Senate minority leader Alan Peter Cayetano delivered his Contra-SONA speech this year with a twist. Instead of the usual critique of the President’s SONA, he spoke for the “bosses of the President” and articulated their concerns about life under the Aquino administration in Filipino language.
“As Filipinos, we are happy that we can dream again. Done are the times of the corrupt and those who favor wang-wangs. To those who have no desire to change their ways, be they friend or foe, your days are numbered,” he said intoned speaking for the “bosses”.
However, he stressed people are aware that certain sectors in the country are still in need of improvement.
“While the country’s economic situation is said to be improving and the number of jobs is increasing, the system remains the same – favoring the rich and thus making the poor remain poor,” he said.
“Our spouses, parents, siblings and children have to go abroad to work because the availability of jobs is not enough here in our country,” he added.
On the Conditional Cash Transfer program (CCT) program, he articulated the people’s need for livelihood programs, businesses and jobs and the need to fast-track a more efficient delivery of health care benefits to “bosses” via PhilHealth.
“They said in the opening of the Olympics that no country can be called civilized if people can’t be treated because they have no money to pay for the treatment. Are they referring to our country? Because in our country, yes they won’t turn the patients way, but they also won’t treat them – the patients have to bring their own medicines, sometimes even their own alcohol and cotton balls!” he said.
He further underscored the need of the people to see the immediate passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill as a means to solving the graft and corruption problems still plaguing our local government units.
In the field of education, he expressed their desire for the quality of technical-vocational education in the country to be at par with the country’s college education in order to improve opportunities for employment for many.
“Let’s remove the mentality that diplomas and social status define who we are in life. Instead let’s elevate the quality of technical and vocational education in the country. Let’s not discriminate,” he said.
Cayetano echoed the lament of people over the unabated proliferation of shabu and commission of crimes in the streets.
“You have your PSG, Mr. President. But we see our own version of PSG everyday: Patayan, Shabu at Gantsuhan. We understand why the Dangerous Drugs Board, the PDEA and the PNP need our help. We are willing to help,” he said.
He also reminded the President that he should also be more tolerant of the media because they are effective in exposing abuses in government.
The lawmaker ended his speech by stating that he is one with every Filipino in ensuring that dramatic reforms and accomplishments are achieved by year 2020.
“Let’s dream higher and bigger. Let’s plan better and implement development plans better. We are with you on this Mr. President. Let’s continue this partnership between your administration and your bosses,” he said.