PAMPANGA

Pangan: Our state of economy

At Close Range

EVERY year in July, our president delivers his State of the Nation Address or Sona before the joint session of Congress.

This year, unfortunately and sadly, he has nothing rosy to talk about because of the ravages in our economy of Covid-19. This invisible enemy has caused much stress on our national resources that even the president fears to lose too much to it that we could not "finance" its effects: lost businesses and massive unemployment, cancellation of future contracts, a big dent on our manufacturing, logistics and tourism industries.

Above all, he heads a nation with decreasing spirit to fight on, demoralization and disbelief in the government's efforts to shore up the dying economy and morale. No more esprit de corps and all that.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque, Jr., gave a bird's eye view on what Duterte will speak about in the Sona, thus: I think it will be obvious that he would be talking about Covid-19's impact on the country and steps taken to deal with it and how we can rise from it.

President Duterte's administration has been scarred by so many disasters: flooding, landslides, earthquakes and now the deadly Covid-19 virus. What do these forbode?

As we await the airing of the President's Sona, we expect to be adequately informed of the government's plans, programs and activities that could generously prop up our economy and make this country and its people stable and solid again. Enough of the president's unpalatable rhetoric and incoherent ramblings. We have already endured four years of this ungentlemanly behavior!

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Following the delivery of the President's Sona, the local government units (LGUs) are also mandated by the Constitution to deliver their respective State of the Municipality Addresses, State of the City Addresses and State of the Province Addresses.

Like their national counterpart, the LGUs have not much to report to their constituencies. All of them have been affected in varying intensities and mortality by the Covid-19 pandemic.

All they can say, however, is their calamity funds have been exhausted for the purchase of relief goods and cash assistance and their limited mobility because of lockdowns enforced by community quarantines.

There is no ongoing massive infrastructure work to speak about as the Inter-Agency Task Force expressly prohibited any public work projects in the meantime and until the situation eases for the better. Whew!

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Lotto draws. The much-patronized lotto draws will finally be held on August 4, 2020, this was announced by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. The latest report, however, shows that draws were already held and that there were winning combinations. So whatever happened to the huge amounts of prizes before the lockdowns? Just asking.


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