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By Prince Golez

This year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) may last for 80 minutes if President Rodrigo Duterte sticks to his prepared speech, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said.

In an interview on ANC’s Headstart, Andanar on Monday said Duterte held his second and final rehearsal for his fifth and penultimate SONA last night.

“I think it will not go beyond an hour and 20,” the chief of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said.

“But, again, it’s the President’s prerogative to do adlibs in between,” he added.

When asked about the key focus points of the speech, Andanar described Duterte’s SONA as “full of optimism and hope.”

According to him, the Chief Executive will tackle the effects of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic on the economy as well as the resolutions and bills pushed by the administration such as the Malasakit Centers Act and the Salary Standardization Law.

The various subsidy programs of frontline agencies and their beneficiaries, the enactment of the Bayanihan Act and the Covid-19 response programs may also be discussed.

“The President is also expected to talk about the government’s good fiscal management despite the pandemic; along with… this he may outline the concrete plans to strengthen the government’s response to the pandemic which will stir the economy towards socio-economic recovery,” said Andanar.

“Traditionally, the President will discuss his legislative agenda during the SONA. So this year, I believe that the President will continue to pursue proposed measures to strengthen our healthcare system and to improve the delivery of the government’s assistance to the vulnerable sectors,” he concluded.

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