By Judaline F. Partlow and Maricar Aranas
A cross-section of the Dumaguete community on Monday commended the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III for the accomplishments earned over the past year even as they expressed hopes of more good things to come for the country.
The varying sentiments were aired after the President delivered his 3rd State-of-the-Nation Address Monday afternoon before members of both Houses of Congress at the Batasang Pambansa Complex.
In Dumaguete, a live telecast feed was held at the Lamberto Macias Sports Center where teachers, government employees, students and people from all walks of life were able to watch the state address on the big screen free of charge.
According to Michael Panuncillion, a member of a HIV/AIDS advocacy group in Dumaguete, he was impressed with the serious target goal of the administration to achieve change in the government system and programs.
He wished, however, that the President had further discussed about HIV/AIDS in his state address especially as the assistance of and partnership with the World Health Organization in this particular field will end soon.
Dexter Aguilar, Assistant Division Superintendent of the Department of Education (DepEd)-Negros Oriental Division, confirmed what the President had disclosed in his SONA regarding the backlog of school chairs and classrooms, particularly in the countryside.
In Negros Oriental, the DepEd is now in the process of bidding for the purchase of school chairs while construction of more classrooms is ongoing.
A Business Management student of Foundation University, Kristy Artes, meanwhile said she is impressed with the optimistic economic growth rate of the country with the presence of investments, especially by business process outsourcing (BPO) companies.
A lady government employee who asked not to be identified said she supports the President’s challenge and goal for transparency in government projects, especially in agriculture, while a retired teacher who also requested anonymity said she is hopeful that the P5,000 pension for retirees will be realized.
For his part, Mario Ablong, a City Hall employee, said he is happy that there is now wider coverage for the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) and even includes diseases like breast cancer.
A deacon of the Diocese of Dumaguete, Rev. Archie Toroy, also threw his support behind the Aquino administration in what he describes as transparency in running the affairs of government and for the economic gains that it had accomplished over the past year.
Fr. Burton Villarmente, director of the Social Action Center of the Diocese of Dumaguete, also lauded the President for his anti-corruption campaign as well as accomplishments especially in the country’s GNP.