Hours before President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivered his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA), Malacañang admitted that the administration failed to fulfill all the promises it made in the past five years.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said while the Palace cannot claim that everything has been “completely accomplished,” Aquino still has a year left in service to deal with them.
“It might be better to focus on the larger picture. If we see the big picture, there are many features there, not only those that were not accomplished,” Coloma told reporters in Filipino.
“Is the glass half-empty or half-full? Instead of complaining why is the glass not full, we should see that it is being filled up more,” he said.
Coloma insisted that the administration deserves the high ratings given by analysts weighing in on the promises of the administration.
“ All that I’ve read and most of the commentators say because of the big problems the Aquino administration inherited, it’s just proper to give the government a high grade because it has done a lot of things,” he said.
According to Coloma, the Aquino administration’s matuwid na daan (straight path) was not a mere slogan of the administration as it has also been put into action.
Contrary to the administration’s critics, he noted, the Aquino administration has done a lot in fulfilling its “16-point social contract” with Filipinos, as well as ensuring transparency in the government.
“[We have the] Citizen’s Charter, transparency seal. [We can say we have an] open and accountable government. [In fact, we have made much progress in the social contract that] translated into the Philippine Development Plan,” Coloma said.
Meanwhile, he added, Aquino wants the public to get involved in the SONA since it is also a report of the people.
“The President gives importance to the participation of the people in shaping their future,” Coloma said.
Two big labor groups also on Monday gave the Aquino administration a satisfactory rating in addressing workers and labor issues.
Sonny Matula, president of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW), told The Manila Times that the Aquino administration has done good things for the workers, among them, the ratification of International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and on Maritime Labor and the enactment of Republic Act 10361 or the Kasambahay Law and RA 10395 or the Tripartism Law.
Julius Cainglet, FFW vice president, said the ILO conventions adopted by the government were instrumental in advancing the interests of househelps and seafarers.
The Kasambahay Law has improved the monthly wage rate and working conditions and provided rest days and mandatory social security and health coverages for household service workers.
Matula said FFW is giving Aquino a grade of 6 out of 10 for his accomplishments in the labor sector.
Alan Tanjusay, spokesman for the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines-Nagkaisa, said they are giving the President a grade of 7 out of 10 for his economic accomplishments.
He, however, added that the fruits of an improved economy should directly benefit the more than 40 million Filipino workers.