Press Release
July 17, 2008


Senator Mar Roxas urged President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to use the State of the Nation Address to inspire courage and hope among Filipinos amid a perfect storm of rising oil and food prices, dwindling jobs and threats to law and order.

"The people deserve to hear from the President a concrete plan to fortify the nation against crisis, rather than a day-to-day litany of subsidies and dole-outs that are not placed under a clear lens of public transparency," the senator stressed.

At the same time, Roxas said the President should resist the temptation to use the SONA to defend her administration from criticisms which would only deepen the fissures between government and other sectors and feed into a climate of despair rather than hope.

The president of the Liberal Party said the people have been cast adrift against a rising tide of food and oil increases without clear safety nets crafted around sound policy, not political theater.

Roxas said a national jobs program is needed to provide income and productivity. "Big-ticket capital expenditures must give way to maintenance projects that are labor-intensive," he added.

The senator also underscored the need to stamp out corruption particularly from billion-peso releases for agriculture, fuel and electricity subsidies.

"To survive this global crisis, our people would need to rally around a common struggle and a coherent, credible national agenda. The President should use the SONA to be candid with the people about what the immediate future holds for the country and what they should expect from the national leadership," Roxas said.

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