Halfway through his Presidency, President Benigno S. Aquino III will deliver his Fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22, 2013, before the Joint Session of the First Regular Session of the 16th Congress. The SONA is a yearly tradition in which the Chief Executive reports on the socio-economic and political state of the nation, unveils his Administration’s agenda for the coming year, and proposes to Congress certain legislative measures.
President Aquino will review in his Fourth SONA the promises he made in his Third SONA on July 23, 2012, what his government has delivered, and what still need to be done. He will push for the enactment of economic reform bills in the 16th Congress to realize sustained, inclusive growth, from the country’s robust economic performance this year.
The President is expected to highlight the remarkable 7.8 percent growth in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of 2013, the stable political environment, and the three investment-grade ratings from Fitch Rating, Standard &Poor’s, and Japan Credit Rating Agency, earning for the Philippines the accolades “Asia’s New Tiger” and “Brightest Star in Southeast Asia.” He is also expected to report on the government’s achievements for 2012: Job creation (1.4 million jobs), social services (3.9 million Conditional Cash Transfer family-beneficiaries), healthcare (79.1 million PhilHealth coverage), rural electrification (8,581 sitios or 127,796 houses), classroom building (33,974), upgrade of 25 airports, tourist arrivals (4.2 million), agriculture, and scholarships (7,000 persons) in tech-voc education.
This year’s SONA is the 73rd since 1936 and the 26th since the restoration of democracy in 1987. Historically, the giving of an annual report on the Philippines began in 1916, when the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands under the Jones Law reported to the Executive Office in Washington, DC, which transmitted it to the President of the United States of America. Philippine Presidents began their annual State of the Nation Addresses during the Commonwealth of the Philippines, under the 1935 Philippine Constitution. The Philippine Constitution today, ratified in 1987, provides that the President address the Congress at the opening of its regular session on the fourth Monday of July of every year.
We congratulate Republic of the Philippines President His Excellency, Benigno S. Aquino III, Members of the Cabinet, Senators, and House of Representatives, on the Fourth State of the Nation Address. We wish them the best and success in all their endeavors. CONGRATULATIONS AND MABUHAY!
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