President Rodrigo Duterte will deliver a “very poignant” and inspiring speech when he addresses the nation on Monday, Malacañang said on Saturday.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the President is expected to discuss his legislative agenda for the next six years as well as his policies for peace and order and illegal drugs, among others, in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“It’s extremely optimistic but it’s very poignant that when I read it, it made me cry,” Andanar said in a television interview.
The speech, he added, is still “being revised” by the President.
Duterte, Andanar said, will also call on Filipinos to rally behind his administration.
“A call to unity, a call to rise to the occasion, and a call to be more positive about the country and a call make this nation great once more,” he said.
“Once you listen to the speech, it will awaken the patriotic spirit of every Filipino,”
Former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo have confirmed their attendance on Monday. Former president Benigno Aquino 3rd had declined an invitation to attend the SONA.
“We ask for sobriety and for calmness inside the House of the Representatives when the President delivers his speech,” Andanar said.
However, Duterte’s first SONA will not be as grand as the previous SONAs.
Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said since the President wanted a simple event, the government will save money since the expenses will be pared down.
“Given the minimalist approach, it should be way lower than the previous occasion,” Abella said, referring to the budget for Duterte’s first SONA.
In keeping with the simplicity of the event, guests have been asked to wear simple attires.
Earlier, Finance spokesman Paola Alvarez said that the SONA will focus on the President’s message.
“[Duterte’s first SONA] would be different in a way that we’ll be minimizing the entourage, we will downplay the event; it will not be a fashion show,” Alvarez said.