It has become a tradition that teachers in high schools and colleges give their students an assignment—to make a 1,520 sitios have been provided with electricity within 90 days. reaction paper—on the President’s State of the Nation Address. When he assumed office, 45% of policemen had no guns; 74,600 new guns to be added for the police force. We are pleased to provide the salient points or the highlights of the 2012 SONA speech of President Benigno Aquino III On the AFP modernization: Hi-tech and better quality patrol and war delivered at the Batasang Pambansa on July 23, 2012. ships; new helicopters, radio and communication equipment, These were supplied online by reliable and credible sources; netizens in social networking sites Facebook and Twitter, frigates, light aircraft will be acquired. websites, blogs, and other online fora; but majority of the inputs come from this author. VTRs of housing and Conditional Cash Tranfer (CCT) beneficiaries President Aquino started to deliver his report to the nation at shown during the SONA. 4:04 pm. No more cash advances allowed in government agencies. Highlights and salient points of the SONA: Voters list cleaned up; no more ghosts voters; officer-in-charge President Aquino mentioned perks for GOCCs, PAGCOR ‘coffee Governor Mujiv Hataman commended for reforms in the scam’, and secondhand helicopters sold to PNP as brand-new. Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Aquino cited economic achievements, including the $1 billion DOST/PAGASA’s Project NOAH cited, disaster preparedness in the loan the Philippines granted to the International Monetary Fund(IMF). country has improved. Free education - 4.57 million students who could not go to school By 2013, 600 rain gauges and 422 water level sensors will before due to poverty are now able to study. beinstalled at 18 main river basins. 85% of Filipinos are now Philhealth members. 1.5 million hectares of trees to be planted by 2016. Government expanding health services; PhilHealth extends Executive Order on mining cited. coverage to cancer and leukemia patients. Illegal loggers warned: “Kayong mga isinusugal ang buhay ng kapwa More than 30,000 nurses deployed to over 36,000 barangays. Pilipino: maghanda na kayo. Tapos na ang maliligayang araw ninyo.” DOST Secretary Mario Montejo and DOH Secretary Enrique Ona Pres. Aquino assures government workers of provision of benefits; lauded for the success of mosquito traps in bringing down the unveils ‘performance based incentives’ for state workers. number of dengue cases in the country. Bonus of goverment workers this year will be based on achieved Congress urged to to pass sin tax reform bill to raise taxes on targets. cigarettes and liquor. Old-age and disability pensioners will receive at least P5,000 per Backlog of over 2 million chairs to be addressed by 2012; backlog of month. over 66,000 classrooms to be addressed by 2013. Progress will continue with fairness, consistency in governance. The president received applause, standing ovation upon mentionof Territorial dispute with China particularly in the West Philippine Sea responsible parenthood bill (or RH Bill). mentioned. State universities and colleges will get a 43.61% budget increasein Aquino said Philippines will protect and uphold its national 2013. sovereignty and territorial authority. TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva commended for reforms and “Forgive and forget ang lahat ng atraso ng mga naglubog sa atin sa effective implementation of technical education scholarshipsand bulok na estado? Ang magpatawad, maaari; ang makalimot, hindi.” other vital programs. PNoy also mentioned the filing of plunder charges against former- Inherited 8% unemployment rate has reduced to 6.9%. president Gloria Arroyo, the impeachment of Renato Corona as During Aquino’s term, 3.1 million jobs were created. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the search for the latter’s Construction of Bohol airport in Panglao, Legaspi airport in Daraga, replacement. and Laguindingan airport in Misamis Oriental in 2016 mentioned. Pres. Aquino likewise lauded Ombudsman Conchita Carpio- LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension Project has started in June 2012. Morales for fighting graft. NAIA-3 structural defects to be addressed. PNoy called on Congress to pass amendments to the Anti- SLEX-NLEX connector to be completed by 2015. Money Laundering Act (AMLA). Better implementation of bidding process at DPWH cited; President Aquino tackled electoral reforms for the 2013 infrastructure being improved without raising taxes. polls. Target of 4.6 million tourists for 2012 set. Aquino: Filipinos made change possible; change comes from DOT’s “It’s More Fun In The Philippines” tourism campaign lauded. the citizenry. The SONA and joint session of the Senate and House of Pres. Aquino hopes that country can export rice in 2013. Representatives ended at 5:30 pm. Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program cited.