The period of consequences, and getting things done

The President`s State of the Nation Address (SONA) was filled with the usual facts, figures, accomplishments and adlibs, but his emphasis on corruption being so pervasive, and what he calls the "period of consequences," on the things he has done versus what set out to do is perhaps the boldest point, and the strongest statement of any presidential speech ever.

Unlike previous presidents who made the same speech, this was not a mere restating of his legislative wish list, it was a direct conversation with the people on the accomplishments which he has delivered, opening himself to heightened scrutiny and judgment. In the weeks before the Sona, supporters and detractors alike debated such things on social media on a scale never before seen, creating an atmosphere of political expectation and debate that has definitely leveled up Philippine politics from the past fixation on looks and words to a demand for action and delivery.

The results are clear. With new mayors trying to outdo each other in delivering a clean and orderly city, to the dismissal of corrupt customs officials, a palpable sense of strong governance is felt, and appreciated. Getting things done beyond politics has become a welcome consequence, a new standard of service. If this is the state of the nation, we are not surprised that this presidents popularity has risen the way it has.