President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address Highlights

Next, he talked about local agencies and directed them to migrate online.

“I reiterate my call for all government instrumentalities to implement systems to make physical queueing a thing of the past.”

“We must patrol the country’s cyberspace by enforcing online consumer data protection and privacy laws. We must run after online scammers.”

“DBM, DILG, ARTA are directed to help agencies migrate online, we need e-governance.”

As for face-to-face classes, the president clarified his previous speech allowing face-to-face classes in low-risk areas that he was referring to January of next year with initial thoughts of having a vaccine by September this year.

“Until the COVID-19 vaccine is available, I will not allow face-to-face classes.”

“I cannot and will not put to risk the lives of students and teachers.”

“About 4 days ago, I made a plea to President Xi Jinping that if they have the vaccine, can they allow us to be one of the first. If we buy it, we [will] be granted credit so we can normalize as fast as possible.”

“Education that is delayed can be recovered. We have to adapt modular learning, radio, TV, for those who can’t afford online learning.”

“We will prioritize schools with no electricity supply and have it via satellite, energized via solar panels.”

“TV frequencies reverted back to the government for whatever reason should not be used for the benefit of the few, it should be used to our shift to e-learning.”

“Sometimes the government seems weak because we can’t force our mandate. Itong mga nagbibigay ng public services, you better improve.”

The president gives local telecommunication firms until December to provide their customers what they deserve or else, “The next two years will be spent improving telecommunications in this country without you.”

As for the increased presence of the police and military, this is what Duterte said:

“We will implement projects to improve rural health units and other health care facilities. We are pursuing a whole-of-nation approach.”

“Armed Forces will play a vital role in one nation approach. Every agency, including AFP, should participate.”

“I am aware of the skirmishes of our soldiers. I said, correct this.”

“I declared martial law in Mindanao and was extended until 2019. It ended without abuses by police, military.”

Duterte then tackled the revival of the death penalty in the Philippines and asked for amendments on the Continuing Professional Development Act of 2016 as well as a passage of a law that will help the country to respond better to a probable pandemic in the future.

“I reiterate the swift passage of a law reviving the death penalty by lethal injection for crimes specified under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.”

“We hail our health professionals as heroes,” Duterte said as he pushed for the passage of Advanced Nursing Education Act and a law instituting medical reserve corps.

As for the military’s increased salary, Duterte justifies, “Maybe, it might be a vain attempt, but maybe dagdagan ang sweldo as a hedge against corruption.”

Duterte also pushed for modernizing the Bureau of Fire Protection and Bureau of Immigration with urgency, as well as creating a Department of Disaster Resilience and required each LGU to build evacuation centers.

“We must act before another major disaster shakes us into action.”

President Duterte gave his 5th SONA today (July 27, 2020) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

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