MANILA – Lawmakers in the Upper Chamber are eager to hear President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivering his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 25.
For Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the three burning issues he wants to be discussed by the President are values, the Covid-19 pandemic, and inflation.
"Most of these are caused externally except for the values. Di natin kontrolado yan (We cannot control that). But how do we react?," Cayetano said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The senator cited some disagreements with recent decisions made by President Marcos but said he agrees with the latter's verdict against electronic cockfighting and not letting any private airport or facility have better benefits than a government-owned economic zone.
"He (Marcos) doesn't need honesty kasi hindi naman siya ang gumawa nung mga problemang to (because he did not create these problems). He can be very honest na ito ang mga problema ng bansa kasi inabutan niya yan (that these are the problems of the country because he caught up to it) as President," Cayetano added, saying the creativity and innovation of the Marcos administration in facing these problems will matter.
On the other hand, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. said he is sure that hopes of the Filipinos will be high during President Marcos' SONA.
"Umaasa tayo na mababanggit sa SONA ng Pangulo ang plano para sa patuloy na pagpapalakas ng infrastructure spending ng gobyerno na sinimulan ni (We are expecting that the President will mention in his SONA at strengthening of infrastructure spending of the government that was initiated by) former President [Rodrigo] Duterte. We will wait for his pronouncements on his plans and legacy projects that will catch us up to existing and future needs -- specifically for health and education facilities, and traffic and flood mitigation projects," Revilla said in a statement.
He is also looking forward to hearing President Marcos' pronouncements on food security and agriculture which the latter currently leads.
"With his goal of inclusive growth and prosperity for all, I am certain that his plans will allay the fears of Filipinos who only want a better and brighter future. Manalig tayong sa kanyang pamumuno ay sasama tayong babangon muli (Let us believe that through his leadership, we will rise up again)," Revilla added.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada is planning to set the President's SONA as a guide to contain the administration's priority measures on how to realize his campaign promise of “Bangon Bayan Muli”.
"I look forward to hearing our President’s vision of the future, his plans for the country post-Covid-19 and how to fuel the full recovery of the national economy after the onslaught of the pandemic," Estrada said, hoping that Marcos will also discuss job generation and assistance for the workforce and also the unemployed.
Meanwhile, House of Representatives Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza expects the Lower Chamber to be at full capacity during President Marcos’ first SONA which was never allowed since 2019 because of the Covid-19 spread.
The SONA is an annual constitutional obligation of the President to report on the status of the country and unveil the government’s agenda until the next year. (PNA)