P-Noy’s SONA: "Saan naman po dinala ang pera?" Says only 6.5% of our 2010 P1.54 trillion national budget remains
In his first State of the Nation Address on July 26 around 4 p.m. at the Batasan Pambansa, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III revealed that only 6.5 percent, or P100 billion out of P1.54 trillion of the 2010 national budget is left for the remaining five months of the year. "Saan naman po dinala ang pera?"
Aquino said 70 percent, or P1.4 billion, of the P2 billion Calamity Fund has already been spent. Out of the P108 million Calamity Fund of Pampanga, P105 million was allotted for one district. Pampanga is the home province of Former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who is now the House Representative of the province’ first district.
Aquino said, "Ibinigay po ang pondo ng Pampanga sa buwan ng eleksyon, pitong buwan pagkatapos ng Ondoy at Pepeng. Paano kung bumagyo bukas? Inubos na ang pondo nito para sa bagyong nangyari noong isang taon pa. Pagbabayaran ng kinabukasan ang kasakiman ng nakaraan."
In contrast, Pangasinan only received P5 million worth of Calamity Fund for the damages wrought by Typhoon Cosme in 2008.
Aquino also slammed the fund distribution among the higher-ups of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), who allegedly had P160.1 million in additional allowances and benefits last year. Aquino also compared the ordinary workers’ 13th month pay to that of MWSS executives’ more than 30 months’ pay. He added that simply sitting in a meeting of the Board of Trustees and Board Committee is worth P14,000. "Lahat ng ito ay ibinibigay nila sa kanilang mga sarili habang hindi pa nababayaran ang mga pensyon ng kanilang mga retirees," he said, adding, "Kung mayroon pa silang kahit kaunting hiya na natitira--sana kusa na lang silang magbitiw sa puwesto."
Aquino repeatedly pointed out a solution to increase the country’s budget: public-private partnerships. For instance, he said certain people have shown interest in building an expressway from Manila to Cagayan Valley without the government spending a single cent. He also relayed a proposition to rent out the Navy Headquarters along Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station at Fort Bonifacio for their nautically strategic locations.
The new president also pushed for the strengthening of the Witness Protection Program and the peace talks. "Tungkol naman po sa CPP-NPA-NDF: Handa na ba kayong maglaan ng kongkretong mungkahi, sa halip na pawang batikos lamang? Kung kapayapaan din ang hangad ninyo, handa po kami sa malawakang tigil-putukan. Mag-usap tayo."
In closing, Aquino said, "Ang mandato nating nakuha sa huling eleksyon ay patunay na umaasa pa rin ang Pilipino sa pagbabago. Iba na talaga ang situwasyon. Puwede na muling mangarap. Tayo nang tumungo sa katuparan ng ating mga pinangarap."
Read the full transcript of Aquino’s almost 35-minute speech at GMANews.tv.