The most applauded State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno S. Aquino III drew praises from lawmakers here.
Iloilo Second District Board Members Demetrio Sonza and June Mondejar both said the President’s achievements for the past two years showed how committed he was in bringing positive reforms in the bureaucracy.
The improvement in the country’s economy, for instance, was very significant since it could bring positive impact to the lives of the people, particularly to the poor, Sonza said.
The country’s gross domestic product grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of the year – the highest growth in Southeast Asia.
Because of this economic change, Sonza said more businessmen, both foreign and domestic, will invest in the country under the administration of Aquino.
“We should commend the President in his effort to earn the confidence of domestic and foreign investors,” Sonza said.
Of the total 3.1 million beneficiaries of 4Ps, Mondejar said thousands came from the poor municipalities and cities in the province.
“I’m impressed that the President is giving too much emphasis in the implementation of anti-poverty programs and quality delivery of education and healthcare,” Mondejar said.
According to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 1.6 million mothers are undergoing prenatal checkups; 1.6 million children have been vaccinated against diarrhea, polio, measles and other diseases; and 4.5 million students no longer need to miss school because of poverty.
In terms of universal healthcare coverage, Aquino said PhilHealth’s enrollment increased from 62 percent in 2010 to 85 percent in 2011 or more than 23 million if translated to figures.
Aquino also assured that 2.5 million backlog in chairs and 61 million textbooks in public elementary and high school nationwide will be addressed before the year ends.
For the budget of State Universities and Colleges, Aquino proposed to increase their budget by 43 percent next year or 292.7 billion.
SUC’s budget in 2010 was P21 billion and increased to P34.99 billion in 2011. Despite the increase, however, Aquino said militant groups continue to cut their classes to protest.