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Missing Contra SONA

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

I may have missed it, but as of this writing, I haven’t read any. Instead, the drumbeaters of the Junior government took the SONA momentum on a high gear by holding, for the first time, a Post-SONA Economic Briefing.

As a political journalist, I would always look forward to the day after the President delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA). Jaded as I am, my usual observation is that the Palace spin doctors would, almost, always, bread coat the real condition and situation of the country.

The day after the SONA, I love to hear the opposition taking its stance, engaging the majority in critical discourse and exchanges on the government blueprint, dichotomizing every detail of the plans and programs.

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Instead of the opposition cutting-up the plans and programs, it was the economic managers who had taken the tasks to provide more clarity of the administration’s road map, tagged as Economic Recovery and Transformation, before members of the diplomatic, business, market players and movers in attendance.

For those who in case missed it, allow me to fill you in on what I might call SONA-Kick. Seriously now, the event was, I must admit, good, for a journalist wanting additional information on the government's economic agenda. 

However, it pains me to hear the tandem of Paraiso fame, Tony Lambino, BSP managing director, and Margaux Salcedo, who was introduced as Budget and Management Undersecretary.

At the plenary, some of us and even those online were actually surprised. It’s not that we’re pretty much turning to Shrek’s color with envy. Oh, well, finally she landed a government position.

If I recall correctly, shortly after, now Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno was named BSP as governor from DBM, Margaux name was being floated, mind you the sound was loud, that she will be joining as Diokno’s spokesperson.

She, actually, was overkill, describing Junior’s SONA as the “most amazing, electrifying” one hour and a half speech. I suggest she has to do some double-checking and her homework aside from having cue cards.

Based on everyone’s recollection, the entire SONA lasted for one hour and 14 minutes. It started at 4:05 p.m. and ended at 5:19 p.m. In DBM numbers are important. 

Then nobody laughs on her comments like calling the Paraiso fame as Doctor, because he holds an MD (in health parlance, MD is short for medical doctor) position.

And, for me, it’s a bit annoying to see wearing a pasted smile, considering that the questions raised as written in her cue cards are altogether serious.

To avoid awkward moment when her mike conked out, she said:

“Low bat . . . it’s not my brain, just my mike.” And/or her remark “I just kinda wake everybody up.”

Duh? It meant that despite the seriousness of the topics and discussions, the attendees were kinda’ sleepy? Similarly, the Paraiso guy, appreciating the all nighter spent by the people in charge of the video presented, commented: “If you hear snoring, that would be them.”

Honestly, no, I am not missing the Contra-SONA. Instead, I am loving this SONA-Kick of sorts. As they say, the devil is in the details. And this one takes the cake. Re-watching the economic briefing, the ticker on screen says: "Secretary Jockno will be joined by Banco Central ng Pilipinas.” I have a screen shot as evidence.


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