PCOO preps Zoom viewing rooms for 5th SONA

PCOO preps Zoom viewing rooms for 5th SONA

MANILA – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) has set up 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) on Monday (July 27).

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), the PCOO chief said Duterte might deliver his SONA at Malacañan Palace in Manila instead.

All attendees are required to undergo reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) days before entry to the Batasang Pambansa.

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 Malacañan, 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 (Instead of 25-25 where 25 will be from the Senate and 25 Congressmen and some Cabinet members because not all Cabinet members will be able to attend),” he said.

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

Last rehearsal

According to Andanar, Duterte will have a final rehearsal on Sunday night. He had his first rehearsal on Friday.

“I understand ngayong gabi ang (tonight will be the) final rehearsal,” he said.

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. Hindi namin nakita, hindi namin nabasa, hindi namin napanood (It’s really very strictly limited to a very few people who are mostly technical staff. We didn’t get to see, we didn’t get to read, we didn’t get to watch),” 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 (So, the people want to know where the Duterte government will bring us in the next few months),” Andanar 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 will also cover the government’s plan to generate more jobs, revive the economy, foster education and help distressed overseas Filipino workers amid the pandemic. (PNA)

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his state of the nation address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on July 22, 2019. Duterte is set to deliver his fifth SONA on Monday (July 27, 2020) at the same venue but with only 50 persons allowed to attend due to threat of the coronavirus disease. (Presidential photo)

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