PNoy’s commitment

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By Mel Libre

Free Verse

Friday, August 1, 2014


AS WAR raged in the Gaza Strip and the blame game continues over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine, the Philippines saw two significant national events: the birth of its 100 millionth citizen and the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.

The Philippines is officially the 12th most populous nation in the world. The birth of the country’s symbolic babies came in a celebratory mood, similar to welcoming a new member in a family--and rightly so.

Filipinos look at a child as a blessing, a gift and a source of pride. In the rural areas, a child is seen as an added hand to help the family in farming or in fishing.

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In urban areas, a child is a promise of a better future as parents work to ensure his/her education. There are those who look to the their child as one that gives them the chance to escape from poverty.

But the stark reality is that while the middle-and-upper income earners try as much as possible to limit the number of children in their household, those who are struggling to attain living wages contribute more to the country’s increasing population at an average of six children per family.

That may not be a problem if there are economic opportunities for all, if there is guaranteed access to health services, and if there are readily available affordable housing. But that is not the case in the Philippines.

There was an article that said that the growing population of the country is the ticket to making the Philippines a developed economy because of the bigger market.

But then, that can only be true if the people are fully employed, if the industries are competitive and if the government is graft-free.

Those three factors were the subject of President Aquino’s fifth SONA. He pointed out how the government has invested in its most valuable resource: The Filipino people.

He said, “Our economy and our country are indeed taking off, and we are already realizing even greater aspirations.” Not by mere lip service, but by providing concrete proofs of what good governance had done to entice companies, both domestic and foreign, to put their money in the country.

But even with what he had done to bring progress to the country; the President does not have a shortage of critics and enemies. Being a leader of the Philippines can be frustrating, and President Noynoy had the courage to share his burdened emotion to the Filipino people.

I say “Carry on, Mr. President.” You may not be as charismatic as your father, Ninoy, you may not be as pious as your mother, Cory, but your dedication to your work, your commitment to the betterment of the Filipino people have made you a true father of the nation.

Mabuhay ang Pangulo!

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 02, 2014.

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