President delivers third State of the Nation Speech
President Benigno Aquino delivered his third State of the Nation (SONA) speech yesterday to parliament and highlighted the successes of his government as he reaches the halfway stage in his presidency.
Notably he talked about the achievements in infrastructure, health and housing, but also focused on good governance and the fight against corruption. The president covered most areas of policy in his speech including the drop in unemployment to 6.9% and the 3.1 million jobs created during his presidency to date.
He also talked about the government’s hopes for tourism. With 2.1 million visitors to June this year the country expects to meet its 4.6 million target for the year and has targeted 10 million visitors by 2016.
Defence was a key part of the president’s speech and it outlined the new military equipment being purchased as the Philippines still continues its war of words with the Chinese government over a group of islands in the South China Sea. The president made it clear that the Philippines would not back down on its international claims/rights but hoped for a negotiated settlement with the Chinese.
The speech lasted around 1.5 hours and has been received well by supporters and business leaders. The full text of the speech is available in English for subscribers on the Philippines page under Links.