The GMA network decided to create a poll on Facebook on the topic of what issues people think Noynoy Aquino should be prioritizing and discussing during his state of the nation address. Here are the results as of 10:40 am, July 17:
GMA's Facebook poll about SONA 2012
I obviously answered Freedom of Information Bill, something that Noynoy himself advocated back when he was in congress and senate but somehow has become silent about it now. It's interesting that very little people are voting with me on FOI in this poll. I have always argued that before any sort of government expansion (which I find inevitable anyway) we should at least put constraints on the government, make it transparent and accountable to the people (see also Freedom of Information Bill in the Philippines).
It seems that the biggest concern of the people right now is the Panatag Shoal conflict with China. I have discussed my position on this issue before (see My Two Cents on the Spratly Islands Conflict). I do hope that the president, as commander-in-chief of our military, decide to take a path similar to my proposals in that article.
Employment comes next. The thing here is that less government and not more of it is what we need for job creation. A liberalized market is very attractive to both local and foreign investors. We should minimize red tapes, abolish redundant permits, fees, and requirements, lower taxes and tariffs that burden both big and small businesses. What we need is economic freedom and according to the index of economic freedom we rank 107th out of 179 countries and that's really bad (source) and if we want prosperity for our country then we need to rethink the role of government and implement pro-market reforms.
The next is education. Of course, we all believe that having educated people means more opportunities and prosperity. I just don't think that giving the State monopoly on this industry and authority to dictate mandatory curriculums only contributes to the decadence of education in our country (and in the world for that matter). Surely, PNoy will be talking about the whole K-12 implementation and how this will revolutionize education in our country. My position though, as always, is to have a transition from this monopolized system especially in the public sector by introducing school choice through school vouchers and charter schools, and in the private sector by deregulating this industry and giving choices back to the schools and the parents (see also My Two Cents on K-12 and Public Schooling).
Then we have the controversial RH bill. Of course, as the kind of libertarian I am (socially liberal but fiscally conservative), I am always wary and critical of giving money and power to government and creating new bureaucracies. I also don't think that the RH bill will necessarily alleviate poverty, if that is the goal of its advocates. Again, I believe that economic freedom and limited government is what we need for prosperity. My position on this is not based on any sort of religious beliefs by the way, as most of the anti-RH bill people seem to be. I've always wanted write about this and expound on my position and maybe I will soon. Again though, why not prioritize the Freedom of Information Bill first so that citizens have the right to question government spending regarding this issue (see also Why Not Be as Passionate in Fighting for Transparency?)?
Then there are those who think Dolphy's crowning as a national artist should be discussed. I really don't mind. I just don't think it's so much of a priority with so many social issues facing our country for the president to focus on talking about that in his SONA. There are even more answers on that poll like PNoy's love life or something like. And the sad part is I don't know if that's a joke or some citizens actually want to hear about that during the SONA.
Corona was also brought up. It's interesting how people become so politically active only when it's trending. Now it's as if no one remembers. It's all like a TV show really. From season 1 that showed the whole fertilizer scam, to season 2 that showed NBN ZTE scandal, to the PCSO corruption, to Katrina Halili's personal videos. After that, it was sad to see that someone even committed suicide (that general dude and GMA's former energy secretary or something). And then the recent season finale where the chief justice was impeached. It's all a show, really. And we all just forget eventually until a new story comes up and becomes trending again. It's a circus, really.
Every year I always tell myself I won't watch the SONA because I know I'll just be frustrated but I always end up watching anyway. So yeah, maybe I'll be tweeting realtime reactions. Follow me on Twitter: @harryinitiative to be updated about it.