SONA 2008: No relief for the poor

Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews
Tuesday, 29 July 2008 08:02
var sburl9334 = window.location.href; var sbtitle9334 = document.title;var sbtitle9334=encodeURIComponent(“SONA 2008: No relief for the poor”); var sburl9334=decodeURI(“”); sburl9334=sburl9334.replace(/amp;/g, “”);sburl9334=encodeURIComponent(sburl9334);GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 July) — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo failed to bring any relief to the suffering populace and instead painted a more uncertain scenario in her State of the Nation Address this afternoon, a Catholic Church leader here said. Fr. Romeo Catedral, social action director of the Diocese of Marbel, said they had expected the President to present ways or alternative means on how the people can overcome the crisis but they eventually got nothing. “The President’s speech did not bring any message of hope to our suffering people,” he said.

Instead of providing solutions to the problem, he said the President seemed content on continuing with the expanded value-added tax as solution to the current crisis, which saw prices of fuel products and food soaring to all-time highs.

“As she admitted, we’re footing the bill and she seemed pleased with it,” he said.

Catedral also scored the success stories cited by the President saying majority of the people cannot relate to it.

Jun Tingson, an ice cream vendor in Koronadal City, echoed the priest’s observation saying the difficulties he’s been facing is the more realistic scenario.

“Last year, I could still earn P100 to P200 a day but now, because of the high prices of inputs, I can barely pay for my ingredients,” he said in an interview over radio station Bombo Radyo.

Tingson said he would be very happy to see the President just admit her failures and relinquish her post to other people with good intentions.

Eduard Flores, secretary general of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) for Southwestern Mindanao, said they expected the President to deliver “lies and overstatements.”

He said it was clear that majority of the people no longer believes in the President and her government as shown by her declining popularity rating.

“The economic growth and progress that she’s been saying are clearly not felt by the people. The crisis has gotten worse and there seems no way out for us under this government, that’s the real state of the nation,” he said.

Flores said the President “even had the gall” to cite the gains of the expanded value added tax, which he claimed were actually hated by the people.

He said the President’s “lies” were apparently meant to impress potential investors and make them believe that the country is in good shape despite the crisis that it is experiencing.

“She’s just fooling us just like her advertisement that the government is supposedly fighting poverty when it fact it is not,” he said. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)

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