2012 Sona Summary of Pnoy Aquino
President Benigno S. Aquino III called Monday for the passage of two controversial bills — the Reproductive Health bill and the sin tax measure, already passed by the House of Representatives on third and final reading last month.
The President also promised to finish land distribution covered under the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) by 2016.
In his third State of the Nation address (SONA), President Aquino said “Responsible Parenthood” may solve the yearly problem on the education sector — lack of classrooms, chairs, and textbooks.
The President said some 66,800 classrooms will be built by 2013 to fill up the shortage that he inherited in the past administration.
Also, the 2,573,212 backlog in chairs and the 61.7 million backlog in textbooks will be addressed before the year ends, he said.
“I have great faith in (Education) Secretary (Armin) Luistro. Before the next year ends, we will have built the 66,800 classrooms needed to fill up the shortage we inherited. The 2,573,212 backlog in chairs that we were bequeathed will be addressed before 2012 ends. This year, too, will see the eradication of the backlog of 61.7 million textbooks — and we will finally achieve the one-to-one ratio of books to students,” he said.
“We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this,” he noted.
On the other hand, President Aquino said he wants a “true, universal, and holistic health care” program be implemented in the country, and this can only be achieved thru the passage of the Sin Tax bill.
“What we want is a true, universal, and holistic health care. This begins not in our hospitals, but within each and every household: Increased consciousness, routine inoculation, and regular checkups are necessary to keep sickness at bay. Add to this is our efforts to ensure that we prevent the illnesses that are in our power to prevent. The high mortality ratio in our country continues to alarm us,” he said.
“Challenges remain. We can easier fulfill all these goals, if the Sin Tax Bill, which rationalizes taxes on alcohol and tobacco products, can be passed. This bill makes vice more expensive while at the same time raising more money for health,” he stressed.
President Aquino also promised to finish land distribution under the agrarian reform program before his term ends in 2016.
” My mother initiated the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. It is only just that this program sees its conclusion during my term,” he said.
The President said that his administration is improving the system, “so that we can more swiftly and more efficiently realize agrarian reform.”
“The government is doing everything in its power to ensure that our farmers can claim as their own the land they have tilled and nurtured with their sweat,” he said. - By Lilybeth G. Ison
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