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Andanar: 2nd Duterte SoNA longer, meaningful

by Genalyn D. Kabiling and Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos

The public can expect a longer, exciting, and meaningful second State-of-the-Nation Address from President Duterte next week, a Malacanang official said.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President’s SoNA, being drafted by Duterte and his team of writers, will carry the theme a comfortable life for all.

This year’s speech will also be longer than his first SoNA since it may include his achievements for the past year and his plans for the new five years, according to Andanar.

“The President does not want to be preempted in what he will say, just expect a meaningful SoNA and expect an exciting one,” he said.

 “Ang tema talaga ng SoNA ay a comfortable life for all. Ito iyong binanggit ni Presidente noong nakaraang taon pa. Ang comfortable life for all, sa ilalim nito ay prosperity for all, law and order, at peace,” Andanar added.

Andanar said the President may tackle the progress of the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, crime, and corruption in his national address on July 24.

The President may also go off script and deliver impromptu remarks during the SoNA, Andanar said.

“He is full of surprises and at the same time, kapag very passionate siya sa isang idea, biglang mag-a-adlib iyan si Pangulo,” he said.

Duterte will submit the proposed R3.767-trillion 2018 national budget to Congress during the SoNA, which, according to Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, is the first time in history.

“The President plans to submit the budget on the day of the SoNA itself. So that’s a first time in Philippine history. Why are we doing this, so we can have an early start for the 2018,” Diokno said.

Andanar said they plan to tap the services of award-winning director Brillante Mendoza to direct Duterte’s SoNA again. He said they hope Mendoza would agreed to do the pro-bono work.

Interpreters will be hired to translate the President’s speech to diplomats attending the event. Brochures on the President’s accomplishments will also be distributed to the SoNA guests.