By the Philippine News Agency
After the successful pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2018 Forum, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is now considering to hold it every quarter next year so that people would get updates on the government’s key policies, programs, and initiatives.
“We will have this also next year and we are planning to have this perhaps on a quarterly basis so that at least we have a forum,” PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Andanar said the three-part series pre-SONA 2018 Forum themed “Tatak ng Pagbabago” was a success, giving various Cabinet clusters a chance to even broadcast even small accomplishments that President Rodrigo R. Duterte may not mention in his third SONA on July 23.
“I think this pre-SONA was successful because our President cannot cover all accomplishments of the government since he will speak for only 35 minutes,” Andanar said.
“So the three-week ‘Tatak ng Pagbabago’ Forum would at least give justice to the other accomplishments and hard work of the executive branch,” he added.
Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco said the pre-SONA Forum was part of the “reformatted” 2018 SONA to allow the President to speak more freely on the matters that he would like to share with the people.
In the first pre-SONA Forum dubbed Tatak ng Pagbabago: Tatak ng Pag-unlad on July 6, the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) and the Infrastructure Cluster presented their accomplishment reports.
On the other hand, the Human Development and Poverty Reduction and the Participatory Governance Clusters took center stage in the second series “Tatak ng Malasakit at Pagkakaisa” on July 11.
The Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation-Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster, as well as the Security, Justice, and Peace Cluster, delivered reports in the third and last pre-SONA Forum on July 18.
The pre-SONA Forum is a collaborative effort of the Office of the Cabinet Secretary, Office of the Executive Secretary, Office of the Special Assistant to the President, Presidential Management Staff, PCOO and the six Cabinet clusters.
Andanar said the three-part series was designed to “metamorphose” into the anticipated third SONA of the President on July 23.
“In many ways, he has already articulated the people’s desire for change, and has often enough, made a summary of the essentials,” Andanar said in his opening remarks during the third pre-SONA Forum.
While Duterte told his Cabinet that he will read his SONA speech in not more than 35 minutes, Andanar said Duterte has the prerogative to ad-lib, similar to last year’s SONA.
Duterte’s first SONA in 2016 was delivered in 90 minutes and the 2017 SONA in 120 minutes.
In the third SONA, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Duterte is expected to speak “straight from the heart.”
Film and television director Joyce Bernal has been tapped to direct the third SONA of the President. She intends to portray the President as “the father of the nation.”
Andanar said Duterte is expected to highlight the government’s accomplishments on the war on drugs, anti-corruption, criminality, and peace and order.
Before his SONA, the Chief Executive is also expected to sign into law the landmark Bangsamoro Basic Law.