Monday, July 25, 2011


While anti-government protests were held outside Batasan complex, Aquino highlighted his first-year accomplishments, higher spending for socio-economic services due to prudent fiscal management, during his televised address. His SoNA focused on transforming society and changing the mindset of people towards government.
“The President has made it clear that while we have made gains in our efforts to address the concerns of our people, we all have to work together to ensure the fulfillment of the President’s vision of a government that puts our countrymen’s welfare first — an administration that will govern conscientiously, use its resources wisely, provide jobs and economic opportunities for our people, protect the environment, and secure our borders,” Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said.
Ochoa also called on the legislature to pass several priority legislations proposed by the President in his SoNA crucial to the nation’s economic growth and security.
Among the measures recently endorsed by the President are the extension of the modernization program of the military, establishment of archipelagic sea lanes, and responsible parenthood.
“We hope that our leaders, regardless of their political affiliation and persuasion, will rally behind the President’s blueprint for development, which seeks to improve the lives of our countrymen,” Ochoa said.
“As we work toward the realization of our goals, we will continue to reach out and listen to the legislators who work in the halls of Congress, as well as the political leaders in our provinces, because cooperation is the key to getting things done and moving our nation forward,” he added.
Speaking to ANC, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the President’s speechwriters worked on the SONA for about a month, with the President checking about six drafts.
He said the Aquino administration remains committed to fulfilling the President’s campaign promises.
“It’s transforming society, changing mindset of people. It’s not enough that we hasten the process of business applications, or we improve this part of the road or correct corruption in the past. It’s really fundamentally changing minds of people, attitude towards government… to impress upon people that this government is working for you… and that there are opportunities everywhere,” he told ANC.
Lacierda said the President will also talk about “inclusive growth”, which means that the poorest of the poor will not be left behind as the country moves forward.
“While there will be massive infrastructure spending, we’re going to generate job employment. This will also benefit the poor, investing in people through conditional cash transfer, Philhealth, education and housing. These are the things we’re going to do right now,” he added.
Before delivering his SoNA, President Aquino convened a Cabinet meeting in MalacaƱang to finalize the proposed national budget for 2012. The P1.816-trillion budget proposal, a 10.4 increase from this year’s P1.645 trillion, will be submitted to Congress Wednesday.
The budget will focus on five key areas, namely anti-corruption and good governance, poverty reduction and the empowerment of the poor, inclusive economic growth, just and lasting peace and the rule of law and integrity of the environment.