Aquino’s Sona draws mixed reaction

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

GOVERNOR Alfredo Marañon Jr. said that President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) jived with the province’s food security program in support of local farmers.

Marañon said the Sona also go with his Negros First Health program bannered by the Universal Health Card program.

“Let’s give him the support so that we can achieve total unity and peace in the country,” Marañon urged Negrenses.


For his part, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio R. Leonardia said that Aquino has created a “feel good atmosphere” in his Sona.

“It was comprehensive, interesting and inspiring. His Sona covered his major programs that indeed go with his popular stance of “Pag walang corrupt, walang mahirap.”

He is serious in the social transformation and has a personal “common tao” touch, which appreciated the small and noble citizens like the policemen, teachers, nurses, traffic enforcers and the like who serve their countrymen to the best they can, Leonardia added.

Bacolod City lone district Representative Anthony Golez Jr. said that he is very optimistic on the administration’s second year because the President has prioritized the universal health coverage.

“Corollary to this, the Pinoy Health Insurance Act, which I principally authored will soon be a priority of the President. This bill will guarantee every Filipino a Philhealth card. Soon gone will be those days that health insurance for the poor will be at the mercy of politicians. Together with this Philhealth card will be the enhancement of all health facilities,” Golez said.

Negros Occidental third district Representative Albee Benitez said that Aquino has launched a cultural revolution.

On the other hand, Negros Occidental fifth district Representative Iggy Arroyo, who chose not to attend the Sona, has described President Aquino’s Sona as full of sound bites but lacking in substance.

“Just like last year, it seems that there is no clear direction where the country is going. I was hoping to hear more of the so called Aquinomics but, unfortunately, from the start to finish, it’s all ‘wang-wang’ that I hear.”

Arroyo expressed hope that Aquino could get over his fixation with the Arroyos and realize that the country has more pressing problems to attend to.

Arroyo observed that the entire government machinery seems focused on persecuting the Arroyos and, in the process, more important issues such as poverty, over population, rising oil prices and criminality have taken a back seat.

He hoped that the President could provide a clear road map and hopefully make lives better for most Filipinos.

He likewise echoed former President Fidel V. Ramos’s statement which went, “Following the straight path is OK but what if it’s going down?”

Meanwhile, fourth district Representative Jeffrey P. Ferrer said that the President is serious about corruption.

“I have noticed that the wang-wang is still there. He emphasized his battle cry to curb corruption but it cannot be done overnight, though he is trying his best,” Ferrer said.

“What is not clear is the vision of his administration in the coming years. The projects are not yet provided. But let us just wait for it at his own pace because he covers the whole nation,” Ferrer added.

Ferrer also said his projects has Special Allotment Release Order (Saro) but has not been covered by Notice of Cash Allotment.

He admitted that his scholarship program and some assistance for the town and cities in his district are affected because of the non-release of those funds.

For her part, sixth district Representative Mercedez Alvarez said, “We cannot deny that what the President has said is all correct. The Sona is great because it is a reminder not only for us government officials but for every Filipino to use the right and straight path.”

“Everybody should contribute for the good of our country,” she said.

Bacolod City Councilor Archie Baribar stated, “We will give PNOY a reasonable time, as one man cannot undo in one year one century of poverty.”

Councilor Carl Lopez also said that it was a great speech. “We can apply his exhortation to our lives today. First, see the good in every person. Second, do not be self centered, be Christ centered and ‘other people’ centered.”

“Live simply. Do not take short cuts, you will get there in God’s time. Do what is right and good all the time, regardless who gets hurt. Love your city and country. Go the extra mile in serving. Stop complaining and do your part,” said Lopez.

Councilor Caesar Distrito said that the second Sona shows that, although President Aquino had enumerated the results and achievements of his administration, there are still a lot of things to be done.

According to Distrito, the President failed to present his priority legislative agenda. While he focused more on the anti-corruption drive, he failed to focus on the economy, job creation, agrarian reform, human rights protection and priority projects that will uplift the lives of the poor, except the CCT.

“His statements are also mostly of general and motherhood statements, which lack substance. However, I had to admit that his use of Filipino targets the ordinary Filipino which is effective,” added Distrito.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 26, 2011.

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