By Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos
With only 13 days left before his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, President Duterte is now in the process of practicing and revising his speech which will most likely take about 45 minutes to an hour, according to Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar.
“Ang Presidente talagang hands on pagdating sa speech. Tingnan natin kung magugustuhan niya lahat pero I think talagang binabago niya talaga pati mga words na ayaw niya pinapalitan niya (The President is very hands-on when it comes to his speech. We’ll see if he approves the first draft but he really changes even the simplest words that he doesn’t like),” Andanar said.
“Halimbawa nag-practice na kami ngayong gabi tapos kinabukasan may bago na naman, so hindi talaga masasabi na kung ilan [revision] (For example, we practiced tonight but he may change his mind tomorrow. There’s really no telling how many times we have to revise the speech),” he added.
He recalled that last year during the President’s first SONA, it took the PCOO and the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) 10 revisions of the speech before it got the approval of the President.
Andanar refused to divulge the content of the President’s second SONA as they are still in the process of finishing it.
“Hindi ko masasabi kung yung SONA natin ay magiging talumpati tungkol sa mga na-accomplish niya sa mga nagdaang 365 days and more. Hindi ko rin sigurado kung ito ba ay puro topic tungkol sa lalamanin na susunod na ikalawang taon ng Pangulo (I can’t say if the speech will contain his achievements over the past 365 days or more, or if it will contain the President’s plans for his second year in office),” he said.
Andanar also reiterated the President’s appeal for the SONA to be simple and not be a showcase of extravagant attire but said they will leave the decision on the dress code to Congress which is the host of the annual SONA.
Meanwhile, Andanar said that not all government agencies have submitted their yearly report which has caused a delay in the printing of the President’s report which was intended for release last week.
Andanar said that based on the experience of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Acting Secretary Catalino Cuy, most reports are usually submitted at the last minute.
“Tayong mga Filipino ‘di ba mahilig sa last minute? So last two minutes darating daw iyan (Filipinos are fond of doing things at the last minute. So their reports would most probably be submitted then),” he said.
Cuy has advised PCOO not to print yet the contents of the President’s report, the SONA, and the list of accomplishments since the reports are not expected to arrive at the last minute.
Andanar said a booklet-like post-SONA report containing President Duterte’s achievements during his first year in office will instead be distributed to legislators and to the regional offices.
Aside from the booklet, a brochure containing photos of the President’s projects will be distributed to the SONA guests at the gallery while the President is delivering his speech.
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