As President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his final State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon, residents in Ilocos Norte were anxious of what he has to say about the current state of the country.
While watching the President and hearing his utmost desire to improve the lives of the Filipino people, Karen Lucas, a village treasurer of Barangay 5 San Pedro, Laoag City said the President is an exemplary leader with sincerity to effect change.
“As someone who works with the government, I can feel how he wants our country to rise above the challenges of this time. Fighting Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) alone is a great challenge among our leaders and instead of getting help, they are often criticized and ridiculed,” Lucas said as she shared some of her experiences in dealing with hard-headed villagers who refuse to follow minimum health protocols.
For a teacher like Rufelio Aguilar from Solsona town, he said the President’s “humorous adlibs, straightforward comments, the accessory words and humble plea and strong push to the legislators to pass legislative measures to address the prevailing problems and to provide immediate solutions to them” entertained him the most.
Aguilar said the President’s SONA could have been another exciting point of discussion with his students if only the pandemic did not disrupt face-to-face classes in school.
Fanny Miguel, a resident here who loves to travel, said the President’s Build, Build, Build program impressed her the most.
“I think his most important legacy is his massive infrastructure projects particularly in building road networks which lessens our time going to and from Metro Manila,” said Miguel as she lauded the Duterte administration’s golden age of infrastructure.
Like Miguel, many residents in the province have already felt the impact of infrastructure development in the country, making land travel more easier and fun in this part of the country through the construction of multi-million by-pass roads and bridges in this northern gateway of Luzon.
In his final SONA, President Duterte made mention of his notable accomplishments and his concentrated efforts on illegal drugs but admitted that corruption is already endemic to the government.
“You cannot stop corruption — nobody can stop corruption unless you overthrow the government completely,” said Duterte in his speech.
Despite listening for almost three hours, Arthur Valente, a resident from Currimao town, said he felt the President’s sincerity in addressing the pressing problems of the country while also acknowledging its limitations.
“I like the way he (Duterte) talks with his own style. It is long but there are subliminal messages. The most important thing is people get his message across the line,” he said. (PNA)