President Rodrigo Duterte will not discuss his political plans for 2022 during his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday, but instead will outline his roadmap in his remaining year in office, Malacañang said.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the President’s speech would focus on what his plans would be in the next 11 months and the achievements under his administration during the past five years.
“It is unlikely that the President’s plans for 2022 will be included in his landmark speech. I don’t think his political plans will be part of the speech,” Roque said in a press briefing.
“What’s important is the roadmap for his last year in office,” he added.
The Palace official said that Duterte had rehearsed for his final SONA at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
“He will look back at the five years that have passed since he was President. He will focus on, of course, the country’s progress, our social programs, infrastructure, peace and security, foreign policy. He will answer the questions, ‘What and where we are now?’ Roque said.
Roque also confirmed that Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, would not attend her father’s finaCONA.
Davao city vice mayor Sebastian Duterte, who tested positive for COVID-19, will not be there either while his brother, Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte, has yet to confirm if he would be attending the SONA.
Roque said the Palace hoped Congress would pass “as soon as possible” the President’s remaining priority measures in his remaining months in office.
He cited the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program and the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, the Foreign Investments Act, and the Public Service Act as among the government’s priority measures.
Roque said Duterte might also push for the swift passage of the Bayanihan to Arise as One (Bayanihan 3) bill, which intends to earmark P401 billion for the government’s COVID-19 response and recovery interventions grounded on economic inclusivity and collective growth.
In related developments:
* Only eight of the 24 senators have confirmed their attendance to personally go to the House of Representatives for the SONA on Monday. Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he would be joined by Senate Majority Leader Miguel Zubiri, and Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Ronald Dela Rosa, Christopher Go, Francis Tolentino, Ramon Revilla Jr. and Imee Marcos.
* The House of Representatives launched on its official Facebook Page an omnibus video titled “Kung Duterte, Posible” highlighting the President’s legislative accomplishments and remarkable programs during the past five years. Speaker Lord Allan Velasco said he and his colleagues in Congress were proud partners of President Duterte in his efforts to initiate genuine change for the benefit of the Filipino people.
* The Akbayan party-list and its allies from people’s organizations and social movements have threatened to mark July 26 as “Goodbye Duterte Day.” “There will be two prominent words from the public that will mark Mr. Duterte’s last SONA. They will not be ‘thank you,’ but, ‘goodbye, Duterte,” Akbayan spokesperson RJ Naguit said.
* Police authorities said 15,000 cops from the National Capital Region Police Office would be deployed in Quezon City to ensure peace and order during the SONA. “This is to guarantee that before, during and the aftermath of the SONA will go smoothly as planned since it will be more challenging than it was over the past few years due to the threat of the current health crisis.” said NCRPO director Vicente Danao Jr. “We will allow freedom of expression but of course let us always take consideration of the IATF (Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) rules because it can be a cause of wide spreaders, especially now with cases of Delta variant. That’s why we are asking the people to stay at home, to prevent the spread of the dangerous virus,” the NCRPO chief said.
* The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines will enforce limited and no fly zones at the House of Representatives and its immediate vicinity for three days beginning July 25. The CAAP has issued a Notice to Airman or NOTAM as advisory for the said event.
* Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines said its members will carry banners to voice out their call for wage increase and condemnation to the anti-labor regime of President Duterte “not just online, but on the streets leading to Batasang Pambansa.” The group stated that the Duterte administration has only given two rounds of increase for minimum wage earners nationwide.
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