President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver his first SONA (State of the Nation Address) on July 25, 2016, which falls on the fourth Monday of July and marks the regular opening of the Congress. This is in accordance with Article VI, Section 15 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution. Nevertheless, President Duterte’s first SONA will somehow be different.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar confirmed that Brillante Mendoza will direct the first SONA of President Duterte. Mendoza recently met with Andanar and other Malacanang officials to discuss the details, and even made a tour at Batasan Pambasa. Here are five interesting things you should expect on Duterte’s first SONA.
#1 Say goodbye to the traditional red carpet fashion show
President Duterte’s first SONA will not be a fashion show just like the previous ones. As incoming Finance Department spokesperson Paola Alvarez have told the media at Malacañang this Monday, guests will be asked to wear business attire. Ladies are strongly advised not to wear their gowns. Instead, they can wear a Filipiniana but only if it is knee-length.
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#2 Brillante Mendoza will direct President Duterte’s first SONA for free
Mendoza, who directed the movie “Ma’ Rosa” where actress Jacklyn Jose as best actress at the Cannes Film Festival last May, confirmed that he will direct President Duterte’s first SONA for free. Yes, the award-winning director said he will do it without receiving a single peso. In fact, he said he will also help in other public campaigns of the Duterte administration.
#3 President Duterte’s speech will be straightforward and less drama
Although there will be some protocols and traditions that will be followed, President Duterte’s speech will be less dramatic as compared to his predecessors’. Instead, PCO Assistant Secretary Ramon Cualoping III said that it will be straightforward and will focus on the policies that the president would like to impose for the 6 years of his administration.
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#4 President Duterte’s speech will be short and will contain Bisaya
As of posting, President Duterte’s speech for his first SONA is still on draft. However, Cualoping said he expects it to be shorter than the SONAs.of the past presidents. It is not yet confirmed if Davao City administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain (who wrote Duterte’s innaguaral speech) will also write his speech, but it will contain some Bisaya dialect.
#5 Lesser number of people will greet President Duterte once he arrives
Paola Alvarez, (Incoming House Speaker Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez’s daughter) noted that there will be only two people who will greet President Duterte once he arrives at the at the Batasan Pambasa for his first SONA. They are the House Speaker and the Senate President. The others will just escort the president inside the plenary hall.