For all the use of Pilipino and simple language (which should be lauded), President Noynoy Aquino’s State of the Nation Address is a disappointing one. It it a member of the elite talking to the people, promising an honest and clean government. Yet, it is THE problem. The elite–on both sides of the political aisle–have been promising this each time it is in power.
The economic program in the SONA boils down to this: We attract investors, we privatize government assets, and we turn the government to serve the needs of investment and capital. Their investments will produce jobs and poverty will be solved. Yet this is THE problem. The reality is that it is the Big Business–both foreign and local–which benefits from this arrangement. Not the medium and small business. Not, of course, the poor people who cannot begin to pay the astronomical bills profit-oriented and formerly government-controlled services foist on them. Witness the water bill, electricity bill, the toll fee, etc.
Noynoy Aquino expects the policies of the traditional political elite to solve the nation’s and people’s poverty? What it would mean, in reality, is the continued widening–even accelerating–gap between the poverty of the poor and the riches of the rich. His economic advisers are selling him short on this one.