President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2020

Photo Credits: Sunstar

Today, 27th of July 2020, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived in Batasang Pambansa at exactly 4 p.m. for his 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA). He had a limited physical audience inside due to the threat caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Only 17 cabinet members and limited congress are present when he delivered his speech while Vice President Leni Robredo was just on the Livestream. This is the first time that the Vice President of the Philippines was not physically invited at the annual address.

Here are the takeaways during SONA 2020:

  • President Duterte started on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and expressed his gratitude towards health workers who are fighting in the front line against the virus especially those who died during the invisible battle.
  • The president said that while we are on the pandemic, some are taking advantage for their own benefit. He mentioned senator Franklin Drilon pertaining to the issue of ABS-CBN’s denied franchise renewal and hitting his family regarding the political dynasty. He warned those who are committing corruption and profiteers that they will be liable under the law.
  • He talked about the administration’s accomplishments for the past four years of giving aid to indigent families like 4P’s and such.
  • He also urged DSWD to investigate claims that jeepney drivers are not receiving subsidies.
  • President Duterte complimented senator Bong Go and those who are behind the Malasakit Centers.
  • He proudly stated the increased credit ratings of the Philippines.
  • According to him, the country is in a good position to get through the COVID-19 crisis.
  • He wants to end different forms of discrimination.
  • The president talked about human rights and he said, “Hindi natin tatalikuran ang obligasyon sa laban para sa karapatang pantao.”
  • He thanked those who helped amidst this pandemic (National Task Force, Local Government Unit, and others).
  • President Duterte: Buhay muna bago lahat
  • The Philippines avoided 1.3M infections because of government actions versus COVID-19.
  • The enactment of the SAP program was not perfect and profiteers will be liable under the law.
  • According to President Duterte, the country should focus on economic recovery with the help of CREATE Bill.
  • He trumpets the construction of NLEX Harbor Link, NLEX-SLEX Connector, and other infra projects.
  • He ordered some government agencies to give training and loans for Overseas Filipino Workers.
  • Responsive government assistance for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises as we adapt to new normal. CARES Program of DTI for affected MSME and thousands of loans were approved.
  • The president called to support our own products and help the businesses of the Filipinos.
  • He told the Local Government Unit to vitalize the local tourism.
  • He urged to sue online scammers and protect the consumers.
  • President Duterte said, “Panahon na para mawala ang pila” as he pertains to government offices. Online and paperless transactions in government to serve the people better.
  • The schools will not conduct face to face classes until the availability of vaccines.
  • He talked with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the COVID-19 vaccine and possible cooperation.
  • He said to prioritize schools in remote areas.
  • He wants to create a program to use the returned frequencies and that airwaves and such are belong to the government.
  • President Duterte warned the Telecommunication Companies to improve their services because people are paying them. He will spend his last two years to fix the telecommunication services in the Philippines.
  • He targets to widen the access for Health Care Services in 2021.
  • He also mentioned that the Martial Law in Mindanao ended without abuses.
  • He called to re-enact the death penalty by lethal injection. For him, the death penalty will save the country from dangerous drugs.
  • He discussed how illegal drugs can destroy families.
  • The National Housing Development Bill should now be passed.
  • According to President Duterte, it is now time to focus on Nursing Education Act because COVID-19 will no be the last pandemic.
  • Congress wants to prioritize the adjustment on the Pension System with Uniformed Personnel.
  • The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and immigration should be modernized as soon as possible.
  • The need to establish the Boracay Island Authority to take care of the Island.
  • President Duterte urged Congress to help the farmers by establishing a ‘Plant Plant Plant’ project.
  • He is not against America nor China but discourages putting bases in our country.
  • He also addressed the criticism with regard to the West Philippine Sea issue. He said that China is in possession of the property and he cannot afford a war, “Inutil ako diyan, and I’m willing to admit it.”
  • The president asked the Filipino people to put faith in government in the battle against COVID-19.
  • In the last part of the SONA, President Duterte returned to Senator Franklin Drilon on oligarchs issue if he is a part of ACCRA. He said that the senator is a hypocrite and congress can’t pass the anti-dynasty law.

The speech ended after one hour and 33 minutes. The State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2020 is the longest one he delivered.

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