President Benigno Aquino the Third (aka, Noynoy) of the Republic of The Philippines made his State Of the Nation Address today. I will legitimately link to the whole thing at the end of this post, but for the moment, here are my impressions of his words and how things look like from my perspective on the country.
Do I agree with what he's been saying? Yes. And no. There are no overt lies and spinning in the President's SONA, for even a malfunctioning democracy as ours does not need propaganda to soothe disgruntled citizens. Fact-checking is easy. The Philippines possesses a free and combative media. Journalists may be murdered but still they continue. We've learned from the time of Marcos dictatorship - cracking down on the media is the first sign of tyranny.
People do not really fear the goverment, but neither do they really trust it. If anything, it is harder to rouse citizenry out of apathy for the government's initiatives. Who believes election promises anymore? Change is a constant promise of every new administration, and the poor remain poor, and the rich get even richer. The gap seems only to stretch with every generation.
However, it is also true that change does happen within a perceptible timeframe. My grandfather was born to a farmer's son, he worked as a cook, and my father became a lawyer. My mother was farmer's daughter, she became a teacher. The difference between a bare existence and that of middle class can be as short as one generation. This is where people put their trust and hope - not in their government, but in their children.
The President's speech had three main topics:
1) Economic initiatives
2) Peace and welfare
3) Tackling corruption
The President touched on expansion on farming and fishing, which I will let pass without comment since I trust that there are improvements there. Ironically, for a rice producing country, the Philippines still imports rice. It is one of highest, if not the, highest importers of rice in...
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