Manila, Philippines – Among the major issues and proposed legislation that various sectors had hoped President Benigno Aquino III would mention in his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) but which he didn't, it was the freedom of information (FOI) bill that more readers were concerned about.
Recent surveys show that the President's approval ratings have been declining, notably on his main platform of eliminating graft and corruption. The Aquino administration is fighting corruption allegations, with some sectors saying Malacañang's Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), which the Supreme Court declared partially unconstitutional, is prone to abuse.
According the Senator Grace Poe, who is pushing for the passage of an FOI law, the controversy resulting from the DAP – a program funded budget items that were juggled by the executive branch without consulting Congress – could have been avoided if an FOI law were already in place.
While the online audience was disappointed over Aquino's non-mention of the FOI bill, his emotional mention of his parents and his answer to his critics and detractors were not lost on the audience.
Filipinos expressed their opinions online as the speech progressed. Here's what they had to say:
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What about you? What do you think of the President's speech? Do you like what you heard? Were their issues he failed to mention? Tell us what you think in the comments section below! – Rappler.com