On July 25, 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) in front of the legislators, businessmen, distinguished guests, and ordinary citizens at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
You may check out the full transcript in English and Filipino of Duterte's #SONA2016.
Here's Reyn's Room's sample reaction paper. You may use this as a guideline in doing your reaction paper.
#SONA2016: Letting go, embracing change, and moving forward
We've always wanted change. It is something viable, but why is it always so hard to achieve? Until Rodrigo Duterte made us realize that change is coming. Many anticipated his first State of the Nation Address (SONA). And after watching his speech, I can see the change slowly coming.
The President started his speech with a powerful statement:
"We cannot move forward if we allow the past to pull us back. Fingerpointing is not the way. That is why I will not waste precious time dwelling on the sins of the past."
Powerful because it is a way of acceptance and letting go. How can you do things properly if you still dwell on the past? As our nation's leader, he needs to have a clear mind in doing difficult tasks and implementing them.
Duterte is known as a great combatant against illegal drugs. In his speech, he vowed to double, even triple the efforts until the last drug lord, the last financer, and the last drug pusher have surrendered or put behind bars. Or even below the ground. Those who surrender will be put under the government's drug rehabilitation program.
He also said that human rights must work to uplift human dignity, "but human rights cannot be used as an excuse to destroy our country."
He also asked our Muslim brothers to end the centuries of distrust. "To the CPP-NPA-NDF, let us end these decades of skirmishes. We are going nowhere... getting bloodier by the day." He announced a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF immediately.
Another strong points made by Duterte are improving the economic factors in our government: lower personal and corporate income taxes, more jobs, soil analysis and fisheries laws.
For public service, he wants to build access roads to service centers, improve roads and bridges, and put up new pumping stations in strategic places. Duterte promises that train tickets will soon be readily and easily accessible. He shall also pursue rail projects in Metro Manila. He also wants passport validity extended from 5 to 10 years. Also, he wants to have free WiFi access in selected public places!
Duterte also called for the full implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law. He also highlighted the newly-signed executive order on Freedom of Information (FOI), which will result in a good and transparent government.
Overall, Duterte wants to have a clean government. And this change surely has already started. I noticed that unlike the previous SONAs, a more controlled and peaceful protests by militant groups happened outside the Batasang Pambansa. The budget for food was also cut. There was no longer a "fashion show" at the Batasan Complex.
While Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said Duterte's SONA will only last 30 minutes, it actually lasted for 1 hour and 33 minutes, because he had a lot of ad libs. Nevertheless, his speech was straightforward, precise, and delivered a strong message to the Filipino people.
Let us help this government. Duterte cannot solve our multitude of problems alone. One key is change. And let this change start amongst us.
Highlights and Major Points
- Fingerpointing is not the way. Duterte said he will not waste his precious time dwelling on the sins of the past.
- Those who betray the people's trust will be punished and they will have their day in court
- Duterte said he will wage war on those who make mockery of our laws.
- "Courage knows no limits."
- "We cannot move forward if we allow the past to pull us back."
- There should never be a separation between the Church and state.
- Duterte vows to double, triple if need be, the efforts until the last drug lord, the last financer, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground.
- Duterte warned law enforcers: "Abuse your authority and there will be hell to pay, for you will have become worse than criminality itself."
- Duterte ordered DILG to strictly monitor how LGUs perform their supervision functions over the police.
- The AFP will facilitate the use of military camps for drug rehabilitation.
- "Human rights must work to uplift human dignity, but human rights cannot be used as an excuse to destroy our country."
- Duterte aims to strengthen ties with Indonesia and Malaysia to suppress kidnappings in our neighboring waters.
- Duterte strongly affirms and respects the outcome before the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on the West Philippine Sea dispute.
- Duterte says "all of us want peace. Not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living."
- He asks our Muslim brothers to end the centuries of distrust. "To the CPP-NPA-NDF, let us end these decades of skirmishes. We are going nowhere... getting bloodier by the day." He announced a unilateral ceasefire with the CPP-NPA-NDF immediately.
- "If we cannot as yet love one another, then in God's name, let us not hate each other too much."
- Duterte pursues lower personal and corporate income taxes.
- He also promised more jobs and a stronger economy.
- Duterte calls for the full implementation of the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
- Duterte wants to conduct soil analysis and enforce fisheries laws.
- He wants to build access roads to service centers, improve roads and bridges, and put up new pumping stations in strategic places.
- Duterte warns illegal vehicle owners.
- He assures his will be a clean government.
- Duterte promises that train tickets will soon be readily and easily accessible. He shall also pursue rail projects in Metro Manila.
- He wants a "one-stop shop" for OFWs.
- Duterte seeks to replace the state-run People's Television Network with a new People's Broadcasting Corporation (PBC). A Radyo ng Bayan will be integrated with PBC.
- Duterte's government does not condone violence and repression of media.
- He urges Congress to pass the Whistleblower Protection Law.
- Duterte warns mining companies that violate government standards.
- Pass BBL minus the "constitutional issues."
- Duterte wants passport validity extended from 5 to 10 years.
- Duterte urges public to report any wrongdoings. "The gates of Malacañang will be open... magsumbong ka."
- He wants more consular offices in strategic places.
- Free Wi-Fi access shall be provided at no charge in selected public places.
- There will be no demolition activities without relocations.
- Duterte's administration will protect women's rights.
- Thousands have been arrested for drug-related cases.