SPECULATIONS have been made regarding the state of this republic as seen through the eyes of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. PNoy has generated a lot of interest regarding what he said in his State of the Nation Address.
Initially, there appears to be a measure of validity to the critical reaction from various observers regarding the President’s assessment of the nation he inherited from Gloria Arroyo. He devoted most of his half- hour speech to her failings during her nine years or so in the Palace.
The President would have gotten more appreciation for his speech if he devoted it to what he would like to see our nation to be after his own six years in office. Certainly, there are many things he would like to do to correct the years of developmental deprivation our country went through under the Arroyo regime.
But the more striking critique is on the President’s assessment of some of the failings of GMA’s government, such as the budgetary deficit. It seems that the deficit cited as around P196 billion from January to June is manageable.
But how do you determine the deficit? According to our economists, it is the difference between the amount spent and the amount of taxes collected. If the amount collected in a particular period is only so much, and yet during the same period the government spent more, then there is a deficit.
So, how much was collected and how much was spent during the first half of the current year’s budget? Data from the Bureau of Treasury showed that of the P1.540 trillion annual budget, 48.78 percent or P751,767,000 has remained unspent. Hence, when PNoy delivered his Sona, government expenditures from the current more than one trillion budget was P788,833,000.
Well, not being hip on figures, I can only appreciate what is said here, and that P-Noy may have been fed the wrong info.
Of course, we can always say that a Sona prepared in barely three weeks about a presidency that have existed for nine years, even if the period assessed is only the last two or three years, can hardly give an honest assessment, especially if the data were also gathered by a staff that are also recent recruits.
Hence, I think that the best bet should have been to talk of the kind of future one wishes the nation to become under one’s management and leadership.