THE committee in charge of the overall preparations for President Benigno Aquino III's final State of the Nation Address (SONA) has aimed to bring down the cost of next week's event.
House Secretary General Marilyn Barua-Yap, chair of Task Force SONA, said that although the cost of food will be much higher compared to last year, the overall expense for the occasion on July 27 will not exceed last year's budget of around P2.3 million.
Yap said that aside from the food, other expenses such as renovation and rehabilitation of the Batasan Complex were lowered compare to the previous years since it was aided by various government agencies such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Metro Manila Development Authority.
"Last year was (nasa) P2.3 million. We don't want to exceed that before kasi baka mas marami tayong contingents ngayon na pakakainin at 'yung food cost ay tumaas," said Yap.
The House official said that more than 6,000 security personnel coming from various augmentation forces such as the Philippine National Police and their internal security force will provide security during the event.
Yap said that some 3,500 security personnel will guard the perimeter of the Batasan Complex in Quezon City.
She also said that starting Friday, July 24, a "no-fly" zone will be imposed within the one kilometer radius of the Batasan Complex.
"We always try to be paranoid in terms of security. It's something you can't really anticipate na may mangyayari. Mabigat ang risk, we try the best we can," she said. (Sunnex)