What politicians wish PNoy addressed in his SONA
MANILA, Philippines - Despite the length of President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation address (SONA), some politicians felt he could have talked more about specific issues.
Aquino's third SONA, which lasted about an hour and a half, was the President's longest speech so far.
While most reacted positively to the address and praised its comprehensiveness, still others felt disappointed that despite the time, areas they consider crucial were neglected.
Sen Teofisto Guingona III said he was happy about Aquino's "holistic" speech but wished that the President talked more about Mindanao, a sentiment echoed by Sen Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.
"Coming from Mindanao, I would have wanted more details on Mindanao," said the former Bukidnon representative.
Aquino talked about reforms in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), including real housing, bridges and learning centers for Badjaos in Basilan.
Sen Pia Cayetano, on the other hand, was happy about Aquino's support for responsible parenthood, which the Reproductive Health bill advocate interpreted as support for the proposed measure.
She did, however, wish Aquino had elaborated on his statement, saying it left many confused on whether it was an outright backing of the controversial RH bill.
"I was waiting to see if he would qualify it," she said.
"I had all the intention of standing up if RH was mentioned, but I was still waiting for an explanation for responsible parenthood so I wasn't sure," she said. This was why she did not join other advocates for the bill who gave the President a standing ovation.
Sen Vicente "Tito" Sotto III, for his part, said that he wished there had been more improvements in certain areas, but gave Aquino some slack saying, he has done well so far.
"There is much to be desired like, for example, the crime rate, the justice system. Of course we wished he had better things to say but of course, you can't accomplish that in two-and-a-half years," said Sotto in a mix of English and Filipino.
"I believe this is the best SONA of the President. Covered niya lahat," he added. "He exuded confidence, he exuded sincerity."
Still others were less generous in their praise.
Sen Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr refused to say he was satisfied, and instead focused on what he thought was lacking in the President's speech.
"I think that there are many very critical areas that have not been touched on. Such as power. Such as job creation. Such as our foreign policy toward China and Asean…There were many important subjects that were not covered," he said.
"That's the danger. When there's no problem, there's nothing done to fix it."
Former Nationalist People's Coalition senatorial candidate Susan Ople also turned to Twitter to say the President forgot to mention the dependable service of Overseas Filipino Workers, an omission noticed by netizens who also turned to the social media site to share their disappointment.
"Sana nabanggit man lang mas malakas na remittances ng OFWs at napasalamatan din sila para kasama sa group hug na SONA (I wish the higher remittances of OFWs were at least mentioned and they too were thanked so they could be part of the SONA group hug)," posted Ople on her Twitter account.
Additionally, Congressman Erin Tañada, admitted he was saddened by the exclusion of the Freedom of Information bill by the President, a proposed law that demands access to all government-held data.
"Of course, as the principal author of the Freedom of Information bill, it’s a bit sad that he failed to mention FOI," he said before saying he was still confident the bill could be passed by year-end.
Zambales Representative Milagros "Mitos" Magsaysay was less forgiving, questioning some of the President's statements and mentioning that the latest Social Weather Stations surveys show he has had the highest average unemployment compared to the past.
She also hit Aquino for failing to mention what she believes to be major problems.
"Hindi ko nakita ang solusyon niya to address poverty, hunger at pagtaas ng presyo ng bilihin, tubig, kuryente. Ito po ang inaantay ni Juan de la Cruz eh, ang solusyon niya to these problems," she said. (I didn't see his solution to address poverty, hunger and the rise in prices of commodities, water, and electricity. This are what Juan de la Cruz is waiting for, his solution to these problems.)
"Oo nga nagkailaw nga sila sa mga sitio nationwide pero ang presyo naman na binabayaran ni Juan de la Cruz, mas mataas naman ang singil. Although nagbigay ka ng kuryente, mahal naman ang kuryente." (Yes there is light in sitios nationwide but the costs that Juan de la Cruz is paying are higher. There may be electricity but it is still expensive). - Rappler.com