On Monday, President Benigno Aquino III faces the nation as he reports the accomplishments and plans of his government for the remaining five years of his term. One year after the President took his oath of office, Filipinos weigh in on whether PNoy has delivered on the platforms that swayed no less than 15 million voters in his favor in the 2010 elections.
Tonight at 10:30, on the eve of President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), NEWS5 Debates presents yet another heated clash of opinions in the Hamon sa Pagbabago special episode Unang Taon ni PNoy: Bagsak o Pasado? The debate will be moderated by lawyer Dong Puno and NEWS5 chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes.
Representing the pasado panel in the president’s defense are Akbayan Party spokesperson and former party-list representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma and Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
On the opposing side are former President Arroyo’s secretary of the Cabinet Ricardo Saludo, Manila Standard Today columnist Jojo Robles and radio announcer-columnist Alvin Capino in the bagsak panel.
With PNoy’s job approval rating declining vis-à-vis his relatively high trust rating, government critics continue to harp on the weak side of his administration. The one-hour debate focuses on the core issues of economic growth under PNoy’s administration, along with his ”work smart” working style that raises critics’ eyebrows, the slew of crises his administration managed in the past year, and the never-ending issue of his bachelor love life.
The special SONA-related episode also introduces NEWS5’s audience response system or ARS devices that gather votes from randomly selected individuals who comprise the “undecided” panel. It conducts an exit poll to know how they arrived at their decisions. At certain points of the debate, their votes will show how convincing the two panels have been in presenting their side to the undecided group. Netizens can also participate in the online polls via www.InterAksyon.com.
Political Science students from the University of the Philippines, Colegio de San Juan de Letran-Manila, University of Santo Tomas, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific, Miriam College, Far Eastern University, Lyceum University of the Philippines, De La Salle University-Manila and Ateneo de Manila University also take part in discussions and get the chance to raise education issues.
Tomorrow, July 25, TV5 airs Pagbabago: SONA 2011, the NEWS5 special coverage of President Aquino’s second report to the nation beginning at 3:30 p.m. to be anchored by Erwin Tulfo and Cheryl Cosim from the NEWS5 Center in Quezon City and with Martin Andanar, Cheri Mercado and NEWS5 reportorial teams covering from the House of Representatives and other live points.