Metro Manila (CNN Philippines Life, July 25) — In his first State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. starts his speech by addressing the economic and health situation of our country, saying: “We live in difficult times brought by some forces of our own making but certainly also by forces beyond our control. But we have and we will continue to find solutions.”
This year’s SONA was the first to welcome a full capacity audience since the pandemic began, with a reported 1,300 invitations sent out to guests for the event at the newly-renovated Batasang Pambansa. The renovation was said to cost ₱100 million.
The president touted “sound fiscal management” as one of his government’s priorities with a target of 7.5 percent economic growth in order to help Filipinos in the ongoing health crisis and cope with rising consumer prices.
In an interview with CNN Philippines’ News Night, former Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines president Francis Lim called the president’s plan a “sound roadmap,” particularly, Lim said, for the business sector, the laws and priorities to make a “competitive Philippines.” Though he said it was an ambitious plan since it entails a lot of funds to be implemented.
Noticeably, the president did not talk about corruption, the drug war, or the shift to a federal government.
Before the president’s speech, people also tuned in to the SONA red carpet to see the looks that would turn out this year. For President Marcos Jr.’s first SONA, it ranged from the modest (Robin Padilla’s store bought barong), the modern (Heart Evangelista's terno leading the pack), and the ethnic or ethnic patterned dresses (Vice President Sara Duterte's Bagobo Tagabawa dress).
For the full live coverage of the SONA, you can click here.
Here’s a look at the arrival of some of the prominent leaders and personalities at the red carpet prior to the speech of President Marcos Jr.