Comparative Analysis of Pres. Aquino's Sona

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How far the Philippines do go with the “tuwid na daan” of Pres. Aquino? According to the 1987 Constitution in Article VII, Section 23 “the President shall address the Congress at the opening of a regular session”. The yearly report of the President to the Congress and the people is popularly known as the State of the Nation Address or SONA. It is being delivered by the President every fourth Monday of July and is being televised nationwide. SONA is a yearly report by the President to the Congress and to the people. The President discusses the achievements of his administration as well as his future plans for the country. Through the SONA the President can directly ask the Congress of his legislative agendas that will help the administration to fulfil its task. This paper intends to compare and contrast the second and third SONA of President Aquino.

The second and third SONA of Pres. Aquino has a lot of common denominator such as the medium of language the President used to deliver his SONA which is both delivered in Filipino. According to Atty. Reynaldo Lopez, a legal expert and professor at the University of Santo Tomas, it is essential that President Aquino delivered his message “in a language that is understandable to all Filipino people” (Atty. Lopez, personal communication, 2012) since the President is addressing the people directly. This has been the tradition of President Aquino since he assumed office. He always wanted that every Filipino will understand his message every time he is speaking to the people. Good governance has always been advocated by President Aquino even since his campaign before the presidential elections in 2010. During his campaign he reiterated that he will be committed in fighting corruption and cleaning the tarnished system in the government. One of the platforms of his administration is institutionalizing public accountability by reforming the budgeting and project identification process through the use of the Zero-Based Budgeting (ZBB) approach in 2010. The elimination of wasteful spending is the primary aim of the ZBB. Through the ZBB, the government can as well identify and eliminate those programs that are no longer delivering intended outcomes thus funds are being conserved. In line with the ZBB, the administration of President Aquino vowed to uphold transparent and competitive bidding. Some of the main foci of Pres. Aquino’s second and third SONA are the exposition of the abuses and irregularities in some government agencies such as the allegations of corruption in the military and the cancellation of some projects such as the Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project. Both the second and third SONA of Pres. Aquino also tackled job opportunities and mentioned some environmental issues. According to Atty. Lopez, the two SONA of Pres. Aquino failed to talk about issues concerning the OFWs.

Moving on President Aquino’s second and third SONA, were themed different ly the “Daang Matuwid and Utak Wang-wang” and “Report kay Boss” respectively. The second SONA of President Aquino was themed such that it was a response to concerns expressed by both critics and supporters and it also pertains to the transformation of mindset of the people from the abusive form of government which is signified by the wang-wang. As tensions in the West Philippine Sea have heightened, the President asserts the sense of right in sovereignty of the Philippines in its claim to the Spratlys Islands. In his second SONA he reiterated the possibility of bringing the territorial dispute issue to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea or ITLOS to ensure that all involved nations approach the dispute with calm and forbearance (President Aquino, 2011). With the appointment of the new Ombudsman the President vowed to end transactional politics and to punish the grafters in the government. President Aquino also highlighted in his second SONA the increase of PhilHealth...
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