The guests started arriving at around 1 p.m. President Aquino started his speech at 4 p.m. and ended it at 4:45 p.m.
EXPOSÉS. The topics discussed in his SONA were the fight against corruption and previous instances of fraud in the former administration; poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, abolition of red tape in government, improvement of health care, and the peace talks. (CLICK HERE to read full transcript of the SONA)
President Aquino revealed several exposés in his SONA to stress that his administration will be different from the previous one, which had been fraught with corrupt practices.
"Matagal pong naligaw ang pamahalaan sa daang baluktot. Araw-araw po, lalong lumilinaw sa akin ang lawak ng problemang ating namana. Damang-dama ko ang bigat ng aking responsibilidad," Aquino dclared.
The exposé focused on the budget deficit facing his administration, a result of several budget misappropriations Aquino said had been committed under the rule of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
These misappropriations were disguised in the release of funds for calamity assistance, as unfair "rewards" to officials in several government agencies, "unplanned" infrastructure projects, and others.
"Kasuklam-suklam ang kalakarang ito. Pera na, naging bato pa," Aquino said.
PROMISES. To stamp out corruption, Aquino promised a "zero-based approach," ensuring that the budget is spent wisely.
"Sa susunod na buwan ay maghahain tayo ng budget na kumikilala nang tama sa mga problema, at magtutuon din ng pansin sa tamang solusyon," he announced.
Aquino also maintained that his administration will continue to prosecute tax evaders and corrupt government officials. He also aims to stop extrajudicial killings.
"Pananagutin natin ang mga mamamatay-tao. Pananagutin din natin ang mga corrupt sa gobyerno," he said.
To boost the economy, Aquino hopes to solidify "public-private partnerships." He said this initiative will be positive for all sectors: education, health, peace and order, agriculture, infrastructure and tourism.
"Mula sa mga public-private partnerships na ito, lalago ang ating ekonomiya, at bawat Pilipino makikinabang. Napakaraming sektor na matutulungan nito," he said.
Bureaucratic red tape will also be reduced, Aquino said.
On education, Aquino stressed that the Philippines will aspire for a "global standard" in education, by increasing the basic education cycle from 10 years to 12 years. The PhilHealth program will also be refined to greater serve families who need the most help.
Aquino also vowed to fight for peace in Mindanao and all over the country, by offering peace talks to rebel groups.