P-Noy then recounted some of the administration’s triumphs. Just this June, he said self-rated hunger went down 5.4 percent (from 20.5 to 15.1) from March, evidence that the government’s continuous efforts are paying off. Among other successes he mentioned were saving tax payers P23 billion in the first four months of the year, increasing energy investors from 35 companies in 2006 to 140 this year, cutting rice shortage in half from 1.3 million to 660,00 metric tons in just a year, and generating 1.4 million jobs in 2010.
As part of his 53-minute speech, P-Noy also reiterated the Aquino administration’s dedication to holding the corrupt accountable for their wrongdoings, saying that he does take the fight against corruption personally, as should every Filipino. In this vein, he appointed former Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales as the new Ombudsman and promised an “honest-to-goodness anti-corruption office, not one that condones the corruption and abuses in government.”
“What is wrong remains wrong, regardless of how long it has been allowed to persist," he is also quoted as saying. "We cannot simply let it pass. If we ignore the crimes of the past, they will continue to haunt us. And if we do not hold people accountable, then they will do it again and again.”
One of the erring sectors was the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which allegedly spent P1 billion just for coffee, according to P-Noy. “Sa isang daang piso na lang po kada tasa, lalabas na nakakonsumo sila ng 10 milyong tasa (If each cup cost P100, they would have consumed 10 million cups of coffee),” he is quoted as saying. “Baka po kahit ngayong iba na ang pamunuan ng PAGCOR ay dilat na dilat pa rin ang mga mata ng mga umiinom ng kapeng ito. Hanapin nga po natin sila at itatanong ko: ‘Nakakatulog pa po ba kayo?’ (Even if Pagcor’s management has already changed, perhaps we can still find those who drank this coffee and ask them, ‘Are you still able to sleep?’)”
He ended the SONA by encouraging Filipinos to put a stop to negativism and crab mentality. “Let us make the effort to recognize the good that is being done. If you see something right, do not think twice—praise it,” he is quoted as saying on Inquirer.net.
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)