‘This may be the last SONA, but there’s still a long year ahead for the administration.’
—Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
In the sunset days of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, senators want to hear during the Chief Executive’s sixth and final State of the Nation Address today if the country is better off now than when he began his administration in 2016, as well as his roadmap for economic amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Panfilo Lacson said it was crucial for Duterte to update the people on the government’s pandemic response, including the status of the vaccination program.
He said Filipinos also want a report of the highlights of Duterte’s administration in the last five years, as well as what can still be done in the remaining 11 months of his term.
“Where are we now? What is the situation in the many aspects of his administration such as peace and order, fight against illegal drugs, corruption, economy, and foreign policy, particularly the West Philippine Sea?” Lacson said.
Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said more than the legacy, the last SONA should spell out the next steps that the government will undertake in handling the pandemic, especially with the local transmission of the deadlier Delta variant.
“Being his final address to the nation, it would be good for the President to highlight all the achievements of his administration from the last five years, including the legislative highlights, as well as achievements in infrastructure and other programs of the government,” Zubiri said.
“But what the people truly want to hear from our nation’s leader is what he will do to jumpstart our economy and keep it afloat, and how he will try to help our country survive this dreadful pandemic in his last twelve months in office. The country would want to hear about what particular step we as a nation should take and what his administration will do to slow down COVID-19 and help our kababayans uplift themselves from hardship and poverty.”
“This may be the last SONA, but there’s still a long year ahead for the administration, and with the new COVID variants posing a threat, there’s still much to be done,” Zubiri added.
“We have criticized the President when we need to criticize the President. We have supported the moves of the executive department and the President if it is good for the majority of the public,” Sotto said.
“But always, at the end of the day, as far as my leadership is concerned – we always decide on what is good for the majority, not what is good for the President or the administration, or for the opposition,” added the Senate leader.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he is looking forward to hearing the President answer the question of Filipinos: “Have our lives gotten better?”