Marcos ‘very busy’ preparing for first SONA

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MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is “very busy” preparing for his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) which will be delivered at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on July 25.

Marcos has decided to be hands-on, as he is the one composing his own address, Executive Secretary Victor Rodriguez told reporters at the Palace on Friday.

“He’s the one writing his SONA message. And he will be very busy. Yesterday, we tried to relax his schedule so he can write,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez could not estimate the duration of the SONA address because it is still “a work in progress”.

“It’s a moving thing. I think it’s too premature to say right now the number of pages [of Marcos’ speech]),” he said.

However, he stated that the speech of Marcos will focus on the economic agenda and coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic response efforts of the administration.

Marcos would also mention the planned full reopening of classes amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic, Rodriguez added.

In addition, Marcos is set to tackle his objective to pursue “digital governance.”

As the country’s agriculture czar, Marcos is also expected to discuss his plans to ensure food security in the country, according to Rodriguez.

“It is his thrusts, it is his vision for us not only to have food security but food sovereignty. Meaning, if we can feed ourselves as a nation, if we can feed ourselves as Filipinos, I think we are on our way to where we want to be, much like where our neighbors are,” he said. “I hope under his leadership, we’ll be able to institute measures to mitigate its impact on us.”

Under Article 7, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution, the President is mandated to “address the Congress at the opening of its regular session”.

The Philippine president delivers the SONA every year, usually held every last Monday of July, to report the state of the country, unveil the administration’s agenda for the coming year, and ask Congress to pass priority legislative measures.

According to Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander, Col. Ramon Zagala, it is already in the “final stages of preparation” for Marcos’ first SONA.

Zagala stated that the PSG is increasing security measures to protect Marcos, the First Family, and all SONA attendees.

The Philippine National Police’s National Capital Region Police Office earlier said that more than 21,000 police officers will be deployed for the security of the annual event.

House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza previously mentioned that the House of Representatives is expected to be at full capacity during Marcos’ first SONA.

This would be the first time Congress has been able to function in full capacity since 2019.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.