Philippines

4th SONA draws mixed reactions from Bicolanos

4th SONA draws mixed reactions from Bicolanos

By Connie Calipay  

LEGAZPI CITY  (Philippines News Agency) — Bicolanos from all walks of life gave mixed reactions including hope for a better Philippines during President Rodrigo Duterte’s fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on Monday.

Sharahden Asuncion, a government employee here, expressed optimism on the betterment of Filipinos’ lives under the Duterte administration. “May the President continue to fulfill his promises. He still has three years to do it,” she said.

Asuncion added that taking full responsibility for all the “acts” done under the President’s term is something that must be proven by actions not just by the Chief Executive but by all the elected and appointed officials.

Ken Tabuena, a senior high school student of Catanduanes State University, said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA): “Brave lines by a brave leader. Although he joked a lot, his love for his country and the people was still evident.”

Tabuena added that his idealism to see the Philippines in a better state than what he grew up reflects on how he interpreted federalism during his interview after the SONA vaguely stating that it is good.

“It’s really refreshing how Duterte can be both a leader and a joker. It may seem unorthodox but we can see that he is a trustworthy person underneath those glasses,” he added.

Emma Bumalay, a single parent from this capital city of Albay, said she expects and hopes that the President’s promises in his SONA to give Filipinos better lives by eradicating graft and corruption as well as illegal drugs, will materialize.

“Sana wag puro pangako ang mga sinabi ni Presidente, sana nga meron mangyari, trabaho, kabuhayan at katahimikan (I hope the SONA is not just a compilation of promises of the President. I hope there would be more jobs, livelihood and peace),” Bumalay said.

Architect and environmental planner Kristine Lagman, in a text message, said she does not favor the President’s stance on death penalty but she commended the President on the nationwide implementation of the smoking ban, science-based land use planning, and disaster management, which, she said, “is very timely because of the effects climate change”.

Meanwhile, Jocelyn Atos, a housewife, said it’s important for Filipinos to listen to the President’s SONA so they would “know the actual state of our nation”.

She added that despite the criticisms hurled against the country’s leader, she still believes in and trusts President Duterte.

“Addressing corruption, increasing the salaries of teachers and nurses, easing of doing business in the country, creating a Department of Disaster and the most controversial topic of the West Philippine Sea are among the topics which I think gave impact to the 4th SONA,” Atos added. (PNA)

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