The President of the Republic of the Philippines delivered the State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 22, 2013. The SONA is for the mid-term as 3 years have passed since the current president was elected into office. The address was most awaited by a lot of groups. These include allies of the administration and those who have been critical of the administration. For the latter group, they would have been interested to see/hear what the SONA will report on for what seemed to them was a slow pace in the introduction and execution of reforms as well as the slow implementation of programs and projects including those regarding transport infrastructure. Of course, there is not a short supply of sycophants in Congress as in the past administrations, who would easily clap their hands at the slightest hint of accomplishment that is mentioned in the SONA. I pity their constituents who are responsible for voting them into office.
While the speech mentions a lot of gains in all fronts of the so-called war against corruption following the administration’s policy for “matuwid na daan” (straight path), the details or information most useful for people dealing with policy and technical assessments are found in the SONA Technical Report. This report is supposed to have been written based on the inputs provided by government agencies and is a more comprehensive, if not the most comprehensive, material documenting what has been accomplished so far. More importantly, it is supposed to contain material on what the administration looks forward to seeing through until the end of its term in 2016. There is the opinion that it would have been better if the report and the speech followed an outline similar to the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP 2011-2016) so that the reported accomplishments can be placed side by side with what the administration set out to do at the start of its term. Then, it would be possible to gauge clearly where we are and if indeed we are heading towards achieving our targets by 2016.
The transcript and video of the 2013 State of the Nation Address may be found in the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. That link is for the speech delivered in Filipino and a translation in English may be found through a link right after the end of the transcript. Similarly, there is a link SONA 2013 Technical Report found after the link to the translation.