What did I learn from SONA2015?

SONA-2015-govphLet me get this off my chest first: I didn’t like H.E. President Noynoy Aquino’s intro of “blaming the past admin.” Which set the mood for trying to get all the credit for projects that, upon closer look, past administrations actually began. Seriously, someone should change his script to something more unifying, and forward-looking.

The Pantawid Pamilya (also known as 4Ps) started during Pres. Erap’s term, and was continued by PGMA as the Conditional Cash Transfer program, which included Microfinance projects that helped class C-E families start their own small businesses. My late Mom was one of the organizers in a Badjao community for this, and I used to tag along with her to visit the Badjao women, so I know first hand how it helped the minorities. It’s more like he’s reaping the benefits of what past admins planted. What he can be credited for, I guess, is the wider anti-corrupt environment/mentality, which helped make sure that the good projects that past admins started would grow and flourish as they do today. Makes me wonder though, what’s wrong with commending other people, especially predecessors, for something they did good? When it comes to public service, there should be no politics involved.

Just like the ALS, which was already awesome even during Pre. Erap’s time. I know because I am a product of it (was, by God’s grace & parents’ guidance, nationwide topnotcher of the BNFE A&E exam in 2000). It isn’t something new, and it is something that should definitely be continued.

Sorry, but I laughed when he mentioned higher tax collection. Or should it be more like, improved tax collection with unethical tactics. Remember the TV ad where doctors were disparaged? That was uncool, Kim Henares. Truth is, people will WANT to pay taxes IF they know where it is going, and who will be handling it. I was hoping he would ask for the passing of #FOI now, but since Congress says it’s already a priority I guess he thought it was no longer in need of mention.

I know BIR is going through a “modernization” phase, but there are just so many horror stories of longer lines, more taxes (fees) for the little people who can’t afford to bribe, and unhelpful BIR officials / employees who either do not know how to help ordinary people file their tax returns electronically, or just refuse to help. Mabagal sa serbisyo, mabilis sa paniningil. Parang Globe / PLDT / Meralco lang, hehehe. Anyway…

So what did I learn from #SONA 2015?

That Filipino politicians can either be too forgiving (maybe more like selective amnesia ba?), or too bitter and can’t let go of the past. Wish there’d be more middle-ground-kind of people, especially in government, who will: 1. Learn from the past, 2. Get rid of the excess baggage called “Blame-on-others”, 3. Take hold of the present, and 4. Properly convey and act on their plans for the future.

The only highlight for me during the entire speech was the mention of the Anti-Dynasty Law. I hope Congress will pass that soon. He should’ve also mentioned Sen. Miriam Santiago for pushing for it since like, forever. Wishful thinking on my part.

As for BBL, I cringed when they featured a mujahideen who isn’t even saying he’s a FORMER mujahideen, which means he is still dedicated to the extermination / eradication of those who do not adhere to Islam. How can I support someone who wants to cut off my head, not because of economic reasons, but because his loyalty is to his extremist worldview? I take it that the P70B from Malaysia needs to be distributed, because half has been used na. But pass the FOI first! We want to know who got the first half and who will get the rest of the P70B, and how it will be used. Dividing our country to have 2 sets of laws (and Sharia law is against the current Constitution) is not the answer.

TRUE JUSTICE is the answer, in order to have sustainable peace. Remove the corrupt, starting with the perpetrators of #MaguindanaoMassacre. Change the AFP leaders in the South with those who will not be corrupted by money. Return the stolen ancestral lands. Disarm MILF without agreeing to Sharia Law in the region, because our Constitution should already protect ALL citizens regardless of religion/culture. It will take guts to do this, but it is NOT impossible. If the solons can assure me 100% that the BBL, as it is now, will STOP ISIS from entering our country en masse (I know from a reliable source that some of them are already here), then let’s go for it. But reading through the proposed BBL, it is practically an open invitation to expand their territory not just in the ARMM region, but just one corrupt ISIS-trained leader will then have jurisdiction over every community with a large Muslim population (hello, Manila and Baguio). I’m not taking any chances, especially when it comes to my family. My life has been threatened already by Islam extremists, but I will not bow down to them in fear. I want the Philippines to remain a democracy for as long as we can.

Thankfully PNoy mentioned the WestPHSea. Near the end. For like, 3 seconds. And I don’t understand what happened next, it sounded more like a “sorry-not-sorry” to defend the latest “diplomatic” actions being done to appease China. What happened to his strong stance against China’s bullying tactics last SONA? He could’ve at least assured us that the Philippines will continue with our case against China, at the ITLOS.

This is important, because the natural resources in the West Philippine Sea belong to Filipinos, must be protected for future generations, and not allowed to be stolen / destroyed by the Big Red Bully’s “reclamation projects” in the area which are happening right now.

Lastly, I don’t like what the “activists” did right after PNoy’s speech. Our democratic environment is giving them freedom of speech, but showing disrespect to the highest official in the land, is not the way to get sympathy or support for your cause.

All in all, I may not have voted for him, but I am still grateful that PNoy is our president today. It could’ve been worse. I don’t blame him alone, the ills in our government and society are something that must be worked on by everyone, and not just one person. I’ll just be praying na lang that the next president will not just be better, but will really be the best who can unite and lead us in more trying times ahead.

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