MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.
|President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) | Screengrab: RTVM|
As the 17th President of the Philippines, Marcos unveiled his plans for the country in the next 12 months. Vice President Sara Duterte, as well as over 1,300 personalities, were at the venue to witness the event.
- SONA 2022 LIVESTREAM: President Marcos’ first State of the Nation Address
- FULL TRANSCRIPT: Marcos’ SONA 2022
- ABS-CBN News airs SONA 2022 multimedia coverage
Be guided with our summary and review of President Marcos’ SONA 2022. Students may use this as reference in making a reaction paper:
Marcos began his speech by stating that we are living in difficult times but we are finding solutions to our problems.
“Our country must become a travel destination,” Marcos said.
Marcos also said he would make tax adjustments and make the process and transactions easier. He mentioned how the Bureau of Customs will also streamline processes. He said he would promote fiscal sustainability and fiscal policies to gain the maximum benefits for our economy.
“We will implement sound fiscal management. Tax administration reforms will be in place to increase revenue collection, expenditure priorities will be realigned and spending efficiency improved to address economic scarring from COVID-19 and prepare for future shocks,” Marcos said.
“Our medium-term fiscal strategy aims to attain short-term macrofiscal stability while supporting economic recovery, promoting medium-term fiscal sustainability,” he added.
The pandemic has placed challenges on the macroeconomy, resulting in inflation, but Marcos said our economic growth remains strong based on our current GDP. “Expenditure priorities will be realigned to address the economic scarring arising from effects of COVID-19,” he said.
Among the initiatives that will remain strong for the rest of the year are a robust manufacturing industry, high COVID-19 vaccination, better healthcare, and more.
Food supply is faced with 2 problems, short-term and long-term. The high prices of food and not enough food supply should be addressed. Loans will be made to promote better farm inputs in the agriculture sector for beneficiaries. ”Value-chain” will be strengthened to increase agricultural output. Farm inputs will be addressed, but in ways that promote the fight against climate change. Science and technology will be used to improve the agricultural sector.
“Ipaprayoridad natin ang modernisasyon ng mga sakahan sa pamamagitan ng makabagong teknolohiya para sa ating mga magsasaka,” he continued.
“Magbibigay tayo ng pautang habang mas ilalapit sa sektor ng agrikultura ang hindi gaanong mahal na farm outputs na bibilhin na ng bulto ng gobyerno. Kabilang dito ang mga abono, pestisyido, ayuda, at fuel subsidy,” Marcos added.
Farm-to-market roads will be increased. Kadiwa Centers will be revived to help consumers have access to affordable goods.
Agrarian reforms will continue and an executive order on a moratorium will be issued to protect them. Civil society will support the moratorium because it will protect farmers. The moratorium will state that the loans with interest that farmers could not pay under the agrarian reform program will be condoned.
“Ang agrarian reform program ay dapat magpatuloy. Agrarian reform is not only about acquisition but also support services and distribution. I intend to issue an executive order to impose a one-year moratorium for the payment of land amortization and interest payments,” Marcos assured.
Tourism will be prioritized to promote the Filipino brand of hospitality and create more jobs.
“To boost our tourism industry, we’ll make basic developments such as road improvement. We’ll also upgrade our airports, make more international airports to help decongest the bottleneck in the Manila airport,” Marcos said.
Social welfare must be improved in times of crisis and difficult times. Social aid lists such as the 4PS will be “cleaned” to remove those who have already “graduated” and allow more families who need it more to receive financial aid.
“Marcos on calamity response: Magdadagdag tayo ng operation centers, warehouses, imbakan ng relief goods lalo na sa mga lugar na mahirap marating. Titiyaking maayos ang koordinasyon ng DSWD, DHSUD para sa biktima ng kahit anong kalamidad,” he said.
Supplemental feeding of children will be expanded. Solo parents will be given enough benefits, while women who are victims of violence will be protected. The vulnerable and PWD centers will be given attention.
Marcos assured that there would be no more lockdowns. They will help create a balance of economic growth and health, so no one will be put at risk. He said he will learn to get used to the COVID-19 virus as part of our lives so we can go back to our normal lives and “full capacity” for businesses.
“Dapat nating balansehin ng maayos ang kalusugan at kapakanan ng ating mamamayan sa isang bansa at ang ekonomiya sa kabilang banda,” Marcos said.
Marcos said he will build our own Center for Disease Control Prevention and a Vaccine Institute, as well as more hospitals. Public healthcare should be accessible for all. He said he would build more healthcare facilities and specialized hospitals not just in Manila but all over the parts of the country.
Efforts will be made to improve the benefits of healthcare frontliners, doctors, nurses, and others. Access to affordable medicines will also be prioritized and will pave the way for more generic medicines in the market.
“Sinimulan ko na ang pakikipagusap sa mga kompanya ng gamot dito sa Pilipinas at sa ibang bansa. Hinihikayat natin na buksan nila ang merkado upang bumaba ang presyo ng gamot,” he said.
Face-to-face classes will resume with the health of learners and teachers in mind. Booster shots are encouraged. Refresher courses will be offered to teachers to help them keep up with the changes. A review of the K-12 program will also be conducted.
Marcos said the alleged poor quality of education in the country must end. The country must keep up with technological advancements and better telecommunications services.
He said, “Universal connectivity will be a vital component in order to ensure that no citizen is left behind.”
The legacy of former President Rodrigo Duterte in terms of infrastructure will be continued. Marcos will not suspend any infrastructure program and it will be expanded. Infrastructure development is very important for his administration. This will improve the overall sectors in the country, including agriculture and even governance.
“We must keep the momentum and aspire to build better. I will not suspend any ongoing projects as those have shown to be of benefit to the public that they serve,” Marcos said.
Railways will be modernized to improve public transport all over the country. Roads and transport hubs will be improved in key cities such as Cebu, Davao, Ilocos, El Nido, and many others.
“We missed opportunities to develop the railway system. The railways offer great potential. It continues to be the cheapest way of transporting goods and passengers,” he said.
Cheap and reliable energy will also be a priority. The Marcos administration will build more power plants to have more sources of energy and take advantage of technology, especially renewable energy sources. Wind power, solar power, and others are suitable for the Philippines. Marcos said it might be the time to review if we can make use of nuclear power plants. This would be possible through Public-Private Partnership (PPP).
“We must increase the level of energy production. We should look at every possible option. There is some room to expand our power supply — but this is only to a limited extent. We must build new power plants,” he said.
The President would also look into the water supply, especially in urban areas. Furthermore, the preservation of the environment is also of great importance. The Philippines is a disaster-prone country, and efforts against climate change must be supported.
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) will be protected as they work abroad with the creation of One Repatriation Command Center. “Red tape” will be removed by digitizing the contracts of migrant workers. It should only take 3 weeks instead of 3 months for an aspiring OFW to process their employment.
“We shall automate the verification of contracts and issue secure overseas employment certifications that you can keep on your smartphones. I call on the Department of Migrant Workers and the DICT to make this a top priority,” Marcos said.
Families of OFWs will be given benefits and supported by giving them training on financial literacy, business, etc.
In terms of foreign policy, Marcos assured he will not abandon our right to our own power and land. The Philippines will be a friend to all, but we will protect “all that is very Filipino.”
“I will not preside over any process that will abandon even one square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power,” Marcos said.
Marcos listed some of his legislative measures, which include:
- The Tax Package 3 Valuation Reform Bill
- Budget Modernization Bill
- Adoption of the proposed Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act
- Pass the proposed National Government Rightsizing Program
- Amend Build, Operate, and Transfer Law
- Amend Electric Power Industry Reform Act
- Reinstitute mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Program
- Pass Ecommerce Law
- Unified System of Separation, Retirement & Pension
- Establish Dept of Water Resources
- Virology Institute of the PH
- Nat’l Disease Prevention Management Authority
- Establishment of Medical Reserve Corp under Department of Health (DOH) composed of physicians, medicine students
In the end, Marcos said he is confident the Filipinos will endure because of our unwavering spirit. “We have assembled the best Filipino minds to help navigate us through this global crisis we are now facing. We will endure. I know this in my mind, in my heart, my very soul. The state of the nation is sound,” he stated.
— Sally, The Summit Express