SONA 2018: time, highlights, live stream and coverage

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conveys the administration’s proactive vision for the Philippines as he delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday, July 23, 2018 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

President Duterte SONA 2018
President Duterte reports to his 'boss'. Photo Credit: Facebook/Presidential Communications Facebook page.


The traditional ceremony will start at 3:30 p.m. as the president will arrive by air or land. He will receive arrival honors to be led by Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff Carlito Galvez Jr, together with the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate and House of Representatives, who will escort the President towards the rear entrance as they walk past the honor guards.


After which, the joint session of 17th Congress will be called to order and the national anthem will be sung by award-winning Tagum City Chamber Chorale, chosen upon the recommendation of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who also hails from Tagum.

The President’s SONA is expected to start at 4:00 p.m. The speech is drafted in English which the President is comfortable with, but His Excellency, like last year, might deliver some off-the-cuff remarks.

Malacañang recently said that Duterte's 3rd SONA will only last for 35 minutes since the president promised to rely on prepared speech.

However, Presidential Communications Secretary Ana Marie Banaag told ABS-CBN News Channel that speech may be longer as Duterte is expected to talk more about the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, target to be signed on Monday before he delivers speech.

The Palace is not also worried if Duterte deviates from the prepared remarks or if it's longer "because people would want to listen to him."

"Even if the President talks for two hours, people are so fixated on what he wants to say so it's not really something we are worried about," Banaag told ANC.

Meanwhile, blockbuster movie director Joyce Bernal will direct Duterte's 3rd SONA pro bono. She intends to capture ‘how much Duterte loves the Philippines’. Previous SONAs of the iron-fist leader were directed by internationally-acclaimed director Brillante Mendoza.


Palace said that the 2018 SONA would be different from the previous years as the president will not tout the accomplishments per Cabinet. Duterte would instead speak as the father of the Filipino people.

Practically, Duterte is the writer of his speech as he removed those parts he feels "is not him."

Duterte instructed to have pre-SONA briefings to have an avenue to discuss policies, programs and projects that the government implemented in the past year. This also includes updates on the economic growth, poverty reduction and various social programs, peace and order campaign, and key developments in the foreign relations of the country, with the end goal of making Filipinos’ lives more comfortable.


The SONA 2018 will be aired via live stream on the government's channel PTV, Presidential Communications Facebook page, and RTVM YouTube channel. The hashtag #DuterteSONA2018 will be used for social media postings of the government.

Mainstream media like ABS-CBN, GMA-7, TV5 and CNN Philippines are expected to provide their own live streaming of SONA 2018 speech and updates.

Watch President Duterte's SONA 2018 speech via live streaming here:

— The Summit Express

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