Late post: K’s reaction paper on SONA 2017 (school assignment)

President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address was for a lack of better words, informative. There were many topics (important ones at that) that were mentioned during his second SONA last Monday afternoon at the House of Representatives, Quezon City but I only picked five, and they are as follows:

One of the (if not the most) relevant topic for us students is the implementation of the K-!2 curriculum. This topic has been discussed countless times but the pros and cons still stand. The pros being that students now have the freedom to choose or think of what they want with more time, so it wouldn’t be abrupt, a smooth transition to college, if you will. Also in his speech, the widened reach of skills training and a significantly increased number of out-of-school youth who have availed the ALS (Alternative Learning System) was mentioned. As for the cons, (although for me this isn’t really that big of a deal, I can’t say the same for other people), adding 2 more years to the high school education means more tuition fee, but like I said, I don’t think this is that big of a deal seeing as there’s vouchers for incoming senior high school students, so that should help a little. This is an example of socialism.

Secondly, he mentioned the implementation or establishment of the official citizen’s complaint hotline (8888). I do think this is a good idea and it seems like this will actually be a good way for people to voice their complaints, grievances or concerns. What I do think negatively about this is that with all the people calling, it will be just that, people calling. I’d be surprised if they actually took the people’s concerns and address it, much less listen to it. This is an example of social democracy.

Third, Duterte said “We have also installed free WIFI internet in almost 400 public places around the country. We hope that the public will use them to access important information and services.” And that’s great. I can’t think of anything negative to say about that. This is an example of liberalism.

Fourth, the war on drugs. This has been the most controversial thing that has come from his presidency, for me at least. He said that the war on drugs “will be unrelenting”, and he’s right about that. The only positive thing I can think of this is at least they’re actually doing something about the drug problem of our country, although I’m not sure if “killing” people is the right way to go about stopping drugs, but like I said, at least they’re doing something. This is an example of fascism.

First and lastly (there’s more than 5 mentioned during the speech, but I don’t understand the rest enough to say anything about it), bringing back death penalty. I’m not really sure where I stand on this, but I think that is barbaric. Of course, in theory, it sounds like a great deterrent for crime but from what I’ve read, it doesn’t really do anything (aside from killing criminals) and there might be a slight percentage that those sentenced to death are actually innocent (not all the time, but it happens).

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