Recap: SONA 2017

by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

SONA 2017 by President Rodrigo Duterte
On July 24, 2017, The Philippines' president Rodrigo Roa Duterte faced millions of Filipinos as he delivered his second State of the Nation Address (SONA). The address took around two (2) hours, discussing issues on the West Philippine Sea, Hotline 911, increased assistance for Overseas Filipino Workers, implementation of K to 12 Basic Foundation Program, expansion of Health Insurance Coverage and benefits, installation of Wi-Fi internet in almost 400 public areas all over the country, Smoking Ban, and a few infrastructure projects.
President Duterte boldly admitted that he was aiming for a permanent change. "Early on, I felt that if change was to be meaningful, it had to start with those occupying the highest positions in government because change that comes from below is more transitory than permanent," he said, adding, "It has to be a change that is not confined merely to the replacement of people by people, but a change in the people's attitude, disposition and work ethic."
The fight against illegal drugs will be a continuous battle for the president, no matter how long it takes. He believes that anything related to drugs is what hinders peace and order in places where investors can pour their capital and expertise, slowing, if not stopping, the economic surge and piling up to the suffering of the people. "Those who deal in it understand that they have to cease, they have to stop because the alternatives are either jail or hell, and I will make sure, very sure that they will not have the luxury of enjoying the benefits of their greed and madness," he threatened.
President Duterte also honored the ‘silent heroes who risk their lives every day for our country's security’, following the siege in Marawi City, and explained that the reason behind the declaration of Martial Law was merely for the safety and security of the people.
On another note, the president urged the legislators to pass the “National Land Use Act” or the NALUA, to ensure the rational and sustainable use of land and physical resources and even warned the mining operations and contractors to refrain from unbridled and irresponsible destruction of watersheds, forests, and aquatic resources.
"We all need to act fast," the President mentions, regarding the fury and rampage of weather gone wild because typhoons, earthquakes, droughts, and tempests threats are huge, real and imminent.
The president imparted some deep wisdom when he told his critics this: "The search for change will begin and end only when we look into ourselves and find it within." If we want the Philippines to be a better country, we need cooperation and unity. Together, we can fight any threats against our country. As what he said, "No sooner is one problem solved [when] another surges forth in its place. But we will not be disheartened; we will not be cowed; we will not be overwhelmed."