President Duterte SONA 2016 highlights, review for reaction paper

MANILA, Philippines - President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered on Monday, July 25, 2016 his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in front of lawmakers and guests at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City.

President Duterte SONA 2016 highlights, review for reaction paper

The much-anticipated SONA 2016 started at exactly 4:07 in the afternoon and concluded after 1 hour and 32 minutes (5:39 p.m.). The Duterte's speech made a history for the longest first SONA. Analysts said that it was sincere, entertaining and compassionate.


Before the SONA, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar underscored, “It is a very powerful speech personally written by the President that will awaken the patriot in every Filipino.”

True to his words, the Duterte SONA has strong message of change for the Filipinos.

Be guided with our review and analysis of President Duterte's SONA 2016. Students may use this as reference for making a reaction paper:

"I will not waste time dwelling on past sins. Vindictiveness is not in my system," President Duterte opened his speech.

On fighting against criminality and corruption, Duterte said it will be relentless. He promised not to stop until the last drug lord. He encouraged the police officers and the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) to do their job.

"On this quest, I will put at stake my honor, my life and presidency," the president said.

Duterte emphasized that human rights must uplift dignity.

On terrorism, the president said the administration will strengthen coordination with Indonesia and Malaysia.

Despite his statement on Paris agreement, Duterte said global warming is a top priority.

On South China Sea dispute, the Palace affirmed decision of the arbitral tribunal. "All of us want peace."

Duterte also appealed to the leftist Muslim brothers and CPP-NPA-NDF, to end centuries of mistrust to the government. "If we can't love each other, then don't hate too much."

On taxation, the government will pursue reforming the old tax system.

On Reproductive Health issues, he said that RH Law must be put in full force.

Change on government agencies will be applied, streamline business registration process or reduce the red-tape.

On infrastructure, inter-island linkage projects will be implemented. "We will also improve the transport system in Metro Manila."

Duterte also mentioned he will push the federal form of the government.

For the first time, a proposal to create People's Broadcasting Corporation or the replacement of PTV 4, the government-run TV station based on international standards was promised.

Duterte announced good news about free WiFi access in select public places - including LRT, MRT and government offices.

Duterte also mentioned to improve the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

Duterte also gave message to the Lumads: "Government has given you the legal tool to improve yourselves. Make use of your ancestral domain. While the government is always ready to help you, you must first help yourself. You can chart your own fate, but you do it within constitutional legal means."

Duterte said he is serious on other matters like extending operating hours of LRT from 9:30 PM to 10:15 PM, new railway projects, decongestion of NAIA terminal, building on new runway and civil aviation complex, increase number public lawyers nationwide, extend passport validity to 10 years, creation of agency for OFWs, implementation of Magna Carta for women.

The president also advised his countrymen not to engage on illegal drugs and illegal mining, intensify campaign against human trafficking

He also highlighted the newly signed Executive Order on Freedom of Information (FOI) as centerpiece of good governance and transparency in the Executive Branch, ensuring the public of a government that is by the people and for the people.

Reactions on President Duterte's First SONA

The first SONA highlighted the urgency for change for the benefits of the Filipinos. This includes war on illegal drugs and criminalities, anti-corruption campaign, pushing federalism, solution on Metro Manila traffic and more jobs for the Filipinos.

However, some issues like lowering of the age of responsibility to 12 (as mentioned by Duterte early June), anti-contractualization and death penalty to augment war on drugs were not mentioned.

Duterte's SONA really set change - reduced budget for food and the historic event is no longer a fashion show of spouses of the legislators and guests as business attire was observed in all attendees.

As compared to previous SONAs, a peaceful demonstration of the militant groups happened outside the Batasang Pambansa. The militants from the Left including the lumad from Northern Mindanao and Caraga have vowed not to march in protest as their tradition, but in support of the new President.

READ: Protesters create “Portrait of Peace” instead of burning Duterte effigy during SONA rally

One thing is sure, and as Duterte promised, "this will be a clean government."

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