A pre-analysis of the likely BS in PNoy’s 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA)

The next presidential State of the Nation Address (SONA) to be delivered to joint sessions of Philippine Congress next week is likely to have ‘BS’ written all over it. That’s because the 2012 SONA is, in fact, a speech that will be delivered by Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III.

Like any speech that aims to appraise people on the status of something you’ve supposedly been on top of, President BS Aquino needs his SONA to be heavy on achievement. So the obvious question is this this:

What “achievements” are likely to be reported by President BS?

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Here are the likely candidates:

(1) President BS Aquino will claim to have made good on his promise to end Philippine corruption on the back of the impeachment of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona he had engineered. This is President BS Aquino’s crowning achievement — an initiative began with the monumental tantrum he threw when, as President-elect in 2010, he first came to the realisation that he might be sworn in by Corona as President. Yes. Chalk one up to President BS Aquino here. The country now has one less allegedly “corrupt” government official.

(2) President BS Aquino will claim to have kissed and made up with China after thanking them for partly funding the Angat aqueduct improvement project. According to a “report” issued by Malacañang news outlet Rappler.com, “the economic ties between Philippines and China were in full display” during this momentous occassion in Bulacan on Tuesday, the 17th of July 2012.

While he is at it, President BS Aquino may as well thank China for not shooting its missiles at the Philippine Navy. The Philippines, is currently on the losing end of a diplomatic and military spat with China over the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal. Despite its enormous population of 100 million, its serpentine archipelagic coastline, and its vast territorial waters, the Philippines can only throw a pathetic “arsenal” of vintage warships, foul language, and colourful fantasy posters at its naval nemeses.

(3) President BS Aquino will claim to have presided over unprecedent economic prosperity. Much of what contributes to the way the economy is behaving today and over the last couple of years is an outcome of measures and fundamentals put in place over the last decade and a half. The two pillars of the Philippine economy — the remittances of overseas foreign workers and outsourced low-added-value work — had both been a decade or two (several, in the case of the earlier) in the making. Yet by some bizarre coincidence, supposedly “respectable” media outlets have made it look like these are recent developments, implying that they were developments that came together under the watch of President BS Aquino’s administration.

Businessweek, for one, “talked up the country’s fortunes” by “reporting” that the Philippines is a country to “keep an eye on” — a distinction earned “under the leadership of Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino III”.

Then, more recently, comes CNN packaging old news (how the country is propped up by OFWs, BPOs, and call centers) as if it were new news then goes on to “report”…

Economists also credit President Benigno Aquino for his efforts to push back corruption and undertake infrastructure projects.

“You can see evidence of construction activity in Manila,” Teather said. “You can see cranes on the horizon. You can see new roads have been put in place.”

* * *

Bottomline is quite simple. Show us some measureable outcomes Mister President.

A while back in my seminal article Facts and figures: President Noynoy Aquino’s promises by the numbers I came up with some baseline metrics around three key success factors that describe the fundamental health of Philippine society. Here are the numbers baselined as of July 2011:

(1) Corruption: CPI of 2.4 at end of year 2010
(2) Human Development: HDI of 0.64 at end of year 2010
(3) OFW remittances: 12% of GDP for 2008

And the challenge for any government that presumes to preside over real change is really quite simple:

(a) Come up with target figures for each of the above metrics (i.e., aim to increase the first two points and reduce the third one)

(b) Grow the cojones to measure and evaluate itself along these lines

Did President BS Aquino effect real change using this simple but powerful measurement approach? Will his SONA be one that will address these simple imperatives to the point? What are the equivalent figures for each of the above key success factors for 2012?

If we cannot expect the above questions to be answered convincingly next week, then the President of the Philippines will be wasting our time yet again, the same way he wasted the democratic process back in 2009 by running on a platform thin on substance and thick on appeal to idiocy.

As President BS Aquino’s former teacher reminds him, it’s the economy, student.

9 Replies to “A pre-analysis of the likely BS in PNoy’s 2012 State of the Nation Address (SONA)”

  1. Thats true, the president fights corruption by kicking Coronas ass out of the supreme court. With that justice had been served to Filipinos and say no to corruption again. And the economy is going up again, unlike during Glorias term, the economy went to a sinkhole.

    1. You know Kris, I may not know much but I do know your Kuya was in Congress and in the Senate before he became president. Which brings up 3 options:

      1) He was a corrupt Congressman/ Senator

      2) He was a clean Congressman/ Senator but too much of a pussy to do anything about corruption

      3) He spent too much of his term sleeping to even see any kind of corruption.

      Now go run to your kuya Kris.

    2. LIES. 😛

      Just accept the fact that you go EMO over PGMA, claiming she stole millions of YOUR money when she also was an efficient leader that kept the Philippines economy afloat, invested on its economic side and did what she could to keep the government from going astray as she wasn’t going to get any legitimacy as the transitional leader after Estrada. So in this system, she had to what she can to gain allies, even if it meant throwing money at them.

      The 7.4% GDP increase is a proof of it. 🙂

    1. Wonder what happened to Butch Abad’s push for a parliamentary system? That should have been pushed right now that he’s back in power. This core group seems more like a sycophant group now.

    2. Kris, leadership style of your Kuya is PS3 over XBOX 360. The Rappler group I understand are big fans of GRP. On the website and on Twitter. One more thing Fishtroll. You are here again. Did you draw the short straw in Malacanang? You and Jaks and Jeks and Sanjo and Jonas are all “officemates ” and your beat or territory is GRP. We are your office.

  2. I also expect this current admin to trumpet the stopping of Arroyo-era projects, like the dredging project in Laguna De Bay by a Belgian company, just because of SUSPICIONS of corruption. And this is supposed to be an achievement. It’s almost as if stopping progress is an achievement.

    PPP and CCT are also sure to be trumpeted, but these have been questioned in so many circles, since the corruption in them is much more apparent than in the Arroyo-era projects. But hell, the current admin will deny them anyway.

  3. I’m tired of listening to SONAs from different Presidents When I was in the elementary, I believed all the speeches of Presidents, delivering SONAs…all portrayed: Illussions of Prosperity. Fight against corrupt officials. And better living conditions for the poor. I’ve grown up: nothing changed. The more things changed, the more they remain the same. Noynoy Aquino’s SONA will be : Illusion of Prosperity; to shore up his Delusion of Progress of the country. Justifying his awards of honorary PhDs, from foreign universities. We expect to be deluded and to be deceived, again.

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