Zoom viewing rooms for SONA

July 26, 2020

THE Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) will be organizing Zoom viewing rooms for guests who cannot be in the same room with President Rodrigo Duterte when he delivers his fifth state of the nation address (SONA) today, Monday.

In an interview over DZBB, PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar said there will be three Zoom viewing rooms designated for Cabinet members, local government and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials, and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Even if guests will not be in the same room as the President, he said guests will still be required to be wear traditional Filipino attire.

Duterte is scheduled to deliver his fifth SONA at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

However, in case one of those invited to attend the annual event tests positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), he said Duterte might deliver his SONA at Malacañan Palace in Manila instead.

All attendees will be required to undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) before being allowed entry inside Batasang Pambansa.

Currently, a total of 50 seats are reserved for Cabinet members and lawmakers if Duterte delivers his SONA at the Batasang Pambansa.

Should Duterte deliver his SONA in Malacañang, he said the number of people allowed will be further trimmed down.

“Imbes na 25-25–25 from the Senate tapos mayroon ding 25 na halu-halo na congressman at mga ilang mga Cabinet members kasi hindi naman lahat ng Cabinet members ay makaka-attend din,” he said.

Malacañang has yet to confirm the attendance of Duterte’s family to the annual SONA.

However, he said only select staff were allowed to watch Duterte’s rehearsal since health protocols were strictly implemented.

“Talagang very strictly limited to a very few people na technical lang talaga. Wala, as in kami hindi namin nakita, hindi namin nabasa, hindi namin napanood,” he said.

He said Duterte’s SONA will be focused on the government’s COVID-19 response and recovery.

“So, ang gusto kasi ng tao malaman kung saan tayo dadalhin ng gobyerno, kung saan tayo dadalhin ng pamahalaang Duterte sa susunod na mga buwan,” he said.

Earlier, he said Duterte may also touch on his promises to stop corruption in government, combat illegal drugs and reduce poverty in the country.

He added that Duterte would also talk about his government’s plan to generate more jobs, revive the economy, foster education and help distressed overseas Filipino workers amid the pandemic. PNA