SONA (Pt. II)

The ideal that I set out for the nation is for a proactive, honest and benevolent Government, an educated and productive workforce, a responsive judicial system, an enlightened legislature, and a competitive and creative private sector. It is this combination that will produce a quantum change in our well-being.

Our Government has become a monster that is bloated and unresponsive to people’s needs. This I will change. I aim to streamline the bureaucracy through natural attrition and redundancies; and reinvest the savings in technology, continuing education and better salaries. My goal is to restore nobility to civil service.

Our economic plan will emphasize sustainable development, food security and rural progress, tourism, small businesses, and manpower services either in overseas work or business process outsourcing. Government will put together the physical, security and legal infrastructure that will make these possible.

We aim to attain investment grade status within the next two years and a budget surplus within the next five. This will allow us to start trimming our burdensome national debt now over P250,000 for every Filipino. By the end of my term my goal is for our per capita income to approximate that of our most progressive Asian neighbors.

I have called for an Economic Summit that will detail our economic future.

As we embark on the next leg of our journey let me leave you with a message that is at the heart of all that I believe to be true.

Today I have set forth a vision for this country that I trust will fulfill the expectations that we all have for a better tomorrow.

Yet our best laid plans will be wasted unless and until there is a change in our values as a nation, unless we all come together as a people with one zeal and common purpose.

My message today is for a call to arms.

To my colleagues in Government, let us give real meaning to the concept of public service. Let us restore the trust of the people in who we are, not a den of corruption and arrogance, but a caring organization dedicated to the national good.

To the Legislature, please draft laws that will enhance the opportunities, security and well-being of the people.

To the Judiciary, please restore the faith of the nation in our justice system. You are the last bastion of the aggrieved and downtrodden.

To those in Opposition, let us agree to disagree but surrender our differences to the greater good.

To businessmen and the wealthy, I ask you to increase your share of nation building in more reflective taxes, corporate responsibility and good jobs at good wages.

To the people of this beloved nation of ours, let us live in respect and care for each other, rekindle the spirit of Bayanihan, in the knowledge that we are brothers under one sun, all children of the Almighty.

The task before us is long and arduous, one that will not be completed in my term nor possibly my lifetime. Yet it is one that I know to be true and to be worthwhile.

It is true because that is who we are or can be, a compassionate and hard working people. It is worthwhile because on it depends the future of our children.

At times we will falter but we must persevere knowing that we are united in a singular endeavor. With industry, spirit, imagination and goodwill and with God as our light, we will succeed.

It is said there is no stronger force than an idea whose time has come. I suggest the Filipino idea has come, the notion first expressed in EDSA that it is possible for a community to gather as one, dedicated to a single proposition.

As we move forward as one Filipino, as one nation with one heritage and one destiny, let us understand that only in unison and mutual reverence for the humanity that rests in each of us can we become the Republic that we know we can be, greater than we are.

God bless you and this country of ours.

I love you all.

Mabuhay Ang Filipino.

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About Leo Alejandrino

The blog is principally a commentary on Philippine politics and economics.
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