President Aquino SONA 2013 highlights, review for reaction paper

    President Aquino on Monday, July 22, 2013 delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA). It was PNoy's longest SONA so far but has been applauded less frequently compared to last year.

    Watch: Pnoy's SONA 2013 speech full replay

    Be guided with our analysis and review of SONA 2013. Students may use this as reference for their reaction paper:

    SONA this year was focused on the achievements of the government such as approval of the Sin Tax Reform Law and “Responsible Parenthood Law” (RH Law), reforms in Education System(K-12), Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), increase in number of TESDA graduates, increase in Philhealth enrolles from 62% to 81% and improved benefits, allocation of P6.2 billion for flood control in Metro Manila, completion of 9,377 housing units for Typhoon Sendong victims, 63% reduction in number of private armed groups, 21.4 increase in foreign tourist arrivals in 2012 and 7.8% GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth during the first quarter of 2013.

    However, it also highlights some of the changes to hike SSS contributions and train fares.

    "We believe that it is time to amend the SSS Pension Scheme. We must establish measures that remedy the outflow of funds. If we add 0.6 percent to the contribution rate, it will immediately deduct P141 billion from the unfunded liability," Aquino said.

    PNoy said the need to reform pension scheme is necessary to avoid depletion of SSS funds in the next 28 years. He also explains that fare hikes in MRT and LRT will be implemented. The government subsidizes each passenger's fare by as much as P45 and said to be unfair to residents from Visayas and Mindanao who never set foot on the trains but fund the train operations.

    But according to critics or analysts, President Aquino did not mention solid agenda on how he will lead us to his 'daang matuwid' campaign until 2016. Nancy Binay highlights that Pnoy didn't include on his speech ways to improve employment rate in the country.

    Despite the gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2012 and various economic reform programs of Aquino government for his three years in the Palace, Philippines is still has the worst unemployment rate in Asia. More than 11 million Filipinos are jobless according to SWS and IBON Foundation survey results on the first quarter of 2013.

    More promises to track

    It is common that every SONA, the President always make promises. Here are the some of the action items of the Aquino government for the next months or year:
    • Classroom shortage will be addressed by the Department of Education within the year
    • Improve rice self-sufficiency and coconut intercropping to boost agricultural growth
    • Complete geo-hazard mapping of Metro Manila by next year
    • Pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law in 2014 which will pave way for a Bangsamoro Government by 2016
    • Repairs and completion at NAIA Terminal 3

    Read the full text of SONA 2013:
    President Aquino 'Pnoy' SONA 2013 full transcript, speech (Tagalog, English)

    Rate now President Aquino's State of the Nation Address 2013. Are you happy with the performance of the highest official of our country? Leave your comments below.
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