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Marcos Jr. to Deliver First SONA: What to Expect

President prefers a 'simple' event, House official says.
by Erwin Colcol
Jul 19, 2022
Photo/s: Ted ALJIBE / AFP

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address on July 25 at the Batasang Pambansa complex to outline his priorities for the country in his first year in office.

The event, which will be the first fully face-to-face SONA since 2019, is expected to draw hundreds of individuals from the public and private sector, as well as friends and members of Marcos' family.


First SONA: Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., Jan. 24, 1966

First SONA: Corazon Aquino, July 27, 1987

First SONA: Fidel V. Ramos, July 27, 1992

Marcos wants his first SONA to be "simple," according to House of Representatives Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza, so that the focus would be on his message to the Filipino people.

"They advised us to make it simple... Gusto lang ni presidente na maging simple lang ang SONA," Llandro, who oversees the SONA preparations at the House, told CNN Philippines in an interview on Tuesday.

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ALSO READ: 'Your Hopes are My Hopes': Marcos Inauguration Speech Highlights

Here's what the public can expect from the first SONA of Marcos Jr.:

Tight security

Starting Tuesday, July 19, the Batasang Pambansa complex will be on partial lockdown, which means only essential personnel will be allowed to enter the premises, including staff of incumbent House members, Mendoza said.

By Thursday, July 21, the Batasang Pambansa complex will be on full lockdown, where only engineering and security personnel as well as employees in the Office of the Secretary General may enter.


Around 1,300 invitations have been sent out for Marcos' first SONA, according to Mendoza, of which at least 900 or 70% have confirmed their attendance.

Senators and congressmen will be seated at the plenary hall of the Batasang Pambansa complex to listen to the president's SONA. Other guests and attendees will be seated at the galleries.

Guests are expected to arrive early and be seated by 2 p.m., two hours before the actual program starts at 4 p.m.

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Health protocols

Attendees are required to present a negative RT-PCR test result taken within 48 hours before the SONA as well as their vaccination card, Mendoza said. These requirements will be collected at the South Wing Annex of the Batasang Pambansa complex.

Guests are also expected to observe social distancing and other minimum health protocols while at the venue.

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