SONA 2020

#SONAReacts: Youth call for sense of urgency, concrete plans

The youth criticize President Duterte's SONA for failing to address many pressing issues

After President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 27, students expressed disappointment that he let them down once again.

Youth organizations criticized the SONA for failing to address many pressing issues. With the Chief Executive devoting time to less urgent matters, neglecting to lay down plans for millions of jobless Filipinos and how to respond to pandemic, they questioned his administration’s sense of urgency and priorities.

Despite coronavirus cases in the country breaking past 80,000 right before the SONA, the President failed to share concrete plans for the health crisis or address the impending economical effects of the global pandemic.

Erica, a student, said in Filipino, I wish the President laid out a COVID-19 recovery plan so that Filipinos can see the solutions that the government will be adopting to help us rise from this crisis.”

The dissatisfaction of the youth was only magnified by President Duterte’s digressive jabs at the media and “oligarchs”. “Up until now, he has been prioritizing less important matters, things that are unimportant,” said writer Eunice Helera. She wished the President spent more time discussing immediate steps that the government would take to ease the burden of the coronavirus pandemic on Filipinos. 

Concrete plans are what “the people continue to demand,” student Mark Geronimo said in Filipino: “mass testing, financial aid, and medical solutions.” However, these were the same things that Duterte left out of his address to the people. –

This video is co-produced by Rappler interns Aina Robeniol, Ally Benitez, Bea Esparas, Cinderella Colotario, Graciela Chico, and Nina Liu.