Duterte’s 2nd SONA: 2:10 mins; 79 handclaps

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines—President Rodrigo R.  Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) in  two hours and ten minutes which earned 79 handclaps and on light moment laughter among attendees  inside the  House of Representatives.

Duterte started his speech by recalling his days as representative for the first legislative district of Davao which  was highlighted by his absences, a revelation which solicited laughter among members of Congress.

The SONA was brutal about the administration’s relentless war on drugs; strong on mining and  tax issues; straightforward on critics  and light at times which solicited laughter as the president  cracked jokes.

THE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On Drugs war: “The fight is unrelenting, the fight will not stop until those who deal in it understand that they have to ease, they have to stop because the alternative is either jail or hell;
  • On Mining:  Duterte asked “Declare your correct income and  pay your correct  taxes”;
  • On disaster preparedness ” We still have to recover from the beatings of Yolanda (typhoon Haiyan)  and many typhoons I hope the Big One  will just happen in the mountains; I ask the cluster of climate change to immediately work hand in hand with concerns Local Government Units (LGU’s)  and affected communities in undertaking disaster measures, we need to act and fast;
  • On Land Use :”I am asking Congress to pass the National Land Use Act  (NaLuA);
  • On West Philippine Sea and Federalism “We have to tackle it sooner or later;”
  • Asked the Congress to act all pending legislation to reimpose death penalty;
  • On Marawi crisis: “Rebellion is not just in Marawi; It’s  been going on in Mindanao;
  • On Communist insurgency: “To the left I will not talk to you, why should I?”;
  • On OFW: Increase Overseas Filipino Workers assistance from P400M to P1-billion;
  • On graft and corruption campaign : “I will not tolerate corruption in my administration;
  • On  Government Owned and  Controlled Corporation (GOCC)  “Your salary increase should pass by the Office of the President;”
  • On Reproductive Health “I am not for abortion or birth control, but i am for giving freedom to Filipinos to decide size of families;”
  • Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial was told “Change the procedure because I will change you.”
  • On Tax reform : “The fate of the tax reform is now at the senate; call on you to pass it without haste;”
  • Duterte submitted the proposed 2018 national budget.
  • Duterte also asked the Congress to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL).

To his critics, Duterte said instead of talking they have to work and do their share.-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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