PNoy's 2012 SONA comes up short, analysts say


Posted at Jul 23 2012 11:29 PM | Updated as of Jul 24 2012 09:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Political analysts commended President Benigno Aquino for a detailed State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, but they said it should have been more specific about laws that should be passed.

Aquino's 3rd SONA started with a litany of what he calls "nightmares" from his predecessor.

He continued with the list of achievements his administration made in the past 2 years.

Aquino had his Cabinet officials to thank for many of these achievements.

"He was thanking all of us but he was giving us tasks. He was assigning us work. He's telling the people look out for this work because I am telling you this is what we're gonna do," Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman told ANC.

Political analysts agreed with Soliman.

They said Aquino's speech allows Filipinos, whom he calls his bosses, to hold his Cabinet officials accountable.

"If these classrooms aren't built within the year, then the problem is with the capacity of Department  of Education," said University of the Philippines Prof. Prospero de Vera.

"Sinabi niya [kung] anong gagawin. Meron siyang deadline so we can measure," said UP Prof. Alex Brillantes Jr.

Report was lacking

Analysts said Aquino delivered his message well and his accomplishments were detailed, but overall, his report to the nation was lacking.

"I hope that the targets are realized because I didn't hear a coherent strategy with regard to let's say poverty reduction," said Pulse Asia President Ronnie Holmes.

"It's a long speech and very short and limited legislative agenda," de Vera said.

He said Aquino should have also mentioned the freedom of information bill and charter change.

De Vera, however, believes that Aquino's SONA had more pluses than minuses.

On the economy, businessmen said they are generally satisfied with Aquino's performance in the last 2 years.

They now want the President to fast-track his much-publicized public-private partnership projects.

Failing mark

A former national treasurer, however, gave Aquino a failing mark.

One of her reasons is Congress' continued failure to pass the freedom of information bill.

"Kung tayo nga ang boss nya, kailangan natin ang mga impormasyon, sila ang ating alipin," former national treasurer Leonor Briones said. - report from Jekki Pascual, ABS-CBN News; ANC