CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Central Luzon residents are hopeful a better future awaits the nation amid the health and economic challenges as President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. delivered on Monday his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.
Most of those who listened and watched the President as he enumerated his plans and programs for the next six years expressed belief and high hope the new administration could deliver the much-needed measures and reforms that could help propel the country to recovery and development.
Gregorio Salas, a retired college teacher, said the President’s SONA was detailed and comprehensive as he particularly underscored the issues on the economy.
“The message of the President is very timely, especially at this time we are confronting the impact of the rising oil price hikes and the continuing threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. His administration’s plans to spur economic activity give us hope that we can withstand the effect of the world crisis,” Salas said.
Roldan Espinosa, a nursing student at the M. V. Gallego Foundation Colleges in Nueva Ecija, said the plan of the President to prioritize the establishment of easy-to-reach hospitals and health centers for Filipinos living in far-flung rural areas and to make medicines affordable for ordinary people reflected his commitment to push for pro-poor measures.
“His strong message to bring medical services to the people and not wait for them to come to hospitals and health care centers show his commitment to making health care accessible especially to the poor,” he said.
Former overseas Filipino worker Maylene Carlos, on the other hand, praised the President for showing deep concern for the migrant workers.
“The President’s call to ensure OFWs can go back to work and the creation of the One Repatriation Command Center manifest his strong commitment to ensuring the welfare of the OFWs and their families,” Carlos said.
Political Science student Edgardo San Juan, meanwhile, said he felt the sincerity in President Marcos' speech, particularly in his administration’s international relations policy where he said the country is a "friend to all and an enemy to none".
“His assurance that the government would not surrender even a square inch of the country's territory shows his administration’s strong stand to protect sovereignty,” he said.
Stakeholders of the agriculture sector likewise hailed the President’s SONA with high hopes that the new administration will fulfill the plans that would uplift the plight of the farmers.
“Yung planong maglaan ng pondo para bumili ng farm inputs ng bulto katulad ng fertilizers ay malaking tulong para sa amin (The plan to allocate funds to procure in bulk farm inputs like fertilizers, is a big help for us),” said Gil Buenaventura, a rice farmer from San Leonardo, Nueva Ecija.
Meanwhile, Krizzia Ann Esteban, a student at the College of Research and Technology, said the President's speech is significant and meaningful, especially on the pro-poor programs.
Esteban said the Chief Executive's pronouncement on the plan to simplify government procedures to quickly provide government services and assistance to those in need gives bright hope to the indigents.
“The statement of the President directing the Department of Social Welfare and Development to be swift in its response to victims of natural disasters, such as typhoons, floods, and earthquakes manifests his administration's determination to implement efficient and effective disaster preparedness efforts,” she said. (PNA)