Palace: Aquino’s last Sona a 5-year performance report
Expect President Aquino to deliver a “comprehensive report” to the country on July 27 in his final State of the Nation Address (Sona) before a joint session of Congress, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
The President will “affirm how he has lived up to the promises he made in his platform of government when he filed his certificate of candidacy (on Nov. 28, 2009),” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said in a news briefing.
To Palace reporters, Coloma noted that Aquino had “consistently earned high levels of approval and trust by dint of his personal integrity.”
“For the past five years, the average GDP (gross domestic product) growth of 6.3 percent has been the highest attained by the country in the past four decades. This is the fastest growth rate of any nation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region and the second-fastest in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.
Coloma, also head of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, or PCOO, said that “government spending has been aligned with the foremost national development objective of achieving inclusive growth.”
“From only 800,000 families, there are now more than 4.4 million families that directly benefit from conditional cash transfers that are part of an expanded social safety net and social protection program. The largest portion of the current national budget (37 percent) is allocated for social development and poverty reduction,” he said.
The PCOO chief also said the number of overseas Filipino workers had declined from 10 million to 8.4 million, while domestic job creation had been sustained, resulting in a reduction of the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent in January.
Reformed and strengthened
During Aquino’s term, “public institutions have been reformed and strengthened” with the establishment of a governance commission for government-owned and -controlled corporations, or GOCCs.
“Total dividends from GOCCs from 2011 to 2015 exceeded P131 billion compared to P84 billion remitted in the preceding nine-year period,” Coloma said.
The administration also “delivered substantially on its promise to oversee the transformation from justice that money and connections can buy to a truly impartial system of institutions that deliver equal justice to rich or poor,” he said.
“The nation also witnessed the impeachment trial in the Senate and the conviction of a Supreme Court chief justice for failing to properly declare his true wealth.
“Thus did the nation witness, too, the indictment and detention of three incumbent senators and former members of Congress on charges ranging from graft and malversation to plunder arising from alleged Priority Development Assistance Fund misuse,” he said.
Coloma said that “good governance has become the norm of public service.”
In its final year in office, the Aquino administration is “firmly determined to further improve the delivery of essential public services and strengthen public institutions so that we can build even stronger foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth and progress that would be its legacy to future generations of Filipinos,” Coloma said.