan lang nang nagsimula tayong mangarap. Parang kailan lang nang sabay-sabay tayong nagpasyang tahakin ang tuwid na daan. Parang kailan lang nang sinimulan nating iwaksi ang wang-wang, hindi lamang sa kalsada kundi sa sistemang panlipunan.
Dalawang taon na ang nakalipas mula nang sinabi ninyo, “Sawa na kami sa korupsyon; sawa na kami sa kahirapan.” Oras na upang ibalik ang isang pamahalaang tunay na kakampi ng taumbayan.
Gaya ng marami sa inyo, namulat ako sa panggigipit ng makapangyarihan. Labindalawang-taong gulang po ako nang idineklara ang Batas Militar. Bumaliktad ang aming mundo: Pitong taon at pitong buwang ipiniit ang aking ama; tatlong taong napilitang mangibang-bansa ang aking pamilya; naging saksi ako sa pagdurusa ng marami dahil sa diktadurya. Dito napanday ang aking prinsipyo: Kung may inaagrabyado’t ninanakawan ng karapatan, siya ang kakampihan ko. Kung may abusadong mapang-api, siya ang lalabanan ko. Kung may makita akong mali sa sistema, tungkulin kong itama ito. [Applause]
Matagal nang tapos ang Batas Militar. Tinanong tayo noon: “Kung hindi tayo, sino pa?” at “Kung hindi ngayon, kailan pa?” Ang nagkakaisang tugon natin: tayo at ngayon na. Ang demokrasyang ninakaw gamit ang paniniil at karahasan, nabawi natin sa mapayapang paraan; matagumpay nating pinag-alab ang liwanag mula sa pinakamadilim na kabanata ng ating kasaysayan.
Ngunit huwag po nating kalimutan ang pinag-ugatan ng Batas Militar: Kinasangkapan ng diktador ang Saligang Batas upang manatili sa kapangyarihan. At hanggang ngayon, tuloy pa rin ang banggaan sa pagitan ng gusto ng sistemang parehas, laban sa mga nagnanais magpatuloy ng panlalamang.
Mula sa unang araw ng ating panunungkulan, walang ibang sumalubong sa atin kundi ang mga bangungot ng nawalang dekada.
Nariyan po ang kaso ng North Rail. Pagkamahal-mahal na nga nito, matapos ulitin ang negosasyon, nagmahal pa lalo. Sa kabila nito, binawasan ang benepisyo. Ang labingsiyam na trainsets naging tatlo, at sa mga estasyon, mula lima, naging dalawa. Ang masaklap po, pinapabayaran na sa atin ang utang nito, now na.
Nariyan ang walang pakundangang bonus sa ilang GOCC, sa kabila ng pagkalugi ng kanilang mga ahensya. Nariyan ang isang bilyong pisong pinasingaw ng PAGCOR para sa kape. Nariyan ang sistemang pamamahala sa PNP na isinantabi ang pangangailangan sa armas ng 45 porsiyento ng kapulisan, para lang kumita mula sa lumang helicopter na binili sa presyong brand new.
Wala na ngang iniwang panggastos, patung-patong at sabay-sabay pa ang mga utang na kailangang bayaran na. Mahaba ang iniwang listahan na tungkulin nating punuan: Ang 66,800 na backlog sa classrooms, na nagkakahalaga ng tinatayang 53.44 billion pesos; ang 2,573,212 na backlog sa mga upuan, na nagkakahalaga naman ng 2.31 billion pesos. Nang dumating tayo, may halos tatlumpu’t anim na milyong Pilipinong hindi pa miyembro ng PhilHealth. Ang kailangan para makasali sila: maaaring umabot sa 42 billion pesos. Idagdag pa po natin sa lahat ng iyan ang 103 billion pesos na kailangan para sa modernisasyon ng Hukbong Sandatahan. Sa harap ng lahat ng ito, ang iniwan sa ating pondo na malaya nating magagamit: 6.5 percent ng kabuuang budget para sa natitirang anim na buwan ng 2010. Para po tayong boksingerong isinabak sa laban nang nakagapos na nga ang mga kamay at paa, nakapiring pa ang mga mata, at kakampi pa ng kalaban ang referee at ang mga judge.
Kaya nga sa unang tatlong buwan ng aming panunungkulan, inaabangan namin ang pagdating ng Linggo para maidulog sa Panginoon ang mga bangungot na humaharap sa amin. Inasahan naming mangangailangan ng ‘di bababa sa dalawang taon bago magkaroon ng makabuluhang pagbabago. Bibigyan kaya tayo ng sapat na pag-unawa ng taumbayan?
president noynoy aquino pushes for the RH Bill in his SONA 2012, gives momentum for passage into law
president aquino in his 2012 SONA mentioned the rh bill when he said “responsible parenthood” is key to keeping the numbers of school children at a manageable level.
“responsible parenthood” is the politically correct term for the rh bill. it is a term acceptable to the opponents of the rh bill the biggest of which is the philippine catholic church. when aquino mentioned this in his speech, he had to pause for a few seconds to give way to an ever increasing applause and shouts in support of the rh bill. this portion of the president’s speech has been the most applauded in his speech amd the only topic that got a standing ovation from the crowd. aquino flashed a smile and needed to stop for a few seconds to wait for the applause and cheering to die down.
Matibay po ang pananalig natin kay Secretary Luistro: Bago matapos ang susunod na taon, ubos na ang minana nating 66,800 na kakulangan sa silid-aralan. [Applause] Ulitin ko po, next year pa po ‘yan; 40,000 pa lang this year. Ang minana po nating 2,573,212 na backlog sa upuan, tuluyan na rin nating matutugunan bago matapos ang 2012. [Applause] Sa taon din pong ito, masisimot na rin ang 61.7 million na backlog sa textbook upang maabot na, sa wakas, ang one is to one ratio ng aklat sa mag-aaral. [Applause] Sana nga po, ngayong paubos na ang backlog sa edukasyon, sikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante. Sa tingin ko po, Responsible Parenthood ang sagot dito. [Applause]
the context by which “responsible parenthood” was mentioned was on the need to reduce the growth of number of children or new students to a level that will not overwhelm or negate education’s efforts to address the backlog in providing for the education needs of children.
malacanang also refers to the rh bill as “responsible parenthood”. aquino conducted dialogue with the catholic church and right around that time, the place phrased the rhbill as “responsible parenthood”.
the bill pending in the house has this title: HB4244: Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population & Development.
this is a good signal to the lower house and the senate in which the rh bill has been pending for many years. this is a very a good sign for the rh bill. aquino’s mention of it in his SONA 2012 will give it momentum in congress and the senate to take a vote and pass the rh bill.
Aquino draws cheer for mentioning possible passage of RH bill
MANILA, Philippines — Supporters of the Reproductive Health Bill at the House and Senate gave President Benigno Aquino III a brief standing ovation when he mentioned in passing the pending health measure.
“Sisikapin nating huwag uling magka-backlog dahil sa dami ng estudyante. Sa tingin ko po, Responsible Parenthood ang sagot dito,” Aquino said transitioning from health issues to education programs in the pipeline particularly the matter on the backlog in chairs and books for students.
a lot of press in the last few days on the performance satisfaction rating survey conducted by SWS (read here : http://wp.me/pnw03-1qs). the press is mostly on malacanang thinking about the ratings drop and what it means.
on one side, it’s refreshing to see that the occupants of malacanang are sensitive to the survey results. it means they are sensitive to the sentiments of the people. and that can only be good as a sensitive malacanang to the sentiments of the people can mean better action at truly serving the people’s needs. even a marketing or political newbie will tell you that the way to improve the ratings is to serve the people better.
we did not see this kind of reaction from the previous administration of gloria macapagal arroyo. arroyo’s malacanang would have ignored the survey results or attack the results and question the results. arroyo’s administration have always thought everyone else is wrong while they are the only ones right.
the other side of the reaction of the current malacanang occupants is this never ending search for who is to blame for the drop in the ratings. the spokesperson has said previously, media was to blame as it tended to publicize only what is wrong and the bad news while ignoring what is good and the good news.
recent pronouncements puts the blame on “shyness” of malacanang in publicizing its good deeds. with this thinking, malacanang has resolved to be “more aggressive” in putting in the good news out to the press. that means they will need to learn to be more “kapal moks” , if we are to use their thinking on them being too “shy” to publicize their good deeds.
Valte said the Palace communicators would “maximize the use of all our resources, not only government television and radio … We will be maximizing all resources available to us.”
She disagreed with suggestions that the Palace communication group was to blame for the low ratings, but she said the communicators were taking the survey “as a sign to be really more aggressive in promoting the President” and his programs.
She said this was not for the President’s spokespersons alone to do and that Cabinetsecretaries and their public information offices could also lend a hand.
“It cannot be just a job of three but everybody has to pitch in to make sure the good news [reaches] the people,” she said.
The other day, Valte also said on state radio: “We have a very Filipino trait of being too shy to boast.”
who is to blame for the drop in satisfaction ratings on the president’s performance? let us get a run down.
is media to blame? all communication practitioners should know this – media will put what they think will attract their audience, those that their audience will find interesting or those that they think their audience want. the news being “good news” or “bad news” practically has nothing to do with it. you can have bad news but if it is not something the audience want, it will not get any exposure. same thing with good news. good news does not guarantee and audience, it can on the other hand pull in boredom. the only barometer media uses in deciding what is printed out there is its saleability or interest value to its audience.
it is this nature of media that makes it necessary for public and private figures and groups to engage communication practitioners to deal with media. their job is to make something interesting enough for media to see it’s value and put it out for the people to read and see.
we have been involved in the past with projects where the topic was seen as boring by media practitioners and the public when we started. after some careful planning and strategizing, we set out to make the topic “sexy” for media to publish and the public to take interest in. to make the topic “sexy” was the exact word used to describe what we intended to do with the topic. after a few months, the topic thyat was previously boring and usually out of media became a hot topic of discourse and attention both by media and the public.
malacanang does not have 1 but 3 groups under its employ to make the topic of “president aquino’s achievement” to be seen as “sexy” enough to pay attention to. that says they have no excuse for not being able to put across the messagtes in behalf of the aquino administration.
if they blame the poor and weak message release to the public as the reason for the significant drop in aquino’s performance rating, then it is the fault of these three communication gr0ups. in simple terms, these 3 communication groups have failed in doing their jobs.
The EO effectively reorganizes the Office of the Press Secretary and is aimed at modernizing the Palace’s communications strategy to better deliver President Aquino’s message to the people.
the primary task of the 3 communications group is to “better deliver president aquino’s message to the people” – the ratings drop due to shyness in delivering aquino’s message to the people means they have failed in their mandate.
aquino’s mandate reorganizing the office of the press secretary does not include “shyness” as an acceptable reason to fail in their mandate.
there is a dedicated press corp that covers malacanang. media covers the president’s activity 24/7. many of these media people, specially the major media outlets assign permanent reporters to the malacanang beat at all times and are exclusive to the office of the president. these reporters are ever present in malacanang. all that malacanang needs to do is hand over to them a press release or call a press conference and the news is out.
of course that does not guarantee publication. the job of the 3 communications group is to make the news interesting enough for media to publish them. if the topic is boring and the write-up is boring, it will not be published. you can have a boring topic but if the write up is interesting, it can get published.
since malacanang seem to be blaming aquino’s drop in rating on the lack or weak message delivery, we wonder if the re-organization that they did, dividing it into 3 parts is the one that is causing the problem. is it possible that when they divided the function into 3 distinct functions, some fell through the cracks.
president noynoy aquino intends to tap the services of senator mar roxas and will probably give him the title of Secretary Of Troubles whose primary role according to aquino is to be the “chief troubleshooter”.
we have nothing against mar roxas but we have something against president noynoy aquino on this latest development.
bottom line for us is that noynoy aquino needs to learn to shut up. not for good but for some time until everything is sorted out first, packaged properly and words chosen carefully.
this is our main beef – in this statement of aquino, the president admits there is “trouble” in his cabinet. aquino’s words, not mine. not only that, there seem to be perpetual trouble in his cabinet that he needs to appoint someone to be “chief troubleshooter” on a going basis.
of course no cabinet, no presidency or even any group is perfect. there will always be differences and yes, troubles. troubles are part of the psychology of groups but did aquino have to blurt it out to the public and did he have to say it in this way.
frankly, reading the article, we are having trouble understanding what aquino means. it could just be an unfortunate choice of words, the word “trouble” in particular, not “chief”. aquino gave the title “chief troubleshooter” but in the explanation, aquino said “if something needs more intense attention, I might task him to do that“.
while “something that needs intense attention” is not necessarily the same as “trouble” or something troublesome, a “trouble” is always something that needs “intense attention”. when trouble occurs in a group, intense specially, it needs immediate attention. a group or a cabinet that is troublesome is never a good thing.
on the other hand, there can be things that need “intense attention” that are not necessarily troublesome. these things could just be of high importance, not always high trouble.
so, what we are left here is that aquino just might have had trouble accessing a thesaurus and he made an unfortunate troublesome choice of words, the word “troubleshooter” and all he meant was “intense” or “important” projects. or it was a freudian slip unconsciously telegraphing to us that there is intense trouble in his administration?
the solution here is noynoy needs to learn to shut the fuck up. not only does aquino talk too much, he talks too soon and he has trouble choosing the right words. aquino needs to understand the world of country presidency is not the world of show business that his sister is involved in. in the presidency, bad press is not necessarily good press. bad press means bad presidency.
in show business, bad press or troublesome events in the life of the celebrity gets the celebrity press time and space. and in their world, that is a good thing. you can dip your foot on mud but you can still remove it and clean it up over time. your fans forget, and life goes on.
in the presidency, not only does something bad gets etched into your record of accomplishments or record of troubles, it affects 94 million people and the next 2 million of filipinos added every year.
the other thing that bothers us is this – doesn’t aqiono have enough cabinet members to perform the function of “troubleshooter of troubles” and “chief trouble shooter of intense sttention”?
a more telling thing – if it is trouble that needs to be fixed, shouldn’t he as president and biggest dude in the country supposed to be the one to fix them? fixing troubles among cabinet members is one of the key components of leadership, specially in this thing called president of a country.
if it is not him as president, isn’t that the job of his chief of staff or the executive secretary?
bottom line for us is this – there seem to be no good news on this one no matter how you look at it. it’s all trouble from all angles. and it is intense.
mr. president. shut the fuck up!
this is good news – the philippine economy growing with its GDP improving by 7.3% during the current year’s first quarter versus a 0.5% growth same period year ago. it is good news at face value but looking into what happened in the first quarter, it’s an expected growth since this is an election year. first quarter growth was most likely driven by election spending which naturally were expected to peak during that period with the election held in the 2nd quarter.
this phenomenon is a regular occurrence during election time in the country. a similar impressive GDP growth, the highest in the country’s history, was recorded in 2007 during the election period as well, that time the election for senators.
there are two more sobering points to consider – one is that the country’s GDP growth in most instances pale in comparison to the GDP growth of other countries in Asia. looking at those numbers, one might say the country’s eco performance may not be that impressive after all.
During the first quarter,
- Singapore’s economy grew 15.5 percent;
- Thailand, 12 percent;
- Malaysia, 10.1 percent;
- Vietnam, 5.8 percent;
- Taiwan, 13.3 percent;
- China, 11.9 percent;
- Hong Kong, 8.2 percent; and,
- South Korea, 7.8 percent.
the key question that needs to be asked all the time when looking at impressive GDP growth is the question of sustainability. country economic data like most other financial numbers go through cycles of peaks and valleys. peaks that are sustainable, that can be achieved over a long period of time is what we want. since this latest eco growth is mostly election spending driven, that means it is not sustainable. the next election is scheduled years from now, not on a quarterly basis.
at around the same the GDP data was released, the government released a different data that we think the government, this time the incoming aquino administration, need to watch more closely.
this data says the country’s poverty level has remained the same.
GDP growth is a good thing, but what the country needs a lot more of is that the poverty rate of the country to go down. a growing GDP rate and stagnant or increasing poverty rate means the rich is getting richer while the poor remain poor or are getting poorer.
a very large portion of the philippine population is poor where the DE socio-eco class accounts for at least 83% of the population. reducing poverty in the country will mean affecting a much larger chunk of the population in a very positive way.
the stage is set for the aquino administration.