Duterte's second State of the Nation address creates history. Here are the key points of SONA 2017.

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a remarkable State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

As expected, the president once again gave his speech in an unconventional but witty manner. Duterte made his audience at the Batasang Pambansa laugh at almost every part of his speech, changing the whole atmosphere.

Let us review the key points of his SONA for this year.

Martial Law

The president stands firm in his decision to extend the martial law in Mindanao until December 31, 2017.

Key points:

  • This enables the military to act against and question suspected members and sympathizers of the rebellion.
  • Martial Law is the fastest way to quell the rebellion at the least cost of lives and properties.
  • Rebellion is happening in Mindanao as a whole, not just in Marawi.
  • "It is not the peace of the dead but the peace of the living that we seek."
  • Promised fast rehabilitation for the victims of Marawi siege.

War on Drugs

Despite local and international condemnation, Duterte assured the continuity of war on drugs. 

Key points:

  • The fight against illegal drugs will not stop until those who are involved ultimately understand they have to seize.
  • They have to stop or the alternative is either jail or hell.

Mining

On the issue of mining and its harmful effects to nature, he made it clear that the protection of the environment must be made a priority.

Key points:

  • Stop the exportation of mineral resources.
  • Refrain from the irresponsible destruction of the watersheds and aquatic resources.
  • Protection of the environment is non-negotiable.
  • Mining companies must pay proper taxes and declare their incomes accurately.
  • LGU's must do their job without fear or fervor on the matter of irresponsible mining.

Climate Change and Food Security

  • Different departments and organizations should look into the impact of climate change in food security.
  • Encouraged the passage of the National Land Use Act
  • Must ensure the rational and sustainable use of land, provided the needs of the people.

Investments

In his first year in office, the president has generated billions worth of investments from different countries. Now, he calls on investors to put up factories in the Philippines to process raw materials into finished products.

Education

One of the top priorities of the Duterte administration is to provide quality education to Filipino students.

Key points:

  • Implement and improve the K-12 system
  • Invest in higher education
  • Strengthening of the Alternative Learning System (ALS)
  • Widening the reach of skills training

Red Tape

Under his administration, the Philippines has finally streamlined services by launching government hotline 8888.

Key points:

  • Help people to report corruption and any anomalies in government offices
  • Processing of documents for job application and licenses now made fast and easy
  • Extension of passport and driver's license validity

Reproductive Health Law

Duterte asked the Supreme Court to lift the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the implementation of the RH Law. 

Key points:

  • TRO will delay projects for RH Law
  • Asked DOH Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial to find a way to expedite RH processes as well as changing procurement procedures or she will get replaced

Communists and the Leftists

The president confirmed that the peace negotiations with the CPP-NPA are over.

Key points:

  • The NPA ambushed the presidential convoy in Cotabato City.
  • He is done talking with them.
  • He revealed that Joma Sison has a colon cancer and that the Norwegian government won't pay for his hospitalization anymore.

Human Rights

Expressing his disappointment with the never-ending accusations against him, Duterte challenged his detractors to a public debate.

"When you talk in public, carry the proper message," he said. He also stressed that Sen. Leila Delima's case cannot be connected with due process and human rights because of her questionable credibility having been involved with drug trafficking.

"Don't try to scare me with the International Criminal Court (ICC). I am willing to go to prison for the rest of my life," he added.

Miscellaneous

Internet - Plans to improve broadband connectivity, installed free WIFI in public areas.

OFW Welfare - Cash assistance to Overseas Filipino Workers

Government hotlines - Launched the first ever hotlines for emergency (911) and streamlining of government services (8888).

Death Penalty - Reinstatement of capital punishment in the Philippines

No balance billing - Implementation of "No balance billing" policy in hospitals and health care

Magna Carta for Women -  Passage of the 120-day (extended) maternity leave for women

Balangiga Samar Bells - Asked the US for the return of the Balangiga church bells

China/US - Implementation of an Independent Foreign Policy

Executive Order 26 - Passage of the nationwide smoking ban

Salaam TV - First ever Muslim-oriented channel in the country

Traffic - Orders MMDA to clear road obstructions 

Those are the highlights of President Rodrigo Duterte's 2017 State of the Nation Address. Do you think he was able to cover all the important issues in the Philippines during his SONA? 



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