MANILA

Duterte to tackle communism, poverty reduction, infra development efforts

(Photo taken from Presidential Communications Facebook page)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (Sona), which will be delivered on July 22, is almost “95 percent” done, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said on Friday, July 19.

In a radio interview, Andanar noted that Duterte would touch on pressing issues concerning the country, such as his administration’s efforts to reduce poverty, fight the communist insurgency, and invest in infrastructure development.

“Nandiyan po ‘yung tatlong agendas ng ating Pangulo para sa susunod na taon. ‘Yung poverty alleviation na maibaba ‘yung poverty rate from 21 percent to 14 percent at maiangat ‘yung ekonomiya to upper middle class,” Andanar said.

(The President’s three agendas in the coming years will be mentioned during hsi Sona. First is the poverty alleviation efforts to reduce poverty rate from 21 percent to 14 percent and raise the economy to an upper middle class.)

“‘Yung pangalawa na ‘Build, Build, Build’ o patuloy na infrastructure projects ng ating pamahalaan. Meron tayong mga 75 big-ticket infrastructure projects at ito 75 ay kailanganan ay masimulan ito. ‘Yung iba ay matatapos within the term. At ‘yung pangatlo, ‘yung peace and order highlighting the National Task Force to End Communist Local Armed Conflict,” he added.

(Second is the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program or our administration’s continuing infrastructure projects. We have 75 big-ticket infrastructure projects and all of these need to be launched. Some will be completed within the President’s term. And third is the peace and order highlighting the National Task Force to End Communist Local Armed Conflict.)

On July 16, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte is poised to deliver just a “short” Sona on July 22, an unusual deviation from his usual lengthy Sonas in the past three years.

For Andanar, Duterte’s fourth Sona may last for “45 minutes to one hour.”

“Palagay ko, ia-average na lang natin between 45 [minutes and] one hour ang magiging talumpati ni Presidente (Perhaps, let’s average the President’s speech between 45 minutes and one hour),” the Communications chief said.

“Kung dadagdagan ni Presidente, kung gusto niyang pasobrahan, then doon hahaaba ‘yung speech niya (If he opts to add something, then his speech would be longer than the expected),” he added.

Duterte earlier said that he would “educate” the public during his fourth Sona about the issues surrounding the disputed South China Sea.

Andanar raised the possibility that the President may also discuss the South China Sea disputes during the Sona.

“Possible iyang mabanggit kasi binanggit ni Presidente iyan... na magbi-bigay siya ng lecture (It may be discussed since the President mentioned that he would lecture the public),” he said.

Duterte has earned heavy criticisms for allowing China to conduct fishing activities in the Philippine waters.

The President, however, has stressed that his decision to let China fishing within the Philippines’ 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone was not unconstitutional. (SunStar Philippines)


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