"We Live in Difficult Times": Words to Remember From Bongbong Marcos' First SONA

Here's your TL:DR. We tried.

sona 2022
PHOTO BY rappler ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., the 17th president of the Philippines, delivered his first State of the Nation Address today, July 25, at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. The presidential chopper arrived at 3:33 p.m., and Marcos was welcomed by newly-elected Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and House Speaker Martin Romualdez. In adherence to the Constitution, the speech started a little past 4 p.m., right after the singing of the National Anthem, as led by Samiweng Singers from Ilocos Norte, and utterance of interfaith prayers. The president's SONA 2022 ran for roughly one hour and 20 minutes.

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Also read: "Baka May Hinahanap na Daga?" Stray Cat Walks the SONA 2022 Red Carpet

SONA 2022 was directed by Paul Soriano and covered live solely by state-run Radio Television Malacañang. Mainstream media, including ABS-CBN, GMA-7, TV 5, and CNN Philippines, all relied on the centralized livestream service of the government-controlled outlet. Like his inaugural address, Marcos' speech was delivered in English, except for switching to Filipino in some parts, pointedly when he spoke about agriculture.

Also read:
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Here's Marcos' SONA 2022, summarized in quotes:

First, a disclaimer:

"We live in difficult times brought about by the forces of our own making, but certainly also by forces that are beyond our control."

State of the Philippine economy:

"In terms of the economy, we will implement sound fiscal management, productivity-enhancing investments will be promoted."

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"Our country must become an investment destination."

Solutions to agricultural issues:

"Ang produksyon ng farm inputs ay ating iaayon sa mga hamon na dala ng climate change at global warming."

"Para mapanatili ang kanilang purchasing power o kapangyarihan sa pagbili, isipinal ng Department of Agriculture ang planong taasan ang produksyon sa susunod na panahon ng pagtanim sa pamamagitan ng tulang pinansyal at teknikal."

"Magbibigay tayo ng pautang habang mas ilalapit natin sa sektor ng agrikultura ang hindi gaanong mahal na farm inputs na bibilhin na ng bulto ng gobyerno."

"Prayoridad natin ang modernisasyon ng mga sakahan. Ating palalawakin ang mga palaisdaan, babuyan, manukan. Lahat ng ito, gagamitan ng siyensiya."

"Ang agrarian reform program ay dapat magpatuloy. Agrarian reform is not only about acquisition, but also support services and distribution." 

"We have a total of 52,000 hectares of unused agricultural lands of the government which will be used for distribution to the following sectors: landless war veterans, landless surviving spouse of war veterans, landless retirees of AFP and PNP, and landless graduates of agricultural courses."

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The potential of Philippine tourism:

"They say, each brand has a story.  As for the Filipino brand, ours is deeply rooted in our rich cultural heritage and the tourism sector plays an invaluable role in the promotion of the Filipino brand."

"We will also make it more convenient for travelers to go around the country, even to remote areas, to help promote undiscovered tourist spots."

Tapping social work (and development):

"Utos ko sa DSWD ang mabilis na pagtugon sa pangangailangan ng mga biktima ng kalamidad at mga iba't ibang krisis."

"Titiyakin natin na malilinis ang listahan ng mga benepisyaryo ng 4Ps."

On the ongoing global pandemic:

"Hindi na natin kakayanin ang isa pang COVID-19 lockdown. Wala na tayong gagawing lockdown."

"Itatatag natin ang ating sariling Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at isang sariling vaccine institute. "

English as the medium of instruction:

"The language of the Internet, for better or for worse,  is English. Therefore, the question of our medium of instruction must be continuously re-examined to maintain that advantage that we have established as an English-speaking people."

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"We must do better in the international rankings, especially in the so-called STEM subjects."

Also read: Science Versus the Arts: Is One More Important Than the Other?

"Once again, I'm not talking about history or what is being taught. I'm talking about materials that are necessary for this day and age.  Children now need connectivity to the internet, devices, and educational tools."

Technology and bureaucracy:

"We are entering an age of adoption of technology, it is the fourth industrial revolution."

"As the world moves into rapid digitalization, the digital divide will become more pronounced."

"The mission of the DICT is to identify and utilize innovations to improve governance. It has a daunting task of transforming government into an agile bureaucracy responsive to the needs of the public."

"The National ID will play an important part in this digital transformation."

The environment and renewable energy:

"The preservation of the environment is the preservation of life."

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"I believe it is also time to re-examine our strategy towards nuclear power in the Philippines. We will comply with IAEA policies for nuclear plants."

Infrastructure development:

"The backbone of an economy is infrastructure."

"The infrastructure of the Duterte admin must be continued, but whenever possible, be expanded."

"Railways offer great potential…. We can build upon already existing lines by modernizing these old railway systems. We will also continue to improve our roads and transportation systems in key cities."

Also read: "Walang Pondo": China-Backed Railway Projects Yet to Get Funding

Foreign policy:

"We will not bow down to any foreign power."

"With respect to our place in the community of nations, the Philippines shall continue to be a friend to all [and an] enemy to none."

Last words of SONA 2022:

 "We will endure.  Let our Filipino spirit ever remain undimmed. I know this in my mind, in my heart, in my very soul: The state of the nation is sound."

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