|Caricature by Randolf Romar Medrano|
On July 22, midway through his term, a monster with a yellow ribbon in his barong will again face the scene stealers, oldies and neophytes, in his fourth State of the Nation Address(SONA).
His bosses slash followers, the minions, will listen to him.
SONA is an opportunity for the big man to tell the kingdom about the national situation and about his plans.
It should also be my chance as a tiny significant follower to come up with my own plans.
Reducing Human Poverty
We heard the scene stealers during their campaign: “Murang pagkain. Maraming pagkain. Aasenso ang buhay.”
How to reduce poverty in the nation? It’s not a feeding program.
These men of law should promote growth and think of the creation of more wealth while closing the gap between the rich and the poor. The creation of 1.4 million jobs in the past year is not enough. We need more jobs.
This land has the fastest-growing economy in Asia it failed to offset high figures of unemployment. Unemployment is not only the problem in our realm. Some employees who has education, experience, or skills beyond the requirements of the job are still in underemployment status. Can you just imagine a licensed teacher who is working as a saleslady in a department store, a registered nurse who is a taxi driver, or a business administration graduate who was trained to become a security guard?
Fostering Democratic Governance
We always here these jingles: “Pagbabago. Reporma. Daang matuwid.”
When did we see our justice agencies and courts’ efforts in improving their measurements in respecting and defending the rights of the citizens?
The administration should have an efficient and effective, corrupt-free practices and ethical behavior at all levels.
Local civil society organizations, media and other sectors should be engaged in reviewing and monitoring the performance of our government.
Environment for Sustainable Development
How could we have a sustainable development if moochers do not support environmental protection?
We have an impressive biodiversity and heritage but some of them are now virtually overlapped with permits to explore and mine. How can the local governments permit these kinds of activities without considering the public safety? Our leaders do not need to sacrifice the people and environment for their own interests. These activities do not contribute a big difference to our economy.
What about education?
Every now and then, every administration fails to give attention to our basic education.
UNESCO in a recent study said that the country is fifth in the world with the highest number of out-of-school youth at 1.46 million.
What's on the menu?
So, what are the things on the giant’s speech?
Reproductive health law, freedom of information bill or Bangsamoro Framework Agreement? Jokes about his love life, victory of Team PNoy, or blame the past administration? Relocation of informal settlers, upgraded airports, or creation of more classrooms? Implementation of K-12 program or sin tax law?
In 2011, Aquino emphasized poverty reduction and hunger statistics. Good economic performance have been underlined in his speech in 2012.
Highlighting the good?
On promoting universal healthcare, 3.9 families are now beneficiaries of the conditional cash transfer program. At least 8,581 sitios have been given access to electricity.
Like in an ordinary film, minions want a happy ending. This film continues to roll. We can’t change anything at once. We give this yellow monster until 2016 to give us what we deserve. This giant may get applause but we need to track his promises. The minions of the 7,107 islands want to challenge the big man. Her stunning sister said in her own show: “All provinces must be improved so they can help our economy.” Mr. President in a yellow ribbon and scene stealers of both houses, every minion has his own dream but everyone is united in a vision of better life, better leaders, and better nation. Improve every province, engage every citizen, and change our government practices.