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Duterte’s 4th SONA to tackle admin’s accomplishments; OFWs expect workers’ welfare abroad

by | News

Jul. 20, 19 | 11:33 am

President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his 4th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 22.

About 3,000 guests are expected to personally watch the president’s SONA at the Batasang Pambansa plenary hall. According to Secretary-General Robert Maling, top politicians, cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, members of the diplomatic corps, former presidents, and other invited guests are expected to attend the event.

But Sarah Duterte who is an important icon in the event will not attend his father’s speech because she’s on special leave for 60 days.

Also, confirmed in the event will be Vice President’s Leni Robredo.

However, former president Benigno Aquino III- Robredo’s party mate at the Liberal party will skip again President Duterte’s SONA for the fourth time.

OFWs welfare

Netizens are expecting something on Duterte’s speech about the welfare of OFWs especially when it comes to their security, protection, and safety. This was after the President’s message on the creation of the Department of OFWs last week.

The president promised to finish the framework for the creation of the OFW department by the second week of August.

Senator Go cited one of the first senate bills he filed which was SB 202 or the Department of Overseas Filipinos Act of 2019.

This legislative measure proposes the establishment of a Department of Overseas Filipinos that will serve as an umbrella agency to address the issues and concerns of overseas workers including their families. The said measure also aims to protect them, promote their full and just employment, mitigate the social costs back home and serve as a channel to address OFW issues and grievances.

Content delivery

In an interview made by ABS-CBN News to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, the 4th SONA will be about his “legacy” especially about poverty, the Build, Build, Build program, and issues on armed conflict. He will also tackle about the passage of the Land Use Act.

Earlier, the president said that he might use the SONA to “educate” Filipinos especially on his critics on allowing Chinese fishermen to fish in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio slammed the presidential decision before since the Constitution expressly states that resources in Philippine waters are to be reserved for Filipinos.

Other issues that are expected to be tackled will be about the United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution on actions against illegal drugs.

Expectations

According to Andanar, SONA is expected to run for about one hour and 20 minutes long on an average based on his previous SONAs. To review, Duterte’s first SONA was 100 minutes long, his second SONA was two hours long, and his 3rd was only 48 minutes.

The public might also want to watch out for some “creative surprises” from award-winning director Joyce Bernal, the director of this year’s SONA. Changes are also expected on the venue including stage designs, camera angles, and LEDs.

Lawmakers will begin the 18th Congress session at 10 am, but guests are expected to be in the plenary hall by 3 pm to ensure they are seated before Duterte’s speech at 4 pm.

There will be no classes in all levels in all public and private schools in Quezon City on Monday. Police and activist groups are working together to keep protesters safe during the SONA.

Authorities are beefing up security, following the involvement of a Filipino in a suspected suicide blast in Sulu last month.

Broadway singer Arman Ferrer will be singing the “Lupang Hinirang” before Duterte’s 4th SONA. He will also be singing the national anthem when the House of Representatives opens its session in the morning.

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It has a print run of 60,000 copies and 250,000 readership per week; bolstered by 2.5 million visitors to its website every month. It also has an e-newsletter sent to its 250,000 subscribers every day.

The Filipino Times is FREE and has the widest targeted circulation across the 7 emirates of the UAE.

With more than 2,500 strategic distribution spots, TFT is available where the Filipinos are - at Smart Bus Shelters, Metro Stations, restaurants, supermarkets, schools, airport lounges, Emirates and Etihad Philippine-bound flights, churches, Filipino community events and many more.

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