|President Benigno S. Aquino III in his SONA 2013|
The 2013 State of the Nation Address, SONA 2013, was given July 22, 2013, Monday at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City. In it, President Noynoy Aquino presented his achievements and outlined his priorities for this fiscal year.
The special live coverage of the 2013 State of the Nation Address included a live video streaming of the President's full address, courtesy of government television station NBN and Presidential Broadcast Staff - Radio Television Malacañang (PBS-RTVM) via its Youtube channel (RTVMalacanang).
SONA 2013 Reaction Paper
Below is a sample of reaction paper to SONA 2013. This reaction paper contains 840 words excluding the title and highlights salient points from President Noynoy Aquino's speech.
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Reaction Paper on State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2013
His Honorable President Benigno S. Aquino III again delivered his 4th State of the Nation Address on Monday, July 22, 2013 as mandated by the Constitution. The joint session of the Senate of the Philippines and the House of Representatives were called to order at exactly 4:00 in the afternoon. It started with the singing of the National Anthem and a short ecumenical prayer from various religious groups.
President Noynoy started to address the nation at exactly 4:03 in the afternoon in front of the joint Congressional session and other members of the 3 branches of government in Batasang Pambansa Complex.
The President acknowledged that in his 3 years of becoming the President of the Philippines, his administration faced many challenges. He also mentioned that this is his 4th SONA, and there will be 2 more in the future. In the first part of his speech, he praised his Team PNoy who have dominated the last Senatorial elections last May 2013. He also cited the 4Ps or the Pantawid sa Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the government and also said that the number of TESDA graduates increased and that majority of them are now working.
He further stated the achievements of his administration in the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program. President Aquino also said that the government will now cover not only elementary pupils but also high school students in the CCT program starting next year 2014.
On the part of his cabinet, Aquino mentioned the achievements made by Sec. Armin Luistro of the Department of Education (DepEd). He said that the shortage of classrooms, textbooks, and other problems of the DepEd will be addressed next year with the help of his able Secretart Luistro.
On agriculture, Aquino expressed his plans for rice sufficiency and coconut intercropping. He urged the farmers to cooperate in this plan and he assures that this will boost the growth of agriculture in the country. He added that this is one of the main targets of his administration.
He stated the various programs and projects implemented by the government to solve the flooding of many places in Metro Manila and even in the provinces. The government, through DOST had finished mapping the flood prone zone and that the geo-mapping of Metro Manila will be accomplished next year. Furthermore, 9,377 housing units for the victims of past typhoon Sendong were finished, and also the second phase of the housing projects for the AFP and PNP personnel.
The President called for a review in the SSS fund scheme and also expressed his approval on the increase of SSS contributions, citing that the pension was increased 21 times in the past years while the contributions only increased about 2 times in the same years.
One of the highlights of the President’s SONA was his comment about the underachieving officials of various government agencies like Bureau of Customs, National Irrigation Administration, and Bureau of Immigration. He criticized the heads of these agencies saying that if an official is not able to do his job properly, it is better for him to be fired than remain in his office.
Aquino also boasted that in his administration, two major laws were passed, the Responsible Parenthood law or RH Law and the Sin Tax Law. He also said that the Congress should make amendments on the Cabotage Law and pass the Fiscal Incentives Rationalization Bill to encourage investments in the country.
In his SONA, Aquino commended his cabinet members saying that his cabinet members are “sacrificing to help transform our nation”. He saluted DFA Secretary Alberto Del Rosario who led the repatriation of some 20,000 Filipinos from Libya. The whole SONA lasted for almost 2 hours which ended at exactly 5:48pm. The President was applauded 90 times, stammered 35 times, and coughed 8 times, according to a radio report.
The President failed to mention the Freedom of Information Bill, which was in the Congress for so many years and up to now is not yet passed. This must be one of the priority bills that must be passed to prove to the whole nation that this government is really aiming for transparency.
Another thing that is noticeable in President Aquino’s SONA, even from the 1st to the 4th is that he acknowledges the achievements of his cabinet members. He does not grab the credit for himself, even though he can do it, because after all he is the President of the Philippines. This is one of the traits that a leader must possess, and our President has it.
He also said that this is the time for those honest and hardworking people to shine and step-up especially in the government. He said also presented 3 police officers and commended their heroic deeds which must be the role model of every government officials. After the 4th SONA, many Filipinos are hopeful that President Noynoy will continue his efforts to run after corrupt officials and bring back the trust of the people to the government.