Monday, July 27, 2009

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at 4:00 pm on this day, July 27, 2009 has given her State of the Nation Address in joint session lead by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and was attended by 270 members of House of Representatives. What is SONA? It is a short term for State of the Nation Address, a speech given by the president of the Philippines about the achievements and things do in the future by the president for the country and its people.

This is the 9th time and the last time President Arroyo had her speech. Meaning, this is also the ninth time that the people have heard and seen her in the congress stating “things”. Ok, So, how many years it is since she became the head of this country? Since her first SONA last 2001? How many times did she promised that Filipino people shall experience better lives on this country? Ninth time it is.

After so many years under the Arroyo administration, Philippines is still the same, maybe, even worse. After she got the position from former President Estrada through People Power, she promised a better life for the Filipino people but still, nothing happened. After numerous controversies, the “Hello Garci” Scandal and the ZTE deal and so on, she still reigns. Well, she deserves a pat in the pack for surviving.

Now, she discussed at her last SONA, “At the end of this speech I shall step down from this stage…but not from the Presidency. There is much to do as head of state–to the very last day... I did not become President to be popular. To work, to lead, to protect and preserve our country, our people that is why I became President” She was threatened by the anti-Arroyo government groups of another People Power for her to step down but she never did. She is still standing tall (not literally). She became a President to lead and to protect. What does a leader mean for her? What does protection mean to her? Does she mean countless people who are homeless? Does she mean numerous people that are suffering from poverty? Does she mean unsolved crimes and injustices? Come on.

So, what did she boasted this time around? Well, President Arroyo said that, in her term, the Philippine economy saw an exceptional average growth rate, multiple increases in investments, biggest job creation in history, and lowest overall debt as a ratio of the domestic economy. Ok, so, here she is again with her biggest job creation. Why then, that many Filipinos still work abroad? OFW says that they see bigger opportunities outside and a bigger chance of improving their lifestyle. How about in our country then? Does the BIGGEST JOB CREATION IN HISTORY enough for the Filipino people? Clearly, NO. She often brag about the boost on the country’s economy but people are still suffering. President Gloria had a promised a better life for the Filipino people but Filipinos just cannot see and feel that their lives are getting any better.

So where does it all lead us then? A few months from now, she is supposed to step down from her position and let somebody else lead. Where is the better life for Filipino people? Is there still a hope that President Arroyo can get us there? Because for me, I can’t see any hope for her. SONA or none, the problems are still there, countless of them. Right now, I just can’t see the purpose of this speech because when it really comes down to it, they are just words.

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