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President Noynoy Aquino's First SONA

Monday, July 26, 2011

Written by Nonoy Oplas
Nonoy Oplas' facebook Page
The new President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, delivered this afternoon his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). He has been in power for only 4 weeks now.

The Address is long, I will only make a few comments on some of the points he discussed.

I really expected him to say something on reducing government bureaucracies for the entrepreneurs, the job creators, the capitalists, big and small. And I was not disappointed.

Towards the middle of his address, he said, referring to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and other government agencies like the BIR and SEC.

"Ang walang-katapusang pabalik-balik sa proseso ng pagrehistro ng pangalan ng kumpanya, na kada dalaw ay umaabot ng apat hanggang walong oras, ibababa na natin sa labinlimang minuto. Ang dating listahan ng tatlumpu't anim na dokumento, ibababa natin sa anim. Ang dating walong pahinang application form, ibababa natin sa isang pahina."

Translation: "The endless procedures in registering a business name, which takes between four to 8 hours per day, we will reduce it to 15 minutes. The old requirement of 36 documents, we will bring it down to six. The eight pages application form, we will make it one page."

Bingo! Reduce the bureaucracies, reduce the number of signatures by government officials and bureaucrats, that alone will bring down corruption in the country.

Some guys though, considered the President's SONA as "elitist". They blasted it as pro-big business, and hence, worsening the inequality in Philippine society.

Consider this example. A group of OFWs with some savings wants to put up a micro-business, say a parlor or barber shop, or bake shop or internet shop or food shop. Various national and local government bureaucracies require them 3 to 4 dozens of different taxes and regulatory fees to pay every year, excluding the taxes and fees just to start a business. The President said this is wrong. The number of business regulations, the procedures in getting a business name, the number of pages of application forms, etc., should be drastically cut. Is this elitist?

I don’t think so. It is pro-small busines, it is pro-big business too. When there are lots of bakeshops, lots of internet shops, lots of parlor/barber shops, lots of food shops, lots of jobs will be created. When people have jobs, they tend to become independent of government. They do not easily run to politicians and government welfare offices, they have the resources to take care of themselves, their families, friends and relatives.

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