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 Davaoeños, 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." –

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