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SONA 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City, on July 22, 2013.
 
At 55 pages, the SONA 2013 lasted for 1 hour and 40 minutes, and was considered his longest address since he was elected to post in 2010.   
 
Here are a few important points that the president stressed out in his speech:

 
1. Tamang daan na tinatahak. Early on his speech, the president said that the result of the last election where 9 out of 12 of the candidates he endorsed, which he referred to as ‘mga kasangga’, occupied the highest 9 seats in the senate, a testament that his bosses (Filipinos) agree with his “tuwid na daan”.
 
"Humiling ako ng mga kakamping makikisagwan sa iisang direksyon, at ibinigay ninyo ito. Ang totoo nga po, hindi lang mayorya, hindi lang siyam sa labindalawa, kundi siyam sa sampung pinakamataas na puwesto na senador ay mga taong inilapit ko sa inyo. Sa aking pakiwari, malinaw po ang mensahe nitong huling halalan: tama, ituloy natin, damihan pa natin ang 8,581 na sitiong napailawan; dagdagan pa natin ang 28,398 na pamilyang dati’y informal settler, ngunit ngayon ay mayroon na o magkakaroon na ng disenteng tirahan; palaguin pa natin ang di bababa sa 40 bilyong piso kada taong dagdag ng perang napupunta sa edukasyon, kalusugan, serbisyong panlipunan, at marami pang iba, dahil sa tama at mas masugid na pagkolekta ng buwis; dama namin ang marami pang ibang patunay na talagang nagbabago ang lipunan.
 
2. His accomplishments for the past three years of his administration:
 
TESDA-DOLE scholarship:
A total of 503,521 students have received the scholarship.   An estimated six out of 10 scholars land a job.   This posed a significant increase from the employment rate among TESDA scholars in the past years.
 
"Noong araw po, ayon sa pag-aaral ng DBM noong 2006 hanggang 2008, ang nakakahanap ng trabaho sa mga napagtapos ng TESDA: 28.5 percent lamang. Noong lumipas na taon naman po: sa IT-BPO program, 70.9 percent ang employment rate ng ating mga nagtapos sa TESDA. Sa electronics and semiconductor program naman, umabot sa 85 percent na mga nagtapos noong 2012 ang nagkatrabaho. Malinaw po: Kayo mismo ang huhubog, kayo mismo ang magdidikta kung hinog at matamis ang bungang kolektibo nating pipitasin, o kung magiging bulok at katiting ang kahihinatnan ng mga pagkakataong bumubukas sa kabanatang ito ng ating kasaysayan.
 
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program:
 
There was an increase in the number of beneficiaries from 2010-present.
 
"Ang dinatnan nating mahigit 700,000 kabahayang benepisyaryo ng programa noong 2010, umabot na sa halos apat na milyon na kabahayan sa ating pong administrasyon.
 
Galing sa pag-aaral ng Philippine Institute for Development Studies, mas malaki ng tinatayang 40 porsyento ang sinasahod ng mga naka-graduate ng high school, kumpara sa mga elementarya lang ang tinapos. Di po ba makatuwirang sagarin na natin ang tulong na ibinibigay natin sa mga pamilya, upang makumpleto na ng mga batang benepisyaryo ang high school, at sa gayon ay maisagad na rin ang benepisyo ng programang ito? Kaya nga po, sa susunod na taon, magiging saklaw na ng programa ang mga pamilyang may kabataang abot sa 18 taong gulang, upang hanggang sa high school ay makapagtapos na sila.
 
Education Reforms:
– K to 12 Program
– Addressed deficiencies in classrooms and textbooks
 
Agricultural Reforms:
– Decreased importation of rice from 855,000 metric tons in 2010 to 350,000 metric tons in 2013, the latter already include the 187,000 metric tons as reserved buffer stock in cases of calamities.
 
"Isipin po ninyo, ayon sa NFA: Noong 2010, nag-angkat ang bansa ng mahigit dalawang milyong metriko tonelada ng bigas. Noong 2011, bumaba ito sa 855,000 metric tons. Noong 2012: 500,000 metric tons na lang. At ngayong 2013: Ang pinakasagad na nating aangkatin, kasama na ang pribadong sektor, ay ang minimum access volume na 350,000 metric tons. [Applause] Nakapaloob na po dito ang 187,000 metric tons sa reserbang buffer stock sakaling magsunud-sunod ang bagyo; malamang, dahil on-target pa rin tayo sa rice self-sufficiency, hindi na rin kailangan pang mag-angkat ng pribadong sektor. Dagdag pa po diyan, nagsimula na tayong mag-export ng matataas na uri ng bigas. Ang layo na po talaga natin doon sa panahong sinasabing hindi raw natin kayang pakainin ang ating sarili.
 
– Increased growth in agricultural sector to 3.3 per cent in the first three months of 2013, a triple increase from 1.1% of that of same period in 2012.
– Enhancement of coconut farming through intercropping or the practice of growing two or more crops in proximity to produce greater yield.
 
"Tutulong ang gobyernong magpalakas sa iyong niyogan, kapalit ng obligasyong magpunla ng iba’t ibang binhi sa pagitan ng mga hilera ng niyog. Mas dadalas ang ani ng magsasaka, at depende sa kanilang itatanim, lalaki ang kanilang kita. Kung sa niyog lang, sa bawat ektarya, nasa 20,000 piso po kada taon ang kinikita ng magsasaka. Kung dadagdagan ito ng kape, maaaring pumalo ng 172,400 pesos ang kita; kung saging, aabot sa 102,325 pesos ang maaaring kitain, samantalang 89,000 pesos naman sa cacao. Ang laking diperensya, di po ba?
 
– Initiative programs for the fishing sectors such as cold storage facility built in Bataraza, Palawan; building several fish ports in strategic places for easier access to fishermen to increase their income.  Further, the government is also improving roads, bridges and other infrastructures, including services for the fishermen. 
– Resolved issues on Hacienda Luisita.   He reported that the Department of Agrarian Reform has already completed the list of qualified beneficiaries who are recipients of land titles.
– Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms or CARPER
 
Health Programs
– Increased coverage of and benefits from PhilHealth.  From 62% of health insurance enrollees in the past, the percentage increased to 81 percent.   The administration is coordinating with LGUs to aim for a 100 percent coverage.
 
"Sa kalusugan, ang layunin nating masaklaw ng PhilHealth ang mas marami pa nating kababayan: natupad na rin po. Dumating tayong 62 percent ng Pilipino ang naka-enrol sa programa; ngayon, nasa 81 percent na ito. Ang natitira nga pong wala sa talaan ay ang mga hinahanap pa, kabilang na po ang informal sector at mga katutubo. Inaasahan po natin ang pakikipagtulungan ng mga lokal na pamahalaan upang maisali na natin sa sistema ang lahat ng ating mamamayan. 
 
Hindi lang po mga enrolee ng PhilHealth ang lumalawak, kundi pati ang mga benepisyong maaaring makuha mula rito. Noong nakaraang taon, inilunsad natin ang Z Benefit Package. At nitong Pebrero naman po, pinalawak pa ito ng Expanded Z Benefit Package. Mas mahaba na po ang listahan ng mga karamdamang libreng maipapagamot ng mahihirap nating kababayan sa mga pampublikong ospital. Noong isang taon, nakasama na ang breast cancer, prostate cancer, at acute leukemia; ngayon, kasama na rin ang iba pang sakit tulad ng coronary bypass, at ng pagtatama ng mga butas at maling posisyon ng mga ugat sa puso.
 
– Improvement and rehabilitation of hospitals, rural health units and barangay health stations in the country with its 33 billion pesos budget allotted for this sector in the last 3 years of his administration. 
 
Readiness in Calamities:
– Completed multi-hazard mapping which is a joint effort of the Geohazard Mapping and Assessment Program and Project NOAH of DOST.  Last year, the  of 28 danger and calamity zones in the country has been identified through this program.  The government aims to finish mapping for Greater Metro Manila Area come 2014, and the other 1,138 areas by 2015. 
– Through Project NOAH, 525 automated water level monitoring stations and automated rain gauges in 18 major river basins have been deployed.
– Provision of modernized facilities such as Doppler radars, tsunami detectors, and alerting sirens.
– Budget of 6.2 billion pesos to address flooding in Metro Manila which includes the budget for the Blumentritt Interceptor Catchment area, a 3.3-kilometer wide project which can catch floodwaters of approximately the size of fourteen Olympic-size swimming pools.
 
Housing Programs:
– Due to the joint effort of the government and private sectors, a total of 9,377 of houses have been built for Sendong victims in Mindana0.  The government targets an additional 4,374 houses  by next year. PNoy also asked for apologies for the seemingly slow process in providing these houses  because of the complicated process of land acquisition.  Pablo victims are already occupying the 53,106 houses built for them.
 
Enhancement of the Armed Forces and Police:
– Housing programs for the soldiers and police.  There are already 21,800 housing units that were already completed last year.
– Enhancement of the livelihood programs for soldiers.
– Increased budget for pension and benefits for soldiers and police.
– 30,000 police have already returned to field because of the hiring of civilian personnel for administrative work.
– 1:1 police to pistol ratio.  The government have provided new units of 9mm Glock 17 pistols to police officers , with its aim to provide 74,879 pistols to all police forces.
 
Secure and Fair Elections:
– Secure and Fair Elections through Oplan Katok, which  aimed to search for guns with expired license and to make sure that only authorized persons own the licensed ones.  There was a seen significant decrease of crime incidence in the past midterm polls from 189 last 2010 elections to 77 during the May 2013 elections.
– Clean ARMM elections.Alalahanin po natin, ito ang unang beses na magkasabay ang pambansa at rehiyonal na halalan sa ARMM.
 
Peace and Order Situation in Mindanao:
– Bangsamoro Framework Agreement, in which its second annex was signed just 9 days ago.  The president is confident that the agreement will bring more good news in the future.
 
Enhanced Tourism Industry:
– The several recognition given by renowned international travel magazines and websites and the increased number of tourist are testaments of the improved tourism industry in the Philippines.
 
Economic Growth:
– Economic transformations.   The Philippines is now considered as the “rising tiger” by the World Bank and “brightest spark” by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
– The investment grades and ratings recently given to the Philippines
 
Issues that he thinks need to be done:
– SSS Pension Scheme modification
– Fare hike in MRT and LRT to decrease the subsidized fare and allot it to other government services.
 
Other issues he discussed:
– The Wilfredo Panogalinga and the recent Ricky Cadavero shooting case were also tackled by the president.  He said that a thorough investigation is already underway for both cases, similar to the one done for the Atimonan rubout case.  Sisiguruhin nating mananagot ang sinumang pulis o kung sino mang sangkot dito—gaano man kataas ang kanilang ranggo. Kung sino man ang mga pasimuno dito: maghanda lang kayo. Malapit ko na kayong makilalang lahat.
– Despite these issues that stain the reputation of the police and military forces, the president still believes for the goodness of the armed forces.  He elaborated some instances where police officers showed exemplary works – on- and off-duty.
– Flaws of the past administration which he always talks about in his previous speeches.
– He also highlighted his aim to completely eradicate anomalous transactions to pave the way to “daang matuwid”.
 
Several other issues were also tackled.  These were just few points that we think are important in his speech.  We may have missed some of the highlights.  For reference you can access the full text of the 2013 State of the Nation Address. (source: iamjammed.com)
 

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