SONA draws mixed reactions in E. Visayas
TACLOBAN CITY – President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino may have been applauded several times during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, but a leader of a militant group based in the region described it as a big let down.
Meantime, An Waray Rep. Neil Benedict Montejo said that he was happy that the President mentioned the Daniel Z. Romualdez (DZR) Airport as one of the airports in the country which will be upgraded by his administration.
“That means that Tacloban is included in his roadmap. We have been longing for this and now the President has mentioned our airport as one of the airports in the country that will be upgraded under his administration,” Montejo, in a phone inteview, said.Montejo considers the rehabilitation of the DZR Airport as one of his pet projects.
Flor “Pong” Acbo, secretary-general of Bayan in Eastern Visayas, said that in his more than an hour speech before the nation, the President was not clear cut in providing more employment and addressing the poverty situation of the country, to include here in the region.
“We did not hear any program that will truly address the poverty problem; lack of employment opportunities; genuine implementation of agrarian reform program and protection of the environment,” Acbo said.
The group also criticized the President in promoting the BPOs (business processing outsourcing) as a generator of employment saying that this is another indication that the Philippine government remains under the mercy of foreign capitalists.
“What he mentioned were infrastructures intended for foreign businessmen and tourists,” Acbo said.
In his one hour and 30 minutes speech, the President declared that he has made headways in addressing the country’s poverty problem as he said that the Philippines is no longer the “sick man of Asia.”
He also reported that the unemployment rate in the country has declined.
“Nang dumating tayo, eight percent ang unemployment rate. Naging 7.2 ito noong Abril ng 2011, at bumaba pa lalo sa 6.9 ngayong taon, sa buwan rin ng Abril. ‘Di po ba makatwirang mangarap na balang araw, bawat Pilipinong handang magbanat ng buto, may mapapasukang trabaho?” he said.
The President also made mentioned that his administration is also bend in improving several local airports across the
And of the airports in the country which the President claimed that his administration would improve within his term is the DZR Airport.
The rehabilitation of the DZR Airport has been in the pipeline for more than a decade which failed to be realize due to some reasons.
The DZR Airport is considered as the premier airport of the region with about 14 daily flights to Manila and Cebu.
By Joey A. Gabieta
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