by Juseph Elas

President Aquino delivering his 4th SONA. [Photo lifted from http://media.philstar.com/images/the-philippine-star/microsites/SONA-2014/benigno-simeon-aquino-III-3.jpg]
President Aquino delivering his 5th SONA. [Photo lifted from Philippine Star]

There’s a Taylor Swift song with a lyrics that despondently goes like “and you called me up again just to break me like a promise, so casually cruel in the name of being honest.” Very striking lyrics that could have been a perfect battle cry of millions should the President delivered a speech teeming with promises, which critics think are just empty words.

In his 5th SONA on Monday, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III outlined spikes of development, progress and growth in his speech; from educating some 223,615 Filipinos through TESDA’s scholarship program, allocating budget for Yolanda and Zamboanga siege victims, roads and infrastructure projects, receiving international accreditations which the President sighted as keys to spouse more investments, forging the proposal of Bangsamoro Basic Law, to passing the proposed national budget for 2015.

Truth be told, the Aquino administration is an administration that is keeping its eye on the road to reforms in the government as it pursues one of its thrusts, which is to eradicate the culture of corruption from the lowest echelons of political spheres to the highest. Whilst doing so, the administration does not forget its main purpose – to cater the needs of its people. Thus, all the economic growth and development that is reflected in the drop in poverty rate – from 27.9 percent in first half of 2012 to 24.9 percent in the same period in 2013.

On the other side of the scale, critics say that the President reported things that will only sugarcoat the administration, saying it is becoming an authoritarian government as it tries to hide all its mischief under the gutter. However, one can infer that if there is nothing negative to report, then all you’re left with is to report all the good.

As the servant reported to his bosses, trust, in its broadest scope is expected to spouse confidence from local and international community. The SONA of His Excellency, also, is an exhibition of good governance. A showcase of the country’s capabilities to fight poverty and corruption and it’s ability to cater for its people.

As the Aquino administration gears up for another couple of years in power, the nation has yet to see more of these growth, progress and development. Until then, all those who believe that the country is starting to feel the aforementioned spikes, we could say everything is going all too well.


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