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The much-anticipated SONA 2016

started at exactly 4:07 in the afternoon

and concluded after 1 hour and 32
minutes (5:39 p.m.). The Duterte's
speech made a history for the longest
first SONA. Analysts said that it was
sincere, entertaining and

applied, streamline business registration

"I will not waste time dwelling on past sins.

Vindictiveness is not in my system,"
President Duterte opened his speech.

Duterte also mentioned he will push the

federal form of the government.

On fighting against criminality and

corruption, Duterte said it will be relentless.
He promised not to stop until the last drug
lord. He encouraged the police officers and
the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM)
to do their job.
"On this quest, I will put at stake my honor,
my life and presidency," the president said.
Duterte emphasized that human rights must
uplift dignity.
On terrorism, the president said the
administration will strengthen coordination
withIndonesia and Malaysia.
Despite his statement on Paris agreement,
Duterte said global warming is a top priority.
On South China Sea dispute, the Palace
affirmed decision of the arbitral tribunal. "All
of us want peace."
Duterte also appealed to the leftist Muslim
brothers and CPP-NPA-NDF, to end centuries
of mistrust to the government. "If we can't
love each other, then don't hate too much."
On taxation, the government will pursue
reforming the old tax system.
On Reproductive Health issues, he said that
RH Law must be put in full force.
Change on government agencies will be

process or reduce the red-tape.

On infrastructure, inter-island linkage
projects will be implemented. "We will
also improve the transport system in
Metro Manila."

For the first time, a proposal to create

People's Broadcasting Corporation or the
replacement of PTV 4, the governmentrun TV station based on international
standards was promised.
Duterte announced good news about free
WiFi access in select public places including LRT, MRT and government
Duterte also mentioned to improve the
conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.
Duterte also gave message to the
Lumads: "Government has given you the
legal tool to improve yourselves. Make
use of your ancestral domain. While the
government is always ready to help you,
you must first help yourself. You can
chart your own fate, but you do it within
constitutional legal means."
Duterte said he is serious on other
matters like extending operating hours of
LRT from 9:30 PM to 10:15 PM, new
railway projects, decongestion of NAIA
terminal, building on new runway and
civil aviation complex, increase number
public lawyers nationwide, extend
passport validity to 10 years, creation of
agency for OFWs, implementation of
Magna Carta for women.

The president also advised his

countrymen not to engage on illegal
drugs and illegal mining, intensify
campaign against human trafficking
He also highlighted the newly signed
Executive Order on Freedom of
Information (FOI) as centerpiece of good
governance and transparency in the
Executive Branch, ensuring the public of
a government that is by the people and
for the people.
Reactions on President Duterte's
First SONA
The first SONA highlighted the urgency
for change for the benefits of the
Filipinos. This includes war on illegal
drugs and criminalities, anti-corruption
campaign, pushing federalism, solution
on Metro Manila traffic and more jobs for
the Filipinos.
However, some issues like lowering of
the age of responsibility to 12 (as
mentioned by Duterte early June), anticontractualization and death penalty to
augment war on drugs were not
Duterte's SONA really set change reduced budget for food and the historic
event is no longer a fashion show of
spouses of the legislators and guests as
business attire was observed in all
As compared to previous SONAs, a
peaceful demonstration of the militant
groups happened outside the Batasang
Pambansa. The militants from the Left
including the lumad from Northern
Mindanao and Caraga have vowed not to

march in protest as their tradition, but in

support of the new President.
MANILA, Philippines Six years from
now, President Rodrigo Duterte hopes to
hand over a stronger economy that is
backed by strong dollar reserves, stable
inflation, and robust fiscal position.
"By the end of my term I hope and pray
to hand over an economy that is much
stronger," Duterte said in his first State of
the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday,
July 25.
The country's tough-talking chief
executive promised to prioritize
infrastructure spending, lower corporate
and personal income taxes, ease the
process of doing business, and heavily
invest on human resources.
Serious on infra spending
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno had
said that his department plans to hike
infrastructure spending to up to 7% of
the gross domestic product (GDP) this
year, to address the sorry state of
This is higher than the 5% target of
former president Benigno Aquino III's
"We'll accelerate infra spending,
including national roads, bridges and
implementing Mindanao Logistics
Infrastructure Network," Duterte said in
his first SONA.
Mindanao Logistics Infrastructure
Network is an initiative of the
Department of Public Works and
Highways to reduce logistics costs in
areas of Mindanao by improving linkage

roads to key ports and other production


pollution equipment to reduce

thecountry's carbon emissions.

Duterte, however, did not touch on the

subject of the public-private partnership
(PPP) program during his first SONA.

PROMISE: Teachers' salary will be

doubled by 6 years.

Duterte's budget chief, Diokno, had

earlier said that underspending should
end as it has tempered the country's
growth potentials in the past 2 to 3
Other than higher infra spending,
Duterte's other initiative to boost the
economy is investing heavily on human
resources to modernize agriculture and
develop rural areas.
"There must be sufficient income for all

PROMISE: Government will build

adequate classrooms for students.
PROMISE: Government will provide
scholarships for children of
members of the military who die in
the line of duty.
PROMISE: School subjects such as
algebra, calculus, and trigonometry
should be replaced with business
PROMISE: Government will lease out
lands and islands for 30 to 50 years
to developers.

Filipinos to meet their need. There should

be reforms to ensure competitiveness
and ease of doing business will be
mandatory," Duterte said. Rappler.com
MANILA, Philippines "I have promised
you something and if you know me, I will
really do it. I will do it even if I lose my
life, my honor, and even the
presidency."The words of then
presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte
resound as the Philippines' 16th
President is set to give his first State of
the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday,
July 25.As part of his Constitutional
obligation, Duterte will address the 17th
Congress during the opening of its
regular session on Monday. looks back
on Duterte's campaign promises about
education, health, and environment.
What do experts, advocates, and
members of civil society think about
them? PROMISE: Education will be
the second priority in the budget,
after agriculture and before health.
PROMISE: Track down dirty factories
and install state-of-the-art anti-

PROMISE: Government will create a

single, permanent Emergency
Response Department in charge of
disaster preparedness, relief, and

PROMISE: All hospitals will be

required to have a facility for
indigent patients, with government
paying for the health services using
PhilHealth reserve funds, sin tax
revenues, and the budget of the
health department.

PROMISE: Government will create

specialized hospitals in the Visayas
and Mindanao.
PROMISE: Government will establish
a trust fund for the payment of
medical expenses of Filipinos
confined in hospitals.
PROMISE: Every barangay will have
one doctor someone who would act
as the physician of that barangay.
PROMISE: Government will
sustainably push preventive health
programs in the country.
PROMISE: Strictly implement
regulations to ensure mining does
not destroy the environment.