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Aquino to tackle Philippines’ future in SONA 2011—communications’ group exec

Presidential Undersecretary Manolo Quezon gives a preview of what to expect in the 2nd SONA of President Benigno S. Aquino’s III on Monday, on 990AM. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Cathy Miranda

MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III will sketch, “in bold strokes”, the country’s future direction in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday.

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He will also throw in an appeal to all Filipinos to “think positively.”

In an interview with 990AM, Undersecretary Manolo Quezon III, acknowledged that the President’s first SONA last year was short, to the point, and more calculated to “set the new moral tone in our nation’s governance,” than anything else.

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“The President had just been over a month in office at the first SONA,” Quezon pointed out. “His report to the nation, at the time, only dealt with what his government had unearthed from various documents about the previous administration, and how much was left in the country’s coffers.”

“Now after a year in office, he will report on where we should, and will be going. He has enough confidence now, based on what he has seen so far,” he said.

Quezon noted, however, that the President’s style is anchored on “lots of data”, since he wants his message to be “very clear” to his target audience, “hindi puro palabok (“not all trimmings”).”

“Of course, since he wants to connect with the Filipino people, he will be speaking in Filipino, and his speech will be short, as his usual style,” Quezon said.

To manage expectations, Aquino intends to tackle issues “in concrete terms”, Quezon added.

“This basically means he will delve into what we have discovered after a year in office, what we have done about it, what we will do now to correct these, and where all this is going. The President thinks this is what the Filipino people are precisely expecting from his SONA,” he said.

Quezon quickly explained that the President has always been articulate about where he felt the country’s future directions lay. “But he is well aware that the platform offered by the SONA presents an excellent opportunity to reach his targeted audience,” he said.

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“The President wants his messages to be crystal clear to the Senate and Congress, so they can enact the right legislation; to the various regions of the country, since Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon have different needs; to the diplomatic corps, so they can convey to their respective governments the country’s foreign relations posture; and to investors and the private sector, including economic rating agencies like Fitch and Moody’s,” Quezon said.

He said the President would also like to call on all Filipinos to “think positively.”

“I think this is something the President will want to emphasize very strongly in his SONA: why are we so negative? Why, when we face a problem, people are quick to say, you can’t do it…nothing will happen…this is his biggest frustration as President,” Quezon revealed.

Quezon promised that this Monday’s SONA would not be “all good news.”

“A SONA, or any speech for that matter, is ineffective if it’s all good news,” he pointed out. “We all pass through challenges, and the President intends to highlight these.”

“At the end of the day, President Aquino will talk to the Filipino people using simple common sense, even for complicated subjects like the budget,” he said.

“And he will speak in Filipino because that is they language they understand, and the President knows this very well,” he said.

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TAGS: Business, Economy, governance, Government, Manolo Quezon III, Philippines, Politics, Positive thinking, President Benigno S. Aquino III, SONA 2011, State of the Nation Address
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