Aquino’s 4th SONA lacked direction—Rep. Romualdez

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LEYTE Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez (first district). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Even though President Benigno Aquino III’s fourth SONA was applauded 88 times, a lawmaker felt that it lacked direction in terms of policymaking.

Despite being roughly an hour and forty minutes long, the President’s speech before the joint session of the 16th Congress still lacked “definition of his policies,” said Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

He said that the SONA seemed to have been meant more for the masses instead of the legislators.

“Usually because we will next tackle the budget, the President gives out his directive (during SONA). The tone of this year’s SONA was for the masses niche instead of being for the House members who have to pass the budget,” he said.

Meanwhile, Buhay Partylist Representative Lito Atienza expressed disappointment that Aquino failed to mention the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam.

The former Manila mayor said he feared an even bigger racket could follow if it was not solved soon.

But Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said that he felt the President’s SONA had been “all encompassing.”

“He didn’t highlight any particular thing but he mentioned a lot of changes in different agencies, problems encountered here and there,” he said.

“At the end of the day he was saying that it can be done,” he added.

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