SONA – State of the Nation Address

The State of the Nation Address (abbreviated SONA) is an annual address by the President of the Philippines to a joint session of the Congress of the Philippines. Mandated by the 1987 Constitution, the speech is delivered every fourth Monday of July at the Plenary Session Hall of the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The SONA, which is often broadcast, serves as a means to inform the nation about its present economic, political, and social condition. It is also a vehicle for the President to summarise the accomplishments and plans of his/her programme of government both for a particular year and until the end of their term of office.

SONA is usually delivered at around 4pm. Before the appointed time, legislators enter the Plenary Session Hall, with Congresswomen and consorts of Congressmen in recent years sporting traditionally-inspired bespoke couture that, in some cases, expresses their legislative agenda or ideological leanings. The President meanwhile arrives at the Batasang Pambansa Complex some minutes before the beginning of the joint session, and enters the main building through a back entrance. The President is then welcomed with military honors, and greeted by the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, and the welcoming committee, before proceeding to the Presidential Legislate Liaison Office. The President then enters the Plenary Session Hall as the Presidential Anthem is played. The Secretary General introduces the President, who approaches the rostrum and is seated. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House then convene the joint session, and the House of Representatives Choir leads the now standing assembly in singing Lupang Hinirang. Representatives of various religious groups then lead the assembly in an ecumenical prayer.

Latest SONA of President Duterte he said “On West Philippine Sea, it is a delicate balance. Some are saying we should stop those [Chinese] from fishing in our economic zone. Of course, we will, in due time,” The president, however, did not provide a timeline on when government would take action. The president was pilloried when he dismissed an incident in which a Chinese vessel rammed and badly damaged a Philippine fishing boat as a mere accident, despite 22 Filipino being left to fend for themselves in the open sea for five hours. The president then said that he could not send the military to drive foreign fishers out of the West Philippine Sea because it the servicemen would be killed.

SONAPh, #ophirph

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