Prof. Alex Magno calls the State of the Nation Address of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo a grand fantasy production, what with all the props in place.
Unlike the past SONAs of PGMA, I was utterly amused and entertained listening to this yearâ€™s address. Itâ€™s like when youâ€™re watching all these fantasy stuff on television today like Majika or Captain Barbell. You know the characters arenâ€™t real but youâ€™re hooked anyway. You turn off the t.v. and ask yourself whatâ€™s the whole point anyway? You just wasted a good solid hour watching trash.
In the political economic perspective, PGMAâ€™s SONA is a vision, a wish list for our country. Infrastructures are seen as the key to country-wide developmentâ€”delivering the goods on time and for a cheap price, thereby lessening production and transactions costs for investors who will then have more means to employ more people.
The SONA then leaves us with the question of budgetary allocation for all these mega projects. But perhaps a deeper underlying problem is the corruption in our bureaucracy. Even if you have the budget and the cash flow for these plans, the bigger problem is that the administration would have these projects managed by people like those in Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) who pawns their yes to chacha for their own political agenda.
The administrationâ€™s economic team would be quick to argue that the build-operate-transfer model of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) proves it can be done with less corruption. Iâ€™m not sure though how they could explain the dismal financial status of the MRT.
As Magno says, the SONA is a fantasy production of sorts. History attests that fantasies and whimsical stories thrive on societies plagued by war and extreme poverty.