(INQUIRER) MANILA, Philippines — Several senators are expecting a realistic report on the current administration’s achievements, struggles, stand on specific social issues, and progress in its initiatives when President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, delivers his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, July 24.
In a statement on Sunday, Senator Jinggoy Estrada said that he is looking forward to hearing Marcos’ plans for “job creation, poverty reduction, measures to stimulate economic growth, and matters concerning security threats, particularly on the issue of China’s aggressive actions within the West Philippine Sea.”
“As chairperson of the Senate committee on labor and employment and the committee on national defense, I am hoping for the inclusion of some of my priority measures, such as the proposed E-Government Act (SB 455), Philippine Coast Guard Modernization Act (SB 2016), and Apprenticeship Training Act (SB 1083),” Estrada said.
He added that the proposed National Defense Act is one of the priorities of the committee on national defense, which seeks to amend the National Defense Act of 1935 “to provide for a change in the military structure of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that is more responsive to current and future non-conventional security threats to the country’s territorial integrity and national sovereignty.”
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero said he wants to hear updates on what the current administration “has done” and “what needs to be done.”
“Ang magandang Sona hindi lang naguulat, pero nagmumulat, at nanggugulat din. Hindi lang puro magandang balita pero haluan din ng mapait na katotohan,” Escudero said in a separate statement.
(A good Sona does not only report but also enlightens and surprises us. Aside from good news, italso bares bitter truths.)
“The President deserves his victory lap as there are good things to be happy about. But he must end it with a pep talk to rally the people to steel themselves for the hard work ahead,” he added.
Escudero stressed that struggles must also be highlighted for the country to heal its problems and not only be “a predictable Sona” filled with “good recital of achievements.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda said she hopes to hear Marcos discuss issues on employment, pandemic recovery, and the environment.
“I look forward to hearing the President’s plans after a year in office. I’d like to see a roadmap for sustainable pandemic recovery not just in the health sector but in food and energy security, job creation, and livelihood, especially support for MSMEs, which are equally important,” she said.
Legarda also stressed that the country’s need for a robust environmental sustainability plan, emphasizing that the Philippines is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, which makes it susceptible to threats posed by climate change, among others.
Among the measures that could help the country’s environment, according to Legarda, are the Philippine Ecosystem and Natural Capital Accounting System (PENCAS) Act and the proposed Blue Economy Act.
“There is much more to do to achieve sustainable development for our country. As the Second Regular Session of the 19th Congress begins, we look forward to crafting more measures that will uplift the lives of our kababayans (fellow Filipinos). It will always be an honor serving the Filipino people and working toward our nation’s progress,” Legarda said.