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President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III delivering his State of the Nation Address last July 22, 2013.President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III delivering his State of the Nation Address last July 22, 2013.

by Pauline Lorzano and Paul Justin Regis

President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, for the fourth time, delivered his additional aims and improvements for the development of the country as stated on his State of the Nation Address (SONA), last July 22, 2013, at the Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City.

The president drew praises and criticisms after his 1-hour and 40-minute speech which focused on equal improvement for the different sectors of the government including agriculture, tourism, education, health, local service, disaster preparedness, legislative agendas, and social welfare.

READ SPEECH: Fourth State of the Nation Address, Benigno Aquino III

This year, the president has discussed at least 65 important matters but missed some of the issues he mentioned during his previous SONAs.

Aquino’s first SONA in 2010 focused on economic and infrastructure development; human-development issues; social protection; good governance and administration; justice, crime and prevention safety; and international cooperation, trade and security.

Not only did he reveal the anomalies of the past administration but he promised to give more projects that will address labor issues, human settlements, public service development, health care system, etc. From 62 percent, PhilHealth coverage jumped to 81 percent this year. He also mentioned financing projects that will lower maternal mortality rates.

President Aquino’s SONA in 2011 was no different with the previous one. He emphasized his campaign to remove the “utak wangwang” among inefficient government officials and promised that this mentality will solve hunger in the Philippines. The administration had allotted P16.37 billion budget for agrarian reform. Now, the Department of Agrarian Reform has completed the list of beneficiaries of Hacienda Luisita and Aquino promised to distribute all land to beneficiaries before the end of his term.

His 2011 SONA exposed the results of the administration’s efforts to decrease the number of Filipinos who experienced hunger.

Some of Aquino’s promises were to display a more honest government, end over-importation of rice, work on territorial disputes, give more jobs, improve the health program of the poor, address the flooding problem, and to end the crab mentality of the Filipinos.

It was during his 2012 SONA when a 43.61 percent increase on budget for state colleges and universities was granted and budget increase from 199 billion to 292.7 billion pesos will be granted to Department of Education. Failing to touch the issue on the status of the budget of education this year, the administration promised to provide more classrooms and chairs and to eradicate backlog in textbooks.

After his first three years of service for the country, Pres. Aquino, only son of the late Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and of the late former president Corazon Aquino, seems like he has already fulfilled some of his goals that he promised in his campaign last 2010 National Elections.

But Aquino was criticized by the Filipinos after failing to tackle important issues that he mentioned during his previous SONAs.

Some of the issues that were left out this year were the status of the budget for state universities and colleges, reproductive health law, territorial disputes, and the Maguindanao Massacre.

WATCH VIDEO: President Benigno Aquino’s Sate of the Nation Address 2013

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What issues do you thimk PNoy should have mentioned in his 4th SONA?

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