Dr. Carol Pagaduan-Araullo's "Streetwise" column today entitled "Smoke and mirrors" over at the BusinessWorld Online edition gives us an alternate view on what the Aquino administration is doing. I agree with Araullo that the first State of the Nation address of President Noynoy Aquino is bereft of substance.
It does, however, present a slice of reality that appeals to the elite. Of course, presenting a meatier, or a more substantial analysis of Philippine reality would be counter-productive. Why? Because it would bore the already boorish crowd and would not necessarily inspire most. The SONA has two-fold purposes: one, to give a brief blueprint and two, to inspire the entire citizenry to put their resources behind government. In both fronts, the SONA comes out in standard template.
The SONA, for me, wants to lull the Filipino People again into a state of inaction. The message is clear---sit back, relax and we take care of things.
However, a caveat---people are slowly being urged to participate in government by giving feedback. Now, it remains to be seen how extensive this participation is, or on what level will the People involve themselves. Noynoy gave us a brief glimpse--a private-public sector initiative which has been a feature of most administrations in the past, but never really went off the ground. This time, it should be the centerpiece of an administration claiming to be a participative government.