MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is inviting Filipinos to watch him deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25 at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
Marcos made the call in the caption of a video montage posted in his official Facebook page showing his journey from the presidential campaign to his inauguration and in carrying out presidential duties at Malacañan Palace.
“Nalalapit na ang ating pinaka-unang State of the Nation Address. Samahan niyo po ako at pakinggan ang estado ng ating bansa at ang mga plano at mithiin natin bilang isang sambayanan para sa mga susunod na taon (Our very first State of the Nation Address is approaching. Join me and listen to the state of our country and our plans and goals as a people for the coming years),” he said.
In the comment section, netizens sent good luck wishes and expressed anticipation to watch the President’s report on the state of the country and the government’s agenda for the year.
“Good luck po sa SONA sir (on your SONA)…Always remember that your success is the success of the Filipino people. We trust you fully. God bless [and] stay healthy na po,” said Marianne Criselda Garcia Arpilleda.
Another netizen said she would be watching from abroad despite being in a different time zone from the Philippines.
“I won't miss it for the world. I will definitely be watching from my home in Aurora, Colorado. May God bless and guide you always, my beloved President. You're always in my prayers, that's for sure,” Luchie Advincula Paza-Hover said.
Another said he would treat the SONA as his “rest day” despite being slated on a Monday.
“Yes, I will consider this as my rest day just to watch the 1st SONA of President [Marcos],” Conrad Napalit said.
According to the Official Gazette, the SONA is a constitutional obligation, required under Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution: “[T]he President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.”
Article VI, Section 15 also prescribes that the Congress “shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session.”
The House of Representatives has authorized full capacity for Marcos’ first SONA on July 25 amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic.
House Secretary-General Mark Llandro Mendoza earlier said roughly 1,200 people will be allowed entry to Congress including 300 congress members, 24 senators, and members of the diplomatic corps.
This would be the first time that Congress will be allowed at full capacity since 2019. Former president Rodrigo Duterte held his last two SONAs in a mixed live and virtual setup due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. (PNA)