Marcos”s second SONA could be among shortest, says Romualdez

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) could be among the shortest since the tradition began, according to remarks made by House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

As reported by Mav Gonzales and Katrina Son on GMA’s “24 Oras Weekend” on Sunday, Romualdez said Marcos’ SONA scheduled on Monday, July 24, could take an hour or less to deliver.

“I have heard that might just be about one hour long, mga [about] 45 minutes. I have not seen, I don’t know what he will take about,” he was quoted as saying.

Former president and now House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was recorded to have delivered the shortest SONA with 1,556 words. The average duration of her nine SONAs is estimated at 50 minutes.

“All I can tell you as we are approaching this first-year anniversary so to speak or the second SONA, right now, the country as you’ve already seen, is clocking as the fastest growth rate in terms of GDP [gross domestic product] globally in the world,” Romualdez said.

The Philippine economy grew by 6.1% in the first quarter of 2023, slower than the 8.0% growth the same quarter last year and the 7.1% expansion in the last quarter of 2022. Second-quarter figures have yet to be released.

While Romualdez did not provide any qualifiers for his statement of the fastest GDP growth rate in the world, other areas in Asia alone have recorded faster expansions in the first quarter: Macau with 38.0%, and Armenia with 12.1%.

Marcos last week said his SONA will be “really very simple” and would be a “performance report” for Filipinos to see which of his pronouncements have been realized.

The Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City has already been in lockdown since Thursday, July 20, ahead of Marcos’ SONA. — BM, GMA Integrated News

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