Senators commend P-noy for his first SONA

July 26, 2010 8:47 pm 

MANILA, July 26 -– Senators have commended former colleague and now President Benigno Aquino III for what they described as well-delivered first State of the Nation Address (SONA) during Monday's joint session that formally opens the 15th Congress at the Batasang Complex in Quezon City.

Newly-elected Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III assured the President the full cooperation of the Senate in passing priority measures which aimed at eliminating graft and corruption in the government.

”I fully support all the proposed measures that he is advocating. The senate will definitely closely cooperate with the executive department,” said Sotto who has been chosen as new Senate majority leader early on Monday.

In his first SONA, President Aquino asked his former colleagues both in the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass his priority measures that include: Fiscal Responsibility Bill, Procurement Law, Anti-Trust Law, National Land Use Bill, National Defense Act and Whistleblowers’ Bill.

President Aquino said he will convene in the soonest possible time the Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss important bills that he mentioned to achieve his goal of a transparent governance.

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who will head a small group of minority in the Senate, also expressed support to his former colleague in the Senate, saying President Aquino’s victory is the victory of the opposition against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

”The objective of the President is also our objective and that is clean and honest government and no abuses. I believe that we will do a different fiscalizing if we have the same destination and goal,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano specficially praised the President’s statement on creative ways of raising revenues by opening the business door to the foreign investors.

”In the end, when you asked foreigners to come in, you are helping the Filipino but it should be for as long as our system is protected like the procurement and public bidding,” Cayetano said.

Senator Lito Lapid said it was a good message “which I really understand because it said it in our own language.”

Senator Serge Osmena III described the content of the President’s SONA as ‘doable and not exaggerated”, giving the Chief Executive an A plus grade.

”I can see that his approach is very intelligent. It’s a good message although I don’t know long it will take to tackle all the problems he mentioned. You cannot do the time line to accomplish them but it’s really doable,” Osmena said.

Neophyte senator Teofisto Guingona Jr. promised also to address all the important measures that the President identified to address the anti-graft and corruption programs of the government.

”Let’s see how he will do his promises but actually everything is on the right track,” Guingona said.

Senator Loren Legarda called the President’s speech as ‘straight forward and no frills”, appealing to everybody to give President Aquino a chance.

”It is good to hear the transparency and procurement. I happy with the mentioned bills and I hope these will be certified as urgent,” Legarda said.

However, the lady lawmaker said the President should have mentioned what his agenda and program on the climate change.

Veteran senator Edgardo Angara said the message of the President has been focused on the very basic needs such taxes, education, health, food, post harvest, infrastructures and expediting the conduct of business in the country.

”I think he cannot cover all, but I think he covered the most primary needs and it is easy to do. It does not need money,” Angara said.

Former Senate majority floor leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the President failed to mention about the farmers and the workers like the minimum wage but overall, he praised the SONA.

”Overall, it was a good message because he mentioned about stopping the graft and corruption in our country because if he can do it, there will be more funds to finance his plans and programs,” Zubiri said.

Both Angara and Zubiri are hoping that the President would say more about the farmers and workers as well as the health programs when the LEDAC convene for its first meeting.

The two lawmakers also believed that there is no reason for them to block the approval of the appointments of President’s cabinet members, provided they are all qualified to their respective positions.(PNA)

LOR/jfm

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