NANCY HOPES PRESIDENT’S SONA BE GOAL-DRIVEN

Senator Nancy Binay today said she hopes to hear how President Rodrigo Duterte will extensively tackle the gut issues faced by Filipinos during his fourth State of the Nation Address on Monday.

According to Binay, the latest Pulse Asia survey revealed that the top three issues Filipinos would "Most like" to hear from the president are workers' pay hike, reducing the prices of basic goods, and jobs and livelihood creation.

"Sana, goal-driven ang SONA. We in the Senate will always have a listening ear for the President's legislative priorities. It would be comforting and encouraging, even in the slightest regard, if these three top issues (salaries, prices, jobs/livelihood) are given emphasis in his speech. Unahin natin bigyang prayoridad yung mga isyu na dikit sa sikmura," the senator said.

Binay noted that poverty alleviation should still be government's primary focus. Having concrete plans for the next three years would help assure Filipinos that something is being done or acted upon.

"Everyone still expects that the President will contine to echo an imagery of a drug-free country. Ini-expect pa rin natin ang kanyang staple references to crimes and drugs, but we just hope the SONA will be devoted to keeping the Filipinos' stomachs first In the agenda. An empty stomach can't be filled by words.

"We are facing demographic challenges, and the strain of unemployment is real. Let us provide jobs that would give our people hope, dignity and a sense of purpose. Wag naman nating ibigay sa mga banyaga ang dapat para sa mga Pilipino," she said.

The senator added that the second half of the president's term should be treated as his legacy years.

"Mahalagang marinig ang magiging policy direction ng Administrasyon sa huling tatlong taon ng Presidente. We know there is so much more the country needs to face -- poverty, health, shelter, at trabaho't kabuhayang eksklusibo para sa mga Pilipino. The interminable patriotic goal should be to help every Filipino family rise above poverty," Binay pointed out.

She said she hopes that the President lays down fresh ideas on how to bridge the gap between the actual 21% poverty rate and the target of 14% by the end of the President's term.

"The Senate will be listening. Even with a giant list of legislative priorities, we are ready to help craft necessary laws that will benefit the people," Binay added.

Binay said she expects that legislative measures similar to the universal health care act, free tuition and other landmark legislations will be passed before the President's term ends.

Source: Senate of the Philippines