Tuesday, December 15, 2015

85. Top Ten Defining Moments of the PNoy Administration: #10 PNoy's State of the Nation Address July 2010

I have to hand it to PNoy, looking back to the day he got elected, he never had it easy. The outgoing GMA Administration laid out legal traps and zaps that could have easily accelerated the incoming administration's demise. Midnight appointments and mass promotions, coupled with a bureaucracy populated with corrupt officials used to easy money and cuts and kickbacks, it is a recipe for hypertension and heart attacks -- a less healthy President would have died in office miserably. Six years is not enough, and probably another six wouldn't do either. Imagine the President as a conductor of a symphony, and as he takes his place in the stand, his first problem was to boot out the other conductor who appeared to be still in command. That was his first agenda: to establish himself as the functional Chief Executive. Then, he had to boot out heads of the departments that refused to follow his baton. Before he knew it, he was already halfway his term, and he had less than three years to get his show going. Nobody's perfect and PNoy's administration had its share of imperfections. But this is not another PNoy bashing exercise. I think what is in order is a fair evaluation. Thus, I am listing the Top Ten Defining Moments of the PNoy Administration. A defining moment is the point at which the nature of the character of a person or group is revealed. I'm not an expert and even with the benefit of Google, it is still hard to remember everything, but this is what I have:

10. PNoy's State of the Nation Address 2010.

Barely a few weeks in office, PNoy used his first State of the Nation Address to expose anomalies in the past administration,  outrageous bonuses in the MWSS, rotten rice in the NFA, and budget overspending. With a good six months to go in the year, PNoy complained that he had only 6.5 percent of the year's budget left. PNoy took corrective measures by passing the law establishing the Governance Commission on Government Owned and Controlled Corporations and appointing Dean Cesar Villanueva of the Ateneo School of Law to the office. PNoy's administration also established a reputation of underspending. While economists decry this practice of underspending as bad for the economy, it somehow creates an image of prudence. I will leave that to the economists to debate, but what is more important is value for money spending, whether the money was spent and the benefits were shared by the community and not just by the bureaucrats. Between overspending and underspending on the macro scale, underspending is correctible by spending within the budget in the remaining days of the year. But once the country has overspent, it can no longer unspend what has been spent, so to speak. It works in my household and I imagine it is so in many others, and we comprise the nation. Thus, if I have to choose, I'm okay with underspending, especially if spending will only lead to corruption. As for the NFA's rotten rice, nothing came out of it. In fact, the NFA would be rocked by anomalies of PNoy appointees, Lito Banayao and Arthur Juan. Most recently, rotten rice from the NFA warehouse was  caught in the news being buried. The Administration has been silent on this, and no one appears to be appetized to talk about it. Personnaly, I know for a fact that there is a budgetary item for rice stocks in the  warehouse getting rotten. So, what needs to be shown is if this rice being buried was within budget. Over-all the SONA of 2010 was a positive defining moment. In the end the President showed that he could walk the talk, as it were. 

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