The tale that the president would tell the Filipino nation in his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) would be a narration of what the Marcos administration labeled as hits and misses based on the targets and promises laid in the first SONA. It would be recalled that the president emphasized on his election campaign promise to make the price of rice at twenty pesos per kilo as one of the major concerns of his administration. Amid the seemingly unattainable promise, he took the helm as secretary of the agriculture department ostensibly to provide direction to the plans and programs in the agriculture sector.

While the price of rice remained high, the electorate who were duped into believing on such promise remained poor as wages stagnated under the influence of capitalists owning big businesses. In the intervening period, prices of sugar skyrocketed as local producers were losing from the onslaught of imported sugar that the government permitted to selected private importers. The common people could not afford the extremely high sugar prices. Also, prices of bread and other products use sugar as an ingredient similarly went up.
The impact of such prices was followed with the increase of prices of onions. The situation got worse as food menus had to increase prices to at least cover the undue high prices of onions. People lived in undue hardship as the high prices of commodities were increasing unabatedly. Aside from the high prices, people had to look for such goods such as rice, sugar and onions which went scare in markets. Where there are limited supplies, people had to endure queueing long lines just to avail of rationed limited purchases.

The situation led congress to conduct investigations in aid of legislation. People witnessed the political hustling in such investigations, with members of the investigating committee toeing the line of the administration. While witnesses and documents bared that the undue price increases were artificial and caused by individuals who had connections with the administration, the buck stopped where high ranking officials were purportedly involved.
The importation of sugar was traced to permits issued by high ranking officials of the government who acted under instructions of the powers that be. In like manner, the hoarding of sugar and onions were made at the behest of those with the proper connections that were traced in the congressional probes. All that anomalous deals where scratched by the congressional inquiries merely on the surface. No definite conclusion was reached.

The individuals involved as found and identified in the congressional hearings were merely noted but no one was ever indicted before the courts. Meanwhile, we live in a state of low wages and high prices, and that is the true state of our nation.
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