President Aquino urged to present vision of a better future

“The straight path is already here. Now is the time to provide details of its horizon.”

This was the statement conveyed today by Akbayan party to President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, hours before he delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday.

Risa Hontiveros said now is the time for the Aquino government to unveil its comprehensive political and economic vision of a better Philippines.

Provide details of “tuwid na daan’s” vision

“While the nation is very appreciative of the government’s ‘tuwid na daan’, it must have a pleasant destination as represented by a clear vision of a better future. The President must give details of where we are headed and what’s to be expected in the horizon of the straight path. We hope this will be part of his SONA speech,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said while they acknowledged that the path is straight and wide contrary to the crooked and treacherous path treaded by the previous administration, the lack of a vision might exhaust the people in their journey towards change.

“Kailangan mapakita ng Presidente na  kaaya-aya  ang destinasyon para sa lahat ng tumatahak sa tuwid na landas,” Hontiveros pointed out.

Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said part of the vision should include the realization of a new economic paradigm.

Reverse trade liberalization, PDP is a “grocery list”

“So far, economic policy has been ad hoc. A new coherent macroeconomic paradigm is needed that makes agriculture the cutting edge of the economy. Unfortunately, what the government has is the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) which is in truth is a grocery’s list where everything is a priority, hence, nothing becomes a priority,” Bello said.

Bello urged the Aquino government to reverse trade liberalization and deepen agrarian reform.
“The application of an ‘off beam economic vision’ not rooted from the people’s interest could create an ‘economic mirage’ in the horizon of the ‘tuwid na daan.’ This could dampen the people’s enthusiasm to tread the straight path and make the realization of change much more difficult,” Bello said.

Fellow Akbayan lawmaker Rep. Kaka Bag-ao also asked the Aquino government to pave green the trail of “tuwid na daan.”
“We commend Pres. Aquino for issuing Executive Order No. 23, which provides for an indefinite log ban in all national and residual forests. To keep the ball rolling, we also ask the executive department to certify as urgent the passage of Minerals Management Bill and the National Land Use bill,” Bag-ao said.

“The Aquino government must clearly demonstrate that the hue of its politics is not only yellow but could also be green,” Bag-ao added.

However, Hontiveros said she is hopeful that the Aquino government will heed their call for it to illustrate its vision. She is also confident that Pres. Aquino will provide “stopovers” or “breaks in our journey” as represented by significant reforms, which she said are important stepping-stones in realizing the vision of a better Philippines.

“Dahil sa tuwid na daan, ang dulo dapat maaliwalas. Dapat may finish line kung saan panalo ang mamamayan,” Hontiveros said.

Some of the reforms Akbayan is pushing for are:

1.      Prosecution of GMA and other corrupt officials as well as the recovery of ill-gotten wealth;
2.      Completion of agrarian reform, particularly land distribution by 2014;
3.      Passage of the Security of Tenure Bill;
4.      Passage of the Reproductive Health Bill;
5.      Moratorium on the demolition of informal settlements;
6.      Passage of the Students Rights and Welfare Bill and the SK reform bill.

Dismantle all the impediments to change

Akbayan also reminded the public that the task of taking apart all the obstacles to the realization of change is far from over.

“More than ever, Arroyo, her family and cohorts must be made to account for their colossal crimes against the people. They are the most immediate and dangerous enemies of the people,” Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said the coming forward of personalities wanting to expose the election irregularities of Arroyo should reopen the unfinished and unresolved issues of cheating in previous elections and expose the widespread syndicate of election fixing and fraud in the government.

“We hope this year will be the year when Gloria and her cohorts will stand behind the cold bars of a jail cell. We call on Pres. Aquino to remain firm in digging for the truth behind the series of anomalies involving the previous government. The people are solidly behind him on this matter,” Hontiveros concluded.

Here are reactions from twitter on what the people expect from the SONA