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By Rey Anthony Chiu
The Philippine Information Agency

Diverse reactions popped after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo delivered her State of the Nation Address (SONA) and urged Congressional support to achieve what she envisions as a country with the hallmarks of the modern society in the next years.

The most vocal militant groups Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) and its youth party ally Kabataan still hammered on a sorry SONA of poverty Monday.

As television and radio stations broadcasted the President’s SONA in time to inaugurate a new Congress, Bayan and Kabataan Bohol used a mounted public address rather than mobilize a rally and rounded the city’s main thoroughfares to further insist that the indication of a good economy is poverty alleviation for every ordinary citizen.

When the President lavished in the credits of reining a strong economy with the aid of the past Congress, the militant groups said the ordinary Filipino has not felt progress.

SONA


Drum beating of a P1.7 trillion public investment program, Mrs. Arroyo, who cited putting up the paying off fundamentals in investments said she is for more into information technology support to prop up business e-services and get into the aim of $12B earnings from 1M workers in the industry in 2010.

As if knowing the militant groups’ clamor for education, she talked about P150B investment this year, P29B more than last year, which funds scholarships, infrastructure, salaries and vocational training to strengthen capacities of teachers and students for globally competitive graduates.

As to the questioned social services prioritization, she said she is asking Congress to pass the cheaper medicines bill, which she thinks would complement the provision of affordable health services.

She also said the government is putting up P3B in indigent hospitalization through Philhealth, P50B for socialized housing and still more for senior citizens’ privileges.

The P1.7 Trillion medium term public investment program, she said would be funded by about P1Trillion from state revenues, P300B from state corporations and the balance from government financial institutions, private sector investments, local government equity and bilateral or multilateral partners.
Reactions

Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Joseph Norris Oculam said the SONA was ambitious but if she can deliver even half of what she said, then we are better off.

While admitting he is still pro-government, Oculam was referring to a failed attempt to hit the target deficit and the target revenues.

According to Tripartite Industrial Peace Council representative Loreto Palapos, he still is an incurable optimist and would believe that the President is bent to leave a lasting legacy to the country in her last years.

Staunch critic and Boholano lawyer Victor dela Serna continued his ranting against the Arroyo Administration, during a media Forum Thursday at the Island City Mall. As usual, he also failed to offer succinct solutions to all his perceived government maladies.

Sorry SONA

“We already knew that the SONA would boast of the rising value of the peso, strengthening foreign investments, high Gross Domestic product, seemingly more jobs, the enactment of more laws favoring the foreign investments,” they stated in a leaflet dated July 23.

Instead of crediting the Arroyo reforms for the turn-around however, both groups argued that the strengthened peso was caused not by other factors but by opening up the nation’s resources to foreign capital, privatization of power utilities, water, hospitals and those investments favoring foreign interests.

Using their accusations of lowering the poverty bar to lessen the number of national destitution, Bayan and Kabataan said the government’s anti-labor policies, restrictive commercialized education, agricultural liberalization, rising costs of basic commodities would result in smaller fund sources for social services while assuring 34% for foreign debt payments and from 20-40% funds wasted on the worsening corruption.
Post SONA impressions from solons

Meanwhile, asked on his comments about the SONA, opposition Congressman Roilo Golez of Paranaque City said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's development targets and strategies to sustain the country's progress even beyond her term is doable.

These are very modest targets and if Congress, Malacanang and the Cabinet can work together we can achieve a lot of these things and make it really easy for the new President by 2010 to take over," Golez said.

Citing his observation on the President’s inclination to work with Congress, he said “This augurs well for a very good working relationship between Malacanang, the President and Congress including members of the minority.”

With that, he said the minority is prepared to have a very good working relationship with Malacanang and with the majority. I think we can assure the public on that," Golez said.

Golez said the President made very good objectives   such as the call for legislations for the provision of cheaper medicines, electoral reforms, harsher penalties for political killings and rogue members of the military and police, and amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 which, he said, is crucial to accelerate the modernization of the energy sector.

On the other hand, Sen. Manuel A. Roxas also said that opposition senators would support legislations being pushed by the administration as long as it would benefit the general public.

"We will not be obstructionists as long as it is for the good of the people," Roxas said.

At this, former First Lady Imelda Marcos said she is very optimistic on the country's future as she called on everyone to unite and work for the good of the nation.

"For the sake of the Filipino people, let us all get united so that we will have progress for this country," Mrs. Marcos said. (rachiu/PIA)



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"e-services"

Mura ug piskay kini paminawon nga gi gahinan ug mako' nga luna ang ‘e-services’ sa SONA, ilabi na alang kanimo Mike, kay subay man kini ‘e-services’ sa imong kinaadman ug pagpaningpalad. Manghina-ut ako nga mapatuman kini sa atong pangagamhanan pinaagi sa patas nga paagi ug walay pinalabi.

Apan sa laing bahin, angay usab kita nga magpakabana, kay ang ‘e-business’ bag-o pa lamang. Hanap pa ang mga pamaagi ug dili pa hipno ang dagan niini. Hinumdumi nga dili pa dugay, nahiaguman niini ang pagka-hagsa, kadtong gi tawag sa iningles ug ‘Bubble burst’.

Tungod kay kini usa ka makabag-o ‘high-tech’ nga butang ug pipila lamang kanatong mga Pilipino ang may kinaadman kabahin niini, nabalaka ako nga kini mamahimog usa ka ganghaan sa pangurakot. O dili ba mamahimo kining kapasanginlan ‘escape-goat’ sa atong pangagamhanan kung pananglit may mahitabo nga pagka-kulang sa pondo (kwarta).

Nan karon, kinahanglan kanato ang pagpakabana ug angay lang nga magbaton kita ug pag duda, aron dili kita mahulog sa laang. Atong awhagon ang mga hanas, ingon sa atong igsoon nga si Mike, aron mo lantaw ug aron ilang isumbong sa katawhan kung pananglit naay mga pagpanglupig (lajo ra sa lawd) – Daghang salamat.

Nagpadayag lamang sa kaugalingon nga panglantaw….
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