Reception Hall, Malacañang
6 August 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed 101 graduating students of PAREF Southridge School for Boys for a post-SONA (State of the Nation Address) open dialogue held at Malacañang Palace.

The students of Southridge posted interesting questions to the President, which was equally received by the latter with enthusiasm in explaining the reforms that the administration is pushing for. Some of the topics discussed in the exchange centered on the K-12 basic education program, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), anti-corruption campaign, job generation, agriculture and tourism initiatives.

A student also probed on how the President copes with the stress and criticisms being thrown at him. According to the President, there will always be an industry of critics and gossips. However, the President said that he draws satisfaction from his involvement in anything that improved the lives of the many.

“Why did I accept this job or this challenge to lead the people? I saw an opportunity. I could see an opportunity to radically transform this country and see the fruition of the dreams that were epitomized in EDSA,” the President said.

“When you live this world there has to be less problems for the next generation or otherwise you failed,” he added.

When asked on how he wanted to be remembered by the Filipino people, the President answered, “I really want to be able to say in my last speech before the nation, ang laki ng pinagbago ng bayan natin noh? And there will be changes… Pilipino ako kaya ko lahat ‘to, ito sana ang attitude and if I was a party to changing that attitude and leading towards transformation then I would say… kung tawagin ako ni Lord okay na ako kung masasabi ko lahat niyan. We had the opportunity, we seized the opportunity and it redounded really to that transformation of our people and our society.”

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