Press Release
July 23, 2013

Excerpts from interview with Sen. Ralph Recto

On the SONA being too long The SONA was never meant to be a Wikipedia of programs. First, there is the time limitation. It can never touch all the bases unless we want it to become some sort of a Holy Week pabasa. As to criticisms that it did not touch on some important issues, again let me go back to my first thesis, that it can never be an encyclopedia of solutions. Despite these limitations, the President gave a fair accounting of what he had done and what he plans to do, and to those who are looking for specifics, he went micro several times, from the benefits of refrigerated lapu-lapu fish to where an important flood control project in Manila will be built. It is this attention to detail that his SONA qualifies as a manual for inclusive growth.

On the national budget To me this is the important accompanying document to the SONA. This is the state of the nation spelled out in peso terms. The visions spelled out in the SONA must be expressed in the proposed budget. If a program is not in the budget, it remains a political rhetoric.

I am sure that the President, his Cabinet, and Secretary Abad have crafted a budget that funds not only the promises of the SONA but also the reforms needed to create growth that will benefit all. I am proposing that the Senate holds hearings parallel to what the House will be conducting to save time and maximize our evaluation of the spending document.

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