MARK YOUR CALENDARS, July 28 is President Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III’s important hortatory speech to the nation: his fifth State of the Nation Address.
On this four o’clock habit in the last Monday of July, the Filipino people is ready to prepare their ears as they listen to the head of state and government, plus Commander-in-Chief about his accomplishments and agenda in Batasan Pambansa, the home of the Lower House (the House of Representatives) of the Congress.
Like the past SONAs of Noynoy, we may expect another politicians’ pomp of raiment, an advantage for prospective fashion designers and a disadvantage for the poor folks enraged for spending taxpayers’ money, plus Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s fifth consecutive absence. Although, now-under-therapy Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago wanted to stop the Congressional catwalk.
Last year, PNoy delivered the speech that lasted almost two hours and the spotlight of the protest in Commonwealth Avenue goes to the crying cop, PO1 Joselito Sevilla, after being shouted by the Dutch activist, Thomas van Beersum.
This year, even if the Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla of Cavite will boycott the speech after her hubby’s imprisonment for the charges of plunder, the show will still go on, rain or shine.
The Television Bubble on SONA
In the media’s bubble, particularly on television, presenters are dressed in Barong Tagalog and Maria Clara gowns as a protocol of the important annual event of the nation. All free, even mainstream, TV channels have pre-empted their programs an hour or more before the 4 o’clock matter for the primer and an extra time for the analysis of the speech.
In the early morning, the Big Three (ABS-CBN, GMA and TV5) had shown the protesters marching the Commonwealth Avenue, the premier avenue, where the President is going on the motorcade or its security guard, the PSG, as an entree of the giant one (main course) with the procession and the effigy to be burned on the afternoon.
PTV 4 and younger sister, IBC 13 do not show left-wing protests unlike the Big Three as they are obviously obeying the incumbent administration and having lack of editorial independence and impartiality ever since Marcos’ Martial Law.
The Netizen’s Response on SONA
Netizens are always concerned and responding to this oratory. Some netizens respond to the forthcoming event with lightly things such as Bingo Cards from So What’s News and humorous rejected opening lines from The Professional Heckler.
However, others take SONA seriously, sometimes critically with, sometimes, an ill and negative opinion with less constructive proposals. A politically motivated social media scholar site mentions some barometers (not including the GDP growth as always mentioned in the speech), to see how the incumbent’s administration doing for four years now.
Inspired by the said social media, Timow’s Turf is asking let’s see how far we’ve come behind on these such barometers:
Corruption Perceptions Index
This index, formulated by the Transparency International, was used to determine that his slogan during his presidential campaign in 2010, “Kung walang corrupt…” fulfills effectively.
When he ascended the Presidency, the score of the Philippines in the CPI is 2.4. Despite the scoring change in 2012, the nation fared well to 36 out of 100 as of 2013 report.
It is suggested that the score was improved based on his reforms on government transparency but only applies to agencies and government owned and controlled corporations.
Human Development Index
Formulated by the United Nations Development Programme, the Human Development Index is measured as the name implies, the human development, based on life expectancy, education and income. This index completes the statement of Noynoy’s presidential campaign, “… walang mahirap.”
During his first sitting as President, the Philippines attained 0.638, or medium human development. After three full years, the score improved to 0.654.
Some projects linked to this index include the critical “welfarist” programs such as the Conditional Cash Transfer Program and Pantawid Pamilya Program spearheaded by DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman.
Global Peace Index
This statistic is formulated by the Institute for Economics and Peace, where the lowest score is the most peaceful while the higher speaks otherwise.
In the Philippines, the recent Global Peace Index report released in the midyear, scored and the rank dropped to 134th from 129th last year and reentered into the bottom 20% of the countries measured. This is mainly due to the siege of Zamboanga City last September against the MNLF-Misuari faction, due to the latter’s dissent to the Government’s proposal for Bangsamoro Substate and Peace Process.
Ease of Doing Business Index
Last but certainly not the least; the Ease of Doing Business is part of some critics’ barometer on President’s will on economic progress.
When PNoy entered in to Malacanang, the rank of Ease of Doing Business Index was placed on 144th out of 182 countries recorded. Four years hence, the rankings skyrocketed to 108th out of 189 countries.
Optimists believed that PNoy was doing well in cutting red tape in filing up initial business setups but critics still doubted that the score was at the bottom half of measured nations due to begging to please the investors in time for the hosting of the World Economic Forum on East Asia last may and explicit restrictions of ownership on the Constitution that may not be amended until after his term.
Barometers of importance are commonly snubbed in the speech and may be mentioned on their technical report, according to speculation and rationalization of the self-proclaimed “intellectual” critics of and/or against the President.
On second thought, not all barometers in this blog can be useful to conclude how he is doing for the past years in office. It is all up to us, the sovereign Filipino people, to see and to judge if he will give us a positive legacy or a negative one by the end of his term in 2016.
Noynoy has or will reach five SONAs; one left. Can he make the hanging agenda such as the Freedom of Information Bill that he promised in 2010?
Stay tuned on July 28 but for now, let’s listen what Industry is saying:
BOSES NG MADLA RESULTS:
Are you willing to listen to PNoy’s 5th SONA?
- YES. There may be surprises in his speech.: 50%
- NO. He will lie like the past four SONAs.: 50%
- I DON’T CARE. 0%
We’re watching and are listening to you, PNoy!
[Photo courtesy of Benhur Arcayan/PCOO and charts rendered via Microsoft PowerPoint by author-admin.]