The SONA blues. The President will deliver his last SONA on July 26. Various news outlets have began taking the public sentiment on what they want to hear from the President when he delivers his valedictory address before Congress. Duterte would've…
"graduated" with honors if not for the pandemic rudely interrupting his term. Pandemic response gets a passing grade because of how relatively bumbling the IATF-EID has performed. Still no unified contact-tracing system and adherence to the 3Ts - test, trace and treat. With the
confirmed community transmission of the Delta variant, we again face economic uncertainty because most of the Asia-Pacific region is suffering from a Delta-induced surge. It remains to be seen how we will weather this latest outbreak. Delta is more contagious than the original
virus and affects both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. With our vaccination rate still low and slow, a surge would appear inevitable. But who knows? Maybe the IATF-EID can pull off a hat trick. The economic recovery is high on the list on the President's speech. Several reform
bills are still pending in Congress. The budget season begins in August. It will be an election budget for sure. The Department of Finance is pushing for the passage of the last tranche of the tax reform program. This is one of the biggest achievements of the administration if
and when completed. As we have a consumption-driven economy, the recession was felt the most last year but it has picked up this year. Digitization should be another government priority. The President has mentioned this in his past SONAs. Now it's imperative that the bureaucracy
moves in this direction. Part of the resistance stems from the minimization I'd corruption which digitization brings. The President should put his foot down on this issue. Next up is connectivity. Digitization needs connectivity to work efficiently. There are new employment
opportunities but this requires both reskilling and upskilling. Hitting two birds with one stone can be achieved if only the underlings would put their heads into it. TESDA is lagging in the digital landscape under Lapeña. That's to be expected because Lapeña is not tech-literate
and TESDA's courses need either updating or upgrading. It wouldn't be asking too much for Congress to pass easy amendments to the economic provisions of the Constitution by way of the Public Service Act and the Retail Trade Liberalization bill. There is also that key insertion,
"unless otherwise provided for," which is essential to getting the minor roadblocks for foreign direct investment to be removed. Duterte has been known to meander from the drafted speech and it's hard to second-guess what he will say in addition. But given the pattern he has
established, he will definitely have words for the opposition. He appealed to the opposition for unity in his first SONA but this didn't happen. It's almost a certainty he will take a dig at them for one last time. He may also put an end to speculation if he is running for the
Vice-Presidency or not. There is no Constitutional prohibition contrary to what the opposition says. He can even ascend to the Presidency because the act would be succession not reelection in the event the new President is "incapacitated" for whatever reason. Overall, the
bad boy hillbilly from Leyte, Cebu and Davao did good. His father would never imagine Rodrigo would become President one day. Probably his mother as well. The most unorthodox President the Philippines has ever had bows out from office on June 30, 2022. Duterte not only outdid
himself but also his predecessors. The promdi challenged the establishment and came out victorious. The six years went by fast. There was no agony of waiting for the term to end unlike the Aquino administration when the public couldn't wait for the election to be over. A job
well-done under the circumstances Mr. President. Daghan salamat Manong Digong.

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More from @marortoll

23 Jul
Where is the substance in this piece by Mang Tonyo? Numbers he cited comes from Ibon's Sonny Africa. That's biased to begin with. Tonyo also displays a lack of grasp of economics and public finance. The basic is, any revenue shortfall of the government is…
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contingencies arising from fortuitous events such as the projected Delta surge. He deigns to compare the Philippines with the US which is a rich country and has the dollar as fiat currency. Has he looked at the current US budget deficit? The inflationary pressure tax-and-spend is
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23 Jul
The Delta variant just dashed the hope that a global economic recovery would begin two years into the pandemic. While most of the opinions expressed have been about pandemic response, both good and bad, the no one has dared to point out the elephant in the…
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22 Jul
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21 Jul
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21 Jul
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21 Jul
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