SONA 2023: President Marcos Jr. Outlines Vision for the Nation
In a momentous event at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. took the podium to deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) for the second year of his term. The nation awaited with anticipation as the President reflected on the accomplishments of his administration's first year while outlining the crucial measures that lie ahead.
During his address, President Marcos Jr. stood resolute in his commitment to steering the country towards a brighter future. With the challenges faced and the milestones achieved, he laid out a roadmap that would guide the nation through the complex terrain of governance and progress. The SONA not only shed light on the achievements of the past year but also served as a compass that would lead the country towards a more prosperous and inclusive future. Here are the highlights of his speech:
Economic Growth and Business Development
- The Philippine economy grew by 7.6% in 2022, the highest rate in 46 years.
- The administration is focused on improving the road network to connect key economic development areas. Projects include the Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program and the Mega-Bridge Program.
- A Maharlika Fund will be utilized for high-impact investments, ensuring financial management is guided by transparency and accountability.
- The government is aggressively promoting renewable energy to reach a 35% share in the power mix by 2030 and 50% by 2040.
- The Unified National Grid has been established, allowing for more efficient transfers and competitive pricing of electricity.
Sustainable Environment and Agriculture
- The Kadiwa program aims to boost local agricultural production through modernization and mechanization.
- Smugglers and hoarders will be held accountable for their actions to protect farmers and consumers.
- The new Agrarian Emancipation Act has erased a 57-billion peso debt for over six thousand beneficiaries.
- A Department of Water Resource Management is being proposed to ensure sufficient and clean water for all.
Empowering Social Initiatives
- Learning recovery is a priority in the education agenda to provide quality education to 28.4 million learners.
- The shortage of classrooms and facilities is being addressed to accommodate hybrid and high-tech learning.
- The K to 10 curriculum is being recalibrated to meet international standards.
- Social safety nets, including the Food Stamp Program, are in place to help those in need.
- Healthcare initiatives include free dialysis sessions for most Filipinos.
- The government is working to create an attractive business environment and attract more investments.
- The European Union recognized the standards of Filipino seafarers after 17 years.
- The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has shown progress and partnership in peace.
Peace, and Order
- The campaign against illegal drugs focuses on community-based treatment and rehabilitation.
- Amnesty will be granted to rebel returnees to foster peace and development in the countryside.
- Efforts are made to ensure military and uniformed personnel receive proper pension benefits.
Foreign Relations and National Security
- Efforts are underway to make military and uniformed personnel pensions fully functional and financially sustainable.
- The President's independent foreign policy has proven effective, yielding significant investments and potential job generation.
In his closing statement, President Marcos Jr. assured the nation that "the State of the Nation is sound." With resolute determination and unwavering dedication, he emphasized that the government would continue to prioritize the welfare of the Filipino people in all aspects of governance. The achievements of the past year served as a strong foundation upon which they would build a brighter and more inclusive future for every citizen.
As the President concluded his address, the atmosphere in the Batasang Pambansa was filled with a sense of hope and optimism. It was a reminder that challenges, no matter how daunting, could be overcome through unity and collective effort. President Marcos Jr. expressed his gratitude to the people, recognizing that the progress and success of the nation were made possible by their hard work and resilience.
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