IT will be a full house when President Benigno Aquino 3rd delivers his sixth and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.
House of Representatives Secretary General Marilyn Yap said a president’s first and last SONAs are always crowd-drawers based on House records.
Since it is Aquino’s final address, the House expects more than 3,000 people to attend the event.
“It has been observed that more people come here for the first SONA of the sitting President or the last SONA of an outgoing President. The maximum capacity of the plenary is at 2,750 but we would also have monitors and seats outside for people who can’t be accommodated,” Yap told reporters in a briefing.
She said many former lawmakers have also signified their intention to attend the SONA.
The House will spend P2.3 million for the annual event. The money will be used to buy food for the guests, especially members of the diplomatic corps, the traditional lunch for House members, and meals for around 9,000 members of the security force who will be deployed inside and around the 17-hectare Batasang Pambansa complex.
Yap said the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources, Metro Manila Development Authority and Department of Public Works and Highways shouldered the repair and rehabilitation of the House building and facilities, painting of the perimeter fences, and refurbishment of the helipad, among others.