Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 SONA: The Report Card

I couldn' resist not watching GMA's 2008 SONA. Maybe it's because I'm predisposed to fairy tales ever since I was a kid. The only difference is that in the kinds that I grew up reading and watching, the good guys won. But that's another story.

So I missed my class to watch the SONA, with a truckload of salt beside me for good measure.

If i were to grade this year's SONA, I would give the follwing marks:
Form: A
Delivery: A
Reflection to Reality: D

I have to give it to GMA and her ghostwriter. The speech was well-written, and GMA delivered it perfectly. If I were a foreigner hearing GMA speak for the first time, I would have had the impression that the Philippines is a burgeoning nation teeming with potential. But that is not the case.

The people are mired in poverty, and are likely to stay that way amidst the rising fuel and commodity prices. The programs are ineffective in providing genuine solutions to our problems. At most, the proposals to the problems are merely band-aid solutions - give the people the impression that the government is actually doing something, only to be forgotten when the hottest issue of the day cools down.

Moreover, the SONA is full of dubious facts that will make you think if you're living in the same country as that being illustrated by GMA so glowingly. 65 million Filipinos covered in health insurance? Really now. Increasing profit of a jeepney operator and a rural folk? Surely, this must be the exception to the rule. I was munching on spoonfuls of salt as I was hearing this.

At best, Gloria was most honest when she declared that VAT will have to stay. It's no surprise really, because she needs VAT as cash cow. After all, if VAT is taken away, where will she get the funds for her band-aid projects?

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