SONA: SO ano NA?

Posted by Abdel Kadz on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 with 9 comments
Just this Monday, the president of the republic got to deliver her state of the nation address for the seventh time. But ever since she blabbered her first SONA in 2001, I've never really seen anything substantial that I can applaud on with regards to all her proposed plans for the country, contrary to what she had the spunk to gasconade about. I think the real state of the nation has gone much worse.

Never in my life did I ever foresee that one day the ordinary Juans and Marias would be filing in line just so to get a kilo of rice at much less the cost of the commercial ones being sold nowadays. It's disheartening to see that people are already at the stores where NFA rice are sold even when they are still closed. FTI complex where I'm from, true to its name of being a Food Terminal, has a NFA office nearby, and the scene there is the same like everywhere else. It's ironic to think that our country is bedecked with vast agricultural lands, and yet we're one of the biggest importers of rice in the world. Is something amiss with the system? The government has put millions of pesos into subsidies as a short-term solution to a bigger growing problem, but I doubt if it's helping. A Ninoy bill today, gone tomorrow.

Week after week, we are bombarded by news of oil price hikes and the ineptitude of the government in bringing it down. This weekly rise of oil prices have been blamed for the subsequent inflation of everything Pinoy. In just a span of a few months, I now shell out P10 more on my fare going through and fro the office every day, amounting to about P300 pesos that I could have saved instead in a month. Already, everybody is clamoring for the temporary scrapping of the 12 percent VAT on petroleum products and electricity to bring the prices down. But the government is light-years from giving in, even having the bravado to say that it is the poor who benefits most from these. I have a better-paying job and yet I feel the impact like a leash on my neck slowly being tightened each day. What more for those who are minimum wage earners or don't even have jobs? I get deducted an amount way overboard for taxes every month, and yet I don't know where my money is going. If it's due to the country, I do not mind giving my fair share, but squandering it for the use of a few, I'm at a loss even thinking about that.

Could there still be hope for the country? The recent SONA seemed to be peppered with optimism. Call me a cynic, but I saw it as a made-up speech with hifalutin words especially delivered to those who were at Batasan where this political pep talk was staged, nothing more. And somebody was even hired for the lamest job of counting every applause the president got at every pause she made.
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