During the State of the Nation Address of President Aquino he mentioned about the many excesses of his predecessor, the Arroyo government. He had effectively exposed the billions of pesos wasted that could have improved the lives of many Filipinos.
President Aquino proposed many changes in his executive capacity as a President, however if the changes needs to be done by virtue of enacting a law he will need the help of Congress. Thus, nearing the end of his SONA he asked the House of Representatives and the Senate to pass his legislative agenda.
The most prominent among these Legislative Agenda of Noynoy Aquino is the re-codification and evaluation of existing Philippine laws. "There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a re-codification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions," says President Aquino.
President Noynoy Aquino's Legislative Agenda also includes the following:
1. Fiscal Responsibility Bill - this law will limit spending bills for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. This will ensure that there are funds for laws that will be passed and avoid passing laws which are impossible to implement.
2. Procurement Law Ammendment - In order to prevent further incidents like the NBN-ZTE and perhaps eliminate the "SOP" and money-making procedures and bidding the GPRA or General Procurement Reform Act needs to be amended. We do hope that civil society observers will also be given a more direct role in ensuring that the bidding and procurement process is corruption free.
3. Anti-Trust Law - if passed this law will effectively bring down monopolies and cartels in our country. This is indeed a good legislative agenda for the President and we hope that this leads to an economy that gives a chance to every Filipino to not only be a consumer but also a business owner.
4. National Land Use Bill - This law based on our analysis will create better land zoning for the country but if done ijn the interest of land lords might be detrimental to the Land Reform program.
5. Amendment of the National Defense Act - President Aquino said that the National Defense Act made in 1935 needs amendments so that it will be more responsive to the current needs of national security.
6. Whistleblower’s Bill - A bill which will "eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system."
7. Strengthening of the Witness Protection Program - "We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a ninety-five percent conviction," says President Aquino. This is a legislative bill which will surely help improve our justice system.
As a Filipino myself, I just hope that these important Legislative Agenda of President Noynoy Aquino lay-outed in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) will be given due course and will be passed by the 15th Congress.
We also hope that the Freedom of Information Act will also be given priority and endorsement by President Aquino.
The full transcript and text of the State of the Nation Address of President Noynoy Aquino can be viewed at "Pagod Ka Na Bang Maging si Juan?" including the English translation and video coverage.