President Aquino's 1st SONA must identify annual performance targets, says economics expert

July 22, 2010 12:33 pm 

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, July 22 — An economics expert believes President Benigno Simeon Aquino III can enhance his budget bid in Congress by identifying in his first State-of-the- Nation Address (SONA) on Monday the government's annual targets for achieving his 2010-2016 agenda for the country.

University of the Philippines economics expert and professor Dr. Winnie Monsod said the President must be specific in his budget message during the SONA so that both houses of Congress can clearly understand what government plans to undertake annually for realizing such agenda.

"Unless he articulates this, there'll be a very hard time asking for the budget," she added.

President Aquino is scheduled to deliver his maiden SONA on July 26, nearly a month after his inauguration as the country's 15th head of State.

Monsod cautioned the President against peppering his SONA with motherhood statements, noting these do not spell out specific targets that government must seek to achieve in a year.

"We want to know from the SONA where we're going, what we'll do and how we intend to do these," she stressed.

Identifying specific annual SONA targets will also give people benchmarks for gauging government's performance for a particular period.

Such benchmarks are needed since the President reports to the nation every year through the SONA, Monsod noted.

Earlier, Malacanang said President Aquino will detail in his forthcoming SONA his governance agenda for the next six years, including solutions for addressing various problems hounding the nation.

Part of this SONA will focus on the country's state of affairs, Malacanang also said.

President Aquino earlier ordered Cabinet members to report on state of affairs and concerns in agencies they head.

Through their reports, he aims to generate a profile on the country's true state, Malacanang officials said. (PNA)

scs/CJT/mec

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