Wages, inflation, and jobs are the top issues Filipinos want to hear from President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address on July 22, a Pulse Asia survey showed.
The poll revealed that 17.1 percent of the 1,200 respondents want Duterte to discuss higher wages and another 17.1 percent to discuss the lowering of prices of basic goods. Meanwhile, 15.2 percent of the respondents want to hear Duterte’s accomplishments and plans on employment.
The survey also showed that 9.2 percent of Filipino adults want to hear the country’s relations with China.
In addition, 6.1 percent want Duterte to assert Philippine sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea in his televised speech and 3.1 percent said he should explain the country’s policy toward China.
Moreover, 7.8 percent of the respondents deem illegal drugs as an important topic, while 5.9 percent want the President to discuss improvements in the agricultural sector.
Among Metro Manila residents, Philippine-Chinese relations are the most important topic to be discussed. Respondents from Luzon were focused on wages, while those in Visayas and Mindanao want Duterte to talk primarily about inflation, the study showed.
The respondents were asked: “What would you most like for President Duterte to discuss or mention in his coming State of the Nation Address or SONA?”
The survey was conducted from June 24 to 30, when the major news was the fallout from the Recto Bank incident in which a Chinese vessel hit and sank a Filipino fishing boat, leaving its crew of 22 fishermen in distress in open water. The administration drew heavy fire for what critics described as its failure to assert Philippine rights over the country’s exclusive economic zone.
The Palace said these topics have been mentioned by the President in his previous SONAs.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said that corruption, criminality, illegal drugs, terrorism, and the West Philippine Sea dispute are the topics that Duterte is likely to focus on in his address.
While the President’s prepared speech is said to be short, he has been known to go off-topic.
“You know the President. He is very extemporaneous, spontaneous,” Panelo said during a chance interview on Friday.
The spokesman previously said that the SONA will be short, but jested that it might last two hours.
Duterte’s first SONA lasted for one hour and 32 minutes, while his second address lasted for two hours after he deviated from his prepared speech.
His third SONA last year lasted 48 minutes.
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