President Duterte SONA 2020 highlights, review for reaction paper

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered on Monday, July 27, 2020 his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) in front of limited number of lawmakers and guests at the Batasan Pambansa in Quezon City.

    President Duterte SONA 2020 highlights, review for reaction paper
    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his Fifth State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 27, 2020.
    Duterte's SONA unveiled the roadmap and guidelines on economic recovery amid the country's battle against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


    The speech of the president centered on policies and pronouncements for COVID-19 response, especially in balancing the health sector preparedness and opening more economic activities.

    Same with previous years, other key policies, programs and initiatives of the government were discussed separately in the three-part pre-SONA, which has helped in preparing a shortened version of the SONA speech.

    Duterte also addressed the concerns on generating and sustaining livelihood and continuity of education in the anticipated opening of classes next month.

    The president's speech started at exactly 4:00 in the afternoon and concluded at 5:46 p.m. or 26 minutes longer than the rehearsed speech after the out of script remarks and lectures on oligarchy.

    Only selected members of the Congress and Cabinet physically attended the SONA, in contrast to the usually jam-packed audience at the Batasan.

    Be guided with our summary and review of President Duterte's SONA 2020. Students may use this as reference in making a reaction paper:

    President Duterte started his speech with the reality that we live in a troubled time due to coronavirus pandemic. "No nation was spared, neither rich nor poor were exempt from the onslaught of this disease," he said.

    He lauds the government agencies for competently responding to the crisis brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. "The intervention that the government had put in place prevented as much as 1.3 to 3.5 million infections," he said.

    Duterte accused Senator Franklin Drilon of defending oligarchs and taking advantage of a preoccupied government. He said Drilon was linking anti-dynasty with oligarchy and protecting the Lopez family, who owns ABS-CBN. The president said he was a casualty of ABS-CBN in the 2016 elections. The franchise of the network expired in May and was not passed in the Lower House as majority or 70 lawmakers opposed for the renewal.

    He cited over 4.3-M poor families benefited from the Pantawid Pampamilya program amid the crisis.

    Duterte welcomed the passage of Sanggunian and Barangay Elections to save funds for the COVID-19 response.

    Senator Bong Go was commended for his efforts in addressing the pandemic and endorsed the Balik Probinsya program.

    Duterte praises Southeast Asian Games hosting, saying "Indeed, we won as one."

    Duterte says economic and fiscal situation of the Philippines is strong, saying the country is in better position to weather global crisis brought by coronavirus pandemic.

    Duterte also cited executive orders and other issuances he has signed to eliminate discrimination and child labor.

    The Salary Standardization Law of 2019 increased salaries of civilian government workers. "I hope this law will inspire government workers to perform better and encourage young brilliant citizens to join public service," he said.

    The president also said the country's economic fiscal management is prudent and our banking system is robust. We have accomplished significant infrastructure project under the Build, Build, Build.

    The frontline processes including consular services, processing of building and business permits, and the services for overseas Filipinos and seafarers were streamlined.

    Duterte revealed the Philippines received a BBB+ credit rating, despite ASEAN credit rating downgrades and negative outlooks worldwide.

    The president highlighted and thanked Congress for the swift passage of the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act helping the country in this crisis.

    He also expressed gratitude those who supplied food, water and basic utilities of our households in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic; efforts of frontliners and local govt officials. He prays LGU officials would set aside partisan politics and do what is good for all.

    Duterte said he signed EO 92 creating the National Council against Child Labor. "Government efforts to protect the rights of children will be amplified to prevent, reduce or eliminate any form of child labor," he said.

    He said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) offering skills training to provide jobs and scholarships for children of OFWs.

    The president admitted that implementation of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) was not perfect. "Some opportunists turned the crisis into an opportunity. We will catch up with you sooner than you think," he said.

    He reiterated the call that physical queuing a thing of the past. "We need paper-less type of business," he said.

    Duterte said he asked Chinese President Xi Jinping if the country can get the vaccine once it is available.

    He will not allow face-to-face learning as COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available.

    The government is targeting to conduct 1.4 million COVID-19 tests by the end of July.

    Duterte warned telecommunications companies Smart and Globe to improve services by December or he will expropriate them.

    The president said the government will increase access to healthcare by 2021.

    He also urged lawmakers to expedite passage of of the law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Act of 2002.

    Duterte also called the Congress to amend Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 or CPD Law.

    He also pushes for the passage of Nursing Education Act, Medical Reserve Corps, National Disease Prevention and Management Authority to better respond to future outbreaks.

    Duterte said the need to modernize the Fire Protection and Immigration bureaus, urging the passage of Dept of Disaster Resilience.

    A law should be enacted as well creating Boracay Island Authority.

    Duterte is also pushing for the creation of Coco Levy Trust Fund to develop the industry.

    The president admitted he has nothing against America and China but said "if they put bases here at this time, this will ensure if war breaks out, the extinction of the Filipino race."

    On West Philippine Sea dispute, Duterte said China is in possession of the property. "They are in possession, so what can we do. We have to go to war. And i cannot afford it. Maybe some other president can but i can’t. Inutil ako dyan."

    In our battle against COVID-19, he said it will take longer than expected. "Everyone's cooperation is needed in the fight against COVID-19," he said.

    Reactions on President Duterte's 5th SONA

    Despite the threat of COVID-19, thousands of anti-Duterte protesters and militant groups rallied near the Batasang Pambansa complex.

    Adopting the theme #SONAgKAISA, they expressed their calls to junk the anti-terror law and to support the renewal of ABS-CBN's frachise, killed by the 70 lawmakers at the House of Representatives.

    In his second-to-the-last SONA, Filipinos are seeking for concrete and focused plans for the Philippines to rise above the crisis.

    Latest SWS survey revealed that an estimated 5.2 million families or 1 out 5 Pinoys have experienced involuntary hunger amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the highest hunger rate since September 2014, when incidence of hunger reached 22.0 percent of polled households.

    — The Summit Express


    Write a comment
    1. I am satisfied with the President Sona today. God bless you Tatay Digong.

      1. Dili me satisfied-Dating Diggy Supporter

    2. Asan yung sinasabing alang kwentang SONA ng mga artist ng ABS-CBN and anti-duterte administration? Palibhasa kasi yung mga Pilipino ngayon kontroladong kontrolado ng media, kung ano nalang sabihin nito yun nayung pinapaniwalaan nila. Di man lang nila naisip na madaming binabangga ang President na may kapangyarihan kaya natural na madaming may kayang manira sakanya. Please take time to think and fo your own research before coming up in a conclusions, let's just cooperate and trust the process of government, kaya ang bagal ng progress natin dahil puro kayo opinyon na based lang sa one-sided biased story.

    3. ang mga naniniwala sa abs cbn...
      bkit hndi matanggap na expired n nga prangkisa....
      wag isisi lahat sa govt kilos2 din

    4. Seriously people right now not even thinking all the hardships our president is facing. Kala mo sobrang educated to say this and that in social media. Kung gusto nyo yung mga iniisip nyo at sinasabi nyo nasusunod, edi kayo mag presidente. Sama mo yung mga kasundo mo sa pagpopost ng mga bagay na wala namang kwenta at walang maayos na basehan tutal kayo naman magagaling mga depungal.

    5. Walang kwenta si Irene P


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