2014 Pres. Aquino State ofThe Nation Address

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  1. Cossack25A1
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    Cossack25A1 FULL MEMBER

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    Sona 2014: Aquino cites economic gains under his four-year watch

    Read more: Sona 2014: Aquino cites economic gains under his four-year watch | Inquirer News

    MANILA, Philippines — Senators have mixed reactions on President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation address but they were one in saying that the President was right when he made no mention about the plight of the three jailed senators.

    The three were Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., who have been charged with plunder in connection with the “pork barrel” scam. They have been detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

    “The President did not mention the cases of the three because they are in court,” Senate President Franklin Drilon told reporters after Aquino’s speech.

    Senators Nancy Binay and Teofisto Guingona III said Aquino’s Sona was not the right venue to raise the issue of the three.

    “Baka it’s not proper to mention the other senators,” Binay, an opposition member, said in a separate interview.

    Aquino’s ally, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, it was just right that the President made no mention of the three out of respect to the judiciary.

    “I was thinking kasi it’s already with the judiciary, the Sandiganbayan and you know, there’s separation of branches so let the Judiciary branch of government take care of that aspect already,” Guingona said.

    “Huwag na tayong makiaalam masyado because the wheels of justice are already moving,” he added.

    Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, another administration ally, said he was glad that the President did not dwell much on the two controversial issues–the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or the pork barrel funds.

    “Mabuti at hindi nya tinalakay yung mga ibang issue na hindi tinatalakay sa Sona katulad ng DAP, ng PDAF at iba pang mga issue at mga kontrobersya na wala na naman na sigurong lugar sa Sona matapos itong talakayin ng ilang ulit sa iba’t ibang forum,” Escudero said.

    Nevertheless, Escudero and Guingona expressed satisfaction over the issues raised by the President during his one- and-half long speech.

    “Definitely, I’m satisfied with the speech of the President,” Escudero said.

    “Satisfied na satisfied ako,” said Guingona.

    Binay found Aquino’s Sona “full of emotions” but less combative compared to his previous speeches.

    “Compared to his other speeches, ngayon mas malumanay and full of emotions,” she said.

    Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, said he was hoping that the President would mention about the Freedom of Information, which has been passed already by the Senate but still pending at the House of Representatives.

    Despite this, Poe, head of the Senate committee on information, remained optimistic that the proposed measure would still be passed before Aquino steps down from office in 2016.

    “Although the President did not mention the FOI, I am still optimistic that this important measure will be passed under his leadership,” she said in a statement.

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    PNoy highlights DAP benefits, economic gains in fifth SONA

    PNoy highlights DAP benefits, economic gains in fifth SONA | News | GMA News Online

    To rousing applause from Congress members, most of whom are his allies, President Benigno Aquino III on Monday emphasized the benefits from the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the country's economic growth in his fifth State of the Nation Address.

    As in previous years, Aquino started his speech by recalling the problems he inherited from the past administration, which he said left Filipinos in a sorry state.

    "Nalugmok ang Pilipinas dahil sa labis na pamumulitika. Nawalan tayo ng tiwala sa ating bansa," the President said.

    He then cited the benefits of DAP for the scholars of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), saying P1.6 billion went to the Training for Work scholarship program and benefited 223,615 scholars.

    He said 66 percent or 146,731 were already working while the agency helped the remainder look for jobs.

    An audio-visual presentation showed TESDA scholars narrating how they obtained educational support from the controversial spending mechanism, which was declared partially unconstitutional by the Supreme Court (SC).

    "Basta may tamang intensyon at pamamaraan, lahat panalo," said Aquino, indicating that each of the scholars could be contacted for verification by showing a photo of a stack of documents about the beneficiaries piled higher than half the height of an office door.

    SC Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, one of the magistrates who ruled adversely against DAP, was present at the plenary hall during the President's SONA.

    While Aquino was speaking, party-list representatives calling for his impeachment because of the DAP controversy stood up and walked out of the plenary hall.

    Higher taxes, rating

    Aquino also highlighted the investment grade rating obtained by the country from the ratings agencies Moody's, Fitch, and S&P last year, which he attributed to his government's fiscal management.

    He said tax collection increased from P1.094 trillion in 2010, when he assumed office, to P1.536 trillion last year due to improved revenue collection efforts.

    "Ngayong nadagdagan ang kakayahan natin, sinusubukan nating hindi na manumbalik sa poverty line ang mga nakaalpas na," said Aquino, whose economic reforms have been criticized for failing to keep up with job creation despite higher growth.

    He said foreign investors were taking note of the government's reforms, including the payment of P40 billion in debt.

    Aquino added that the government had doubled its budget for infrastructure from P200 billion in 2011 to P404.3 billion this year.

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    PNoy assures soldiers: AFP modernization still a priority

    PNoy assures soldiers: AFP modernization still a priority | News | GMA News Online

    President Benigno Aquino III on Friday assured the country's soldiers that the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) remains one of his administration's priorities.

    "Hindi pa rin po nagbabago ang posisyon ko ukol dito: Sang-ayon ako sa malawakang modernisasyon ng kasundaluhan," Aquino said in his speech during the 24th National Convention of the School for Reserve Commission and the AFP Officer Candidate School Alumni Association Inc. at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.

    Aquino made the assurance after some members of the AFP reportedly expressed concern about his statement during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) last Monday regarding the changes he wanted on the military's procurement process.

    But on Friday, Aquino explained the government must balance the budget for education, health, and jobs, among others.

    "Tungkulin nating balansehin ang paglalagakan ng bawat pondo at lakas ng estado, habang nakikipagkapit-bisig tayo sa mga karatig-bansa para sa estabilidad ng rehiyon," said Aquino, the country's commander-in-chief.

    But he said that in almost a decade before he assumed the presidency, only P26.27 billion went to the AFP's modernization.

    This he said was far from the P27.62 billion which his administration has released for the same within just three years.

    He also said he already signed the revised AFP Modernization Act, which allocates P75 billion during the first five years of the program.

    He likewise mentioned the purchase of the Philippine Navy's second Hamilton-class warship.

    Benefits

    But more than new weaponry, the President said the soldiers can also be assured of benefits.

    "Minsan, hindi ko nga po maintindihan kung saan hinuhugot ng ilang kritiko ang paniniwala nilang pinapabayaan daw natin ang ating mga sundalo. Sinasadya lang siguro nilang magbulag-bulagan sa mga inisyatiba natin para sa modernisasyon ng inyong hanay," he said.

    For one, Aquino said soldiers can be assured of housing after their service as provided by the AFP/PNP housing program.

    He said 21,800 housing units have already been awarded to police and soldiers while phase two of the program will give 31,200 more.

    Aquino said they will also build plantations in Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Camp Kibaritan in Bukidnon, and Camp Peralta in Capiz so that soldiers can have additional income.

    "Hindi pa rin po nagbabago ang ating paninindigan: Habang kinakalinga ninyo ang kaligtasan ng mga Pilipino, hinding-hindi kayo pababayaan ng gobyerno," he said.

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    Why Aquino no longer discussed dispute with China in his SONA

    Why Aquino no longer discussed dispute with China in his SONA | News | GMA News Online

    President Benigno Aquino III no longer discussed the Philppines' territorial issues with China in his State of the Nation Address because the government already has adequate support on the matter, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

    In a statement, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the government considered the level of public awareness on the West Philippine Sea dispute already adequate.

    "The President may have felt there is sufficient public awareness on the West Philippine Sea issue, as well as an adequate level of support from the people," Coloma said on Tuesday afternoon in response to reporters' queries.

    He added that the Philippine government's decision to push for an international arbitration on its territorial row with China already has adequate endorsements from leading countries.

    When he addressed Congress on Monday, Aquino did not make any reference to the territorial dispute with China. He mostly focused on enumerating his administration's gains in the economy, aviation and infrastructure. [PNoy highlights DAP benefits, economic gains in fifth SONA | News | GMA News Online

    In his SONA last year, Aquino mentioned building a "minimum credible defense" for the military. In 2011, the President made a strong statement on defending Philippine territory, saying that "what is ours is ours."

    For the past years, China and the Philippines have been engaged in a territorial dispute over resource-rich parts of the South China Sea, which Manila calls the "West Philippine Sea."

    The Philippines claims that the West Philippine Sea is part of its exclusive economic zone under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

    China, meanwhile, is asserting its historical claim over the area through the so-called "nine-dash line."

    The Philippines has already brought its territorial dispute with China before the Netherlands-based Permanent Court of Arbitration. Beijing, however, has rejected the arbitration proceedings, repeatedly insisting on bilateral talks to settle to issue.

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    My simple take on this? Two wrongs don't make a right. What is illegal is illegal.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2014
  2. madokafc
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    madokafc SENIOR MEMBER

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    Your country need a reform, seriously a fundamentals one. Your People power has been hijacked for so long.
  3. Cossack25A1
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    Cossack25A1 FULL MEMBER

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    Yup it needs reform, from the constitution down to economy but our current president don't want such reforms because of the oligarchy that he belongs to - the oligarchs fear fully opening the country to foreign investors because the local industry the oligarchs created will not survive the competition once foreign investors create their own here with better services and better pay.
  4. Nihonjin1051
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    A remnant of the old Spanish Imperial system, I presume? Whatever the case, my most auspicious well wishes to the Republic of the Philippines. Here is to a greater relationship between our two countries.
  5. Cossack25A1
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    Cossack25A1 FULL MEMBER

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    Yup, though it was later re-enforced by Americans by having the "elites" in the country to run the country though currently, the most powerful and wealthy people here in the Philippines are of Chinese descent... the ones who are against removing the economic restriction.

    Well, Japan and Philippines have a good relations with one another. :)
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  6. Nihonjin1051
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    Forgive me if i have spelling mistakes in this, my friend:

    Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at sa lahat ang Pilipino !

    Sa isang amigong Hapon.
    ;)
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  7. Cossack25A1
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    Cossack25A1 FULL MEMBER

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    It is correct. :)

    Anyways, Salamat! :)
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  8. Nihonjin1051
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    Ha ha, i still remember my Tagalog and some broken Visaya.

    Back to the post: I did read sometime before about the Napoles case in the Philippines and the pork barrel scam. Was there restitution ? Any updates on that? That was playing in Nihon News a while back, but whatever the case, looks like the Philippines is really trying to tackle this corruption issue. Keep it up.
  9. Cossack25A1
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    Cossack25A1 FULL MEMBER

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    I don't expect anything on that case, Aquino proved that he is resorting to selective justice because that pork barrel case has everyone in the government liable and Aquino only investigates on the events that happened before his term despite that the Napoles issue occurred under Aquino's first three years. As for the tackling the corruption issue, it would have been a first step in stamping out corruption however, there is an issue that Aquino paid several senators to impeach and oust a chief justice. Many Filipinos suspect it has something to do with the controversial large plantation Aquino and his family currently "owns."
  10. Nihonjin1051
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    Very interesting!
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  11. eazzy
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    eazzy FULL MEMBER

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    Philippines is doing good economically it seems. More than 7% in 2013 I think, that's impressive.
  12. Nihonjin1051
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  13. madokafc
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    madokafc SENIOR MEMBER

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    If i am not mistaken, those economic growth owing largely to the contribution of overseas Philippine worker, their local industry is hardly growth because the chronic of corruption, lack of infrastructure to support industrial growth, the lacks of comprehensive regulation to protect investment and security concern.
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  14. Cossack25A1
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    Cossack25A1 FULL MEMBER

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    Most of this are true, with emphasis on corruption but when it comes to protect investments, well we have a restrictive policy on everything that should be relaxed to allow foreign investors to come here in the Philippines; other ASEAN has also restriction but I think in some fields only unlike the Philippines, forcing the Filipinos to look for jobs outside the country. (This doesn't include the domestic helpers/maids)

    It is only statistics. Restrictive policies and corruption are reason why the Philippines lags behind and abandon all hope for the latter, corruption issues will never be solved here in the Philippines as the politicians are too corrupt and the masses which are kept in poverty will keep believing their lies.

    This should at least make consideration in relaxing the economic restrictions, some politicians are already calling for such changes. We should reduce reliance on BPO-type jobs as there are too many of them here and the manufacturing sector doesn't get much attention.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
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  15. Pinoy
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    Pinoy FULL MEMBER

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    We really need to abolish the 60/40 equity restrictions from the 1987 Constitution against foreign individuals or corporations who wishes to set-up their businesses anywhere in the country and allow them to invest 100% from their own capital and own it what they invested in order to lure more foreign investors to invest and stay in our country that will provide jobs to millions of unemployed Filipinos at home as much as possible without constitutional barriers. Those who would like to say that if we allow foreigners to own 100% of businesses they invested or owning a piece of land, we will become foreigners in our own land is just a fear mongering tactic by coward oligarchs, freeloading leftists and ultra nationalists elements in our country.
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