There are no final details whether President Rodrigo Duterte will physically show up at the Batasang Pambansa to deliver his fifth state of the nation address (SONA), Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this remark after Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III bared that Duterte has decided to deliver his fifth SONA at the Batasang Pambansa before a limited number of lawmakers.
Roque admitted that the venue will indeed be the Batasang Pambansa but pointed out that Duterte may simply deliver his SONA via livestream from Malago Clubhouse in Malacañan Palace.
“The venue is confirmed, it is Batasan pero ang alam ko po hindi pa po 100-percent sure kung physically mag-a-attend ang Presidente o magbo-broadcast po from Malago to Congress (but what I know that it’s not a hundred percent sure if the President will physically attend or broadcast from Malago to Congress),” he said in a virtual Palace briefing.
While final details on the SONA setup have yet to be released, Roque vowed to give updates in the following days leading up to July 27.
“Sa ngayon, wala pa pong detalyeng na naibibigay sa’kin…pero hayaan niyo po, pag plantsado na, mag-a-anunsyo na tayo diyan (At present, there are no details given to me, but don’t worry, when it’s all ironed out, we will make an announcement),” he said.
Earlier, Roque floated the possibility of having a “blended” style SONA, referring to a combination of having guests physically present while others opting to watch from their television sets or online.
In an interview with reporters, Sotto said the number of attendees will be limited to a maximum of 50 people who will all be subjected to rapid antibody testing.
He said 25 seats will be reserved for the executive department, 13 for the House of Representatives and 12 for the Senate.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said the SONA would likely be via teleconferencing, which has been the method used by Congress to hold sessions and committee hearings.
Duterte delivered his past four SONAs in the Session Hall of the House at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
Scheduled pre-SONAs have been held to discuss accomplishments under the Duterte administration.
The SONA is delivered by the President of the Philippines every year to report the state of the country, unveil the government’s agenda for the coming year, and may also propose to Congress certain legislative measures.
Congress is currently on break and will resume for its second regular session on the President SONA on July 27. (PNA)