Pangan: We will endure

IN A stirring State of the Nation Address (Sona) delivered last Monday, July 25, 2022, President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. spelled out his plans and projects for the country for the next six years of his administration.

He outlined his 19-point legislative agenda, including measures for the economy, fuel and rice prices and food security.

Speaking alternately in Filipino and English, he touched on issues besetting agriculture, health, education and even overseas Filipino workers to the applause of audience at the House of Representatives.

Still, some sources say the Sona was not complete in that it left holes in the drive against corruption and war on drugs.

Understandably, Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte Carpio described it as "to the point" and "perfect."

Minority Senators Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel and Risa Hontiveros found it "wanting" and said more details should have been discussed.

President Bongbong touched on "specialty" hospitals such as the Lung Center, Heart Center, Childrens' Hospital and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute. He said these can be found only in the National Capital Region and suggested these can be replicated in other areas of the country so that patients can be given easier access. He also proposed the establishment of a virology institute for diseases research similar to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine or RITM.

He paid tribute to the medical frontliners and other health workers and said their salaries and other benefits should be upgraded. Ditto with nurses and uniformed personnel and the military. He likewise batted for the restoration of the Reserve Officers Training Corps or ROTC and the National Service Training Program for junior and senior students. This way, he said, we would have reserve forces for our country's defense.

On the whole, the plans, projects and activities spelled out by President Marcos Jr., were encompassing and comprehensive enough to stir the interest of the nation, but it is in their implementation which can spell their success or failure.

It is full speed ahead for the country's economy claimed the President and throughout the challenges facing us as a nation, we will endure. The nation is sound, proudly proclaimed President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., the country's 17th President.


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