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PRESIDENT Aquino will address Congress leaders tomorrow (July 22) where he is expected to solicit bipartisan support for his administration’s legislative agenda for the remaining three years in office which expires on June 2016.
He is likewise expected to brag about his administration’s accomplishments for the past first three years since he assumed the presidency in 2010 even as he lays down the challenges that our nation is facing, foremost of which is the problem of poverty and corruption.
As in the past, the President will present his administration’s proposed national budget for 2014 and a host of economic legislative measures needed to propel the nation towards progress and development.
But like all other SONAs, the Filipino public will be distracted and entertained by the parade of Congressional and government personalities who among them do the sweetest smiles and grandest gowns, along with their spouses and other celebrities and socialites.
And for this year, the “most brilliant innovation” is being introduced to precisely amuse the Filipino electorate, thanks to House of Representatives’ Executive Director Bernadette “Rica” dela Cuesta for installing photo booths for those attending the affair in Congress.
No kidding, photo booths will be installed on the north and south lobbies of the Batasang Pambansa’s main building. Yes, those familiar photo booths we used to kid around when we attend birthday and wedding parties.
For Dela Cuesta, the need to pose for posterity is what SONA is all about. Forget about the gravitas of the nation’s problems.
With all due respect, Dela Cuesta should be reminded that despite the economic gains this administration brags about, the Philippines remains poor and is saddled by corruption in the highest offices of the land.
For Dela Cuesta, the requirement of our modern democracy is not to have an informed electorate but instead for the general public to be entertained with souvenir photos, probably in wackiest photo poses.
Media will surely feast on the “best and worst red carpet dresses” at the 2013 SONA, thereby contributing to the trivialization of the gravitas of SONA in the nation’s political history.
But what made my blood boils is that the government office in charge to keep the public better informed and elevate the level of national conversation is taking the lead in contributing to the dumbing-down of the Filipino citizenry with her photo booth innovation.
No wonder, we still do not make good choices come election time. And for most good people I know, they have lost their high regard towards our Congress leaders and government officials.