Monday, July 26, 2021

Summary of Duterte’s SONA 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon, July 26.

This was Duterte's second SONA to be done hybrid, with some guests physically present, and some joining through video calls. He delivered his speech against the backdrop of the local transmission of the more virulent COVID-19 Delta variant, yet 350 people were at the plenary hall of the Batasang Pambansa – seven times the number in 2020.

Here were quick notes during the SONA:

Duterte: Economy growing until COVID-19 'stole everything'

"Our economy, with investor confidence, was poised to leapfrog into the company of the world's fastest-growing economies until [the] COVID-19 pandemic stole everything."

Duterte calls for passage of military pension reform bill

"In 2018, we raised the salaries of our military and the uniformed a level commensurate to the critical role they play."

He then asks Congress to pass the military and uniformed personnel pension reform bill.

Duterte wants free legal assistance for soldiers, police

Duterte calls for a law on free legal assistance for members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police "to help them from charges arising from incidents related to the performance of their official duty."

Duterte lauds NTF-ELCAC

"With the creation of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC), we have made great strides in addressing the root causes of this conflict.... We have worked towards the sustainable rehabilitation of communities where communists used to operate."

Duterte on communists: 'Kindly shoot them dead'

"My orders to you: If you see them walking around, kindly shoot them dead, and I will be happy. Anyway, you're only charged in the ICC together with me, so what is the problem of adding another one, another idiot Filipino who has caused great damage to our country?"

Duterte says Sotto can become 'good VP'

Duterte on Senate President Vicente Sotto III: "He is a good man, he can become a good vice president."

Duterte orders completion of Marawi rehabilitation

"Our victory in Marawi is also a testament to how the Filipinos' patriotism is far stronger.... There is no room for lawlessness in this country."

Duterte again talks about his 'drug war'

"Our unyielding campaign led to the surrender of millions of drug dependents and neutralization, capture, and prosecution of thousands of drug personalities."

Duterte on MRT3: No more 'misery of public commuting'

Duterte says the comprehensive tax reform program "enabled us to fund critical infrastructure programs."

"Today, we can see the tangible results. MRT3...was a horror for the daily commuters to endure in the past."

"The waiting time between trains has been significantly reduced.... We have taken away the misery of public commuting."

Duterte cites infra projects in provinces

"Beyond Metro Manila, we are pursuing several high-impact projects."

"We have brought equitable development."

He cites the Sorsogon City Coastal Road: "Mahal ko ang Bicolano."

"Why is Davao last? Sabi ko, unahin ninyo ang buong Pilipinas... I told the economic managers and the DPWH, pati si Art Tugade sa [Department of Transportation], unahin ninyo ang Luzon at ibang areas sa Mindanao.... To the DavaoeƱos, you must understand, we cannot really – kasi taga-diyan ako eh.... Sabi ko, 'Make Davao the last priority.'"

Duterte mention Ease of Doing Business Act

"We also sought to make long lines a thing of the past by streamlining government processes."

Duterte: 'You cannot stop corruption'

"'Yung pastillas [scam] sa airport, there were 43 personnel involved. I fired them all. Talagang pinaalis ko sa gobyerno."

"Corruption is endemic in government. You cannot stop corruption. Nobody can stop corruption unless you overthrow government completely."

Duterte: 'We will assert what is rightfully ours'

"In [the] international arena, we have rigorously pursued an independent foreign policy, centered on the promotion and protection of our core national interest."

"We continue to work with all nations and seek partnerships that work."

Duterte insists Hague ruling may lead to war with China

"Ito bang arbitral ruling.... America and some Filipinos, brilliant Filipinos I would say, keep on pushing for something which I do not know.... Ano ba ang gusto ninyo? What will I do with a document that does not bind China because they were never a part of that arbitration?"

"Ano gusto nila, makipag-giyera, do something? Do you want war against China?"

Duterte: Coconut farmers to benefit from coco levy fund

"My administration has worked with Congress to pass the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act. We have returned also the coco levy fund to its true and rightful owners, our coconut farmers."

Duterte claims ABS-CBN owes gov't billions in taxes

"Wala akong problema sa ABS-CBN. They got my money, they wanted to return it...but they printed all the garbage, including my daughter as a drug trafficker. Nilamon ko na lang lahat 'yun.... But itong ano, they are cheating government, billions in taxes, and they still want that frequency because 'yan ang pinag-aawayan. I will give it to a Filipino na gustong mag-gawa ng tama and will pay."

Duterte: PH ramped up COVID-19 testing, facilities

"We ramped up our testing capacity. We now have more than 260 accredited laboratories nationwide which are capable of conducting at least 50,000 tests daily. All regions now can conduct their own COVID-19 tests."

"We established over 9,000 temporary monitoring and treatment facilities across the country."

Duterte seeks patience from Filipinos waiting for vaccines

"I ask for patience from those who are next in line.... More COVID-19 vaccines are arriving and you will soon have your turn."

Duterte: 'We cannot afford more lockdowns'

"We have spent enormous amounts of resources to build our capacity to overcome this pandemic. We cannot afford more lockdowns."

Duterte mentions threat of COVID-19 Delta variant

"Today is my last State of the Nation Address, but this is by no means my swan song. I will never cease to implore Congress to pass vital and critical legislation."

Duterte vows to restore jobs

"Rest assured that we will exert every effort to restore the lost livelihood of our countrymen."

He added that the government will work to "increase employability" of Filipinos and "help hardest-hit sectors."

Duterte asks Congress to amend several laws

The President mentioned the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act as laws that need to be amended.

Duterte asks Congress to create disease prevention, virology agencies

"We hope to pursue the creation of... the Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines." –

Friday, July 16, 2021


DPWH has assured the completion of the controversial Cutcut Flyover in Angeles City.

DPWH Third District Engineering Office Chief Engr. Arleen Beltran said the first two phases of the infrastructure project was already completed on June 2, 2021, ahead of its September 2021 expiry date.

The 2020-2021 General Appropriations Act has allotted P50 million while the United Project Management Office of the Department of Public Works and Highways has allotted another P50 million for the project.

The first two phases on the construction of the four-lane 700-lineal-meter flyover cover the bored piles and columns in the area.

Beltran also clarified the funding for the project amid concerns that there were no budget appropriated for the completion of the project.

She said the substructure of the Cutcut Flyover was initially funded in the CY 2020 General Appropriations Act (GAA) under "For Comprehensive Release," and funded again in CY 2021 GAA but was tagged "For Later Release."

"The locally-funded project is enrolled under the Multi-Year Obligational Authority with a total project cost of P600 million, which means that budget will be released every year until the completion of the project," said Beltran.

She added that the construction for the succeeding phases of the project will depend on the release of the budget.

“The local DPWH office was authorized to enter into a multi-year contract for the full project cost, and we would like to guarantee that the amount programmed for this multi-year project is included in their budget proposal for the ensuing years until its completion,” Beltran said.

The construction of the first phase of the Cutcut Flyover started on December 9, 2020 and the second phase on January 18, 2021, and were both completed in June 2021.

A total of 40.613 million was allotted from the 2021 GAA for the construction of the foundation of the flyover, while the project received P59.387 million in the previous year.

The whole project is expected to be completed in 2023 but will still depend on the timing of the releasing of the budget.

In the meantime, Mayor Lazatin urged the DPWH to install protective barriers and reflectors along the road to prevent accident in the area especially at night.

The vital intersection connects Porac town to Angeles City and the City of San Fernando to Fil-Am Friendship Circumferential Road all the way to the Clark Freeport Zone.

The Cutcut Flyover is expected to ease traffic congestion in-bound and out-bound along Porac, Filipino-American Friendship Highway and Rizal Extension in Angeles City

Friday, January 29, 2021


Through the support of Senator Lito Lapid, First District Congressman Carmelo "Jon" Lazatin II, DPWH-Central Luzon Regional Director Roseller Guiao and DPWH-Pampanga 3rd DEO District Engineer Tito Salvador, the project aims to ease traffic congestion in-bound and out-bound in Porac and Filipino-American Friendship Highway and Rizal Extension in Angeles City. 

Senator Lito Lapid said the volume of traffic in Barangay Cutcut particularly the intersection near the Holy Family Academy necessitated the need for a flyover to ensure smooth flow of traffic.

Lapid said the flow of traffic will improve in the intersection that connects Porac town to Angeles City and the City of San Fernando to Friendship Circumferential Road all the way to the Clark Freeport Zone.

Senator Lapid will provide funding for the construction of the Angeles-Porac flyover and the Angeles City Sports Complex.

Porac Mayor Jaime "Jing" V. Capil and Angeles City Mayor Carmelo "Pogi'" Lazatin, Jr. together with engineers of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Central Luzon met on last Friday, January 22, 2021, to discuss the concrete flyover project in Barangay Cutcut along Porac-Angeles Road. 

Residents of Angeles City and Porac town will also benefit from the proposed flyover while passengers of the Clark International Airport that will come from these areas can easily access the airport.

Sen. Lapid made the announcement during the opening of the Fortunegate Casino inside the Clark Freeport. Lapid hails from Porac town.

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