July 27, 2010 in Featured
On Monday, July 26, President Benigno C. Aquino III will deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) to appraise the citizens of this country as to the state of the nation that his new administration has inherited from the past administration of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo after nine long years of misrule. He will then outline in his address what measures he intend to take to solve the more pressing problems confronting us with the help of the country’s legislature through laws which hopefully will enable the President to atttend to them more effectively.
While the President may have a more comprehensive view of the actual state of affairs in the country today, many of us ordinary citizens are not exactly unaware of what is wrong with the Republic and many of us have well-informed ideas of what should be done about these problems. In fact, we would be able to judge the new president better by the way he would prioritize the problems confronting us today and the proposed measures he intends to take to resolve these problems.
Various groups, sectors and classes in our society would have forwarded by this time their priority concerns for the President’s and Congress’ attention. The urgency of an issue or concern would depend largely on how a group, class or sector is situated in the over-all scheme of things in the country today. But there are issues or concerns that cut across sectors and regions of the country and these obviously should take priority.
One example of this is the water crisis confronting hundreds of thousands of our countrymen in Metro Manila today. Another is the impact of natural disasters like typhoons and floods that calls for the upgrading of our disaster-preparedness, especially now that we are into the rainy season again. These are the concerns that calls for urgent attention and should be addressed immediately.
Then, because we pride ourselves as a civilized society where the rule of law should prevail, the President is expected to take a stand on the issue of human rights violations which continue to blemish the stature of this country even in the international arena. The prosecution of those who continue to commit these dastardly crimes together with the big-time grafters in the previous administration should be on the top priorities of the new administration if President Aquino’s pledge of rendering justice to every Filipino is to be believed. Putting a stop to extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances are doable goals in the short-term provided the President puts his mind to it.
Beyond these are medium and long-term programs and policies that could be designed to address many long-festering problems in the country’s economic development and over-all progress.
From his SONA, we will know if the new President has a good grasp of the decades-old problems of the country’s underdevelopment and why we are lagging behind our neighbors in southeast Asia.
We will also know how concerned the new administration is with regards the problems of the less fortunate of our countrymen: the farmers,workers and the urban poor who make up the bulk of the country’s populace.
What will be the new administration’s thrust towards the concerns of the youth, the issue of women’s rights and the indigenous people of this country? In short, what would be the policy of the new administration towards what is popularly known as the people’s agenda? Will President Aquino seriously address them or will he simply pay lip service to them, like what previous administrations did including that of his mother’s?
One SONA will not provide us the answer. It will take months before we will know if the new administration is serious about its campaign promises or just doing the rhetorics. We will have an inkling when President Benigno C. Aquiino III delivers his first State of the Nation Address on Monday.# nordis.net