MANILA, Philippines – After President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, Filipinos online took to social media to sound off various views on the President’s speech.
The hashtag #SONA2022 topped Twitter Philippines trends immediately after Monday’s speech.
Netizens expected Marcos to talk about his economic plans ahead of his speech after the Philippines’ inflation rate jumped to 6.1% in June – the highest level since November 2018.
Here are some issues that dominated online conversations during and after the SONA.
The keyword “ROTC” also topped Twitter trends after Marcos listed the implementation of mandatory Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) as one of his priority bills.
University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman University Student Council chairperson Jonas Abadilla said the move would “be an insult to the decades of students’ struggle and to academic freedom.”
“There are other ways to express our love for our country that can be done without this abusive program. Also, the country has very limited resources in providing support for the students. In other words, we cannot afford this, since we are still under a pandemic,” he said in a Facebook post.
Iya Trinidad, UP Baguio University Student Council chairperson, suggested instead for the government to “forward a nationalist, scientific, and mass-oriented education” to teach the youth to learn how to serve the country.
Meanwhile, one Twitter user said that the move would just be “a burden to senior high school students.”
While a chunk of the SONA was focused on the economy, some users criticized the content and delivery of Marcos’ speech as it sounded like a “technical paper prepared by [his] economic team.”
“Some of us understand what he’s saying. But isn’t it supposed to be addressed to the nation? The nation does not have the capacity to understand this,” said Twitter user @bughawdilawpula
Other netizens said the SONA was targeted at “people with big money and power” and “foreign watchers.”
Twitter user @vmickhell also noticed how Marcos switched between English and Filipino depending on the topic being discussed during the speech.
“Kung [tinatalakay ni Marcos ng] polisiyang madedehado ang Pilipino, ini-Ingles at tineteknikal upang ‘di maintindihan ng mamamayan,” he said
(If Marcos is talking about a policy that would put Filipinos at a disadvantage, he says it in English and makes it technical so that it won’t be understood by the masses.)
Meanwhile, EJ Bulilan and opinion columnist Gideon Lasco welcomed Marcos’ first SONA as a “departure from the bombastic, foul, and divisive tirades” of his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte.
However, Duterte’s niece, Nuelle said she doesn’t think Marcos wrote the SONA speech himself.
While streamlining government procedures was one of the priorities that Marcos laid in his SONA speech, Facebook user Clarice Aina mentioned that it ignored the issue of corruption in the government.
Meanwhile, Filipinos also raised a variety of issues that Marcos did not discuss in his first SONA such as human rights, territorial sovereignty, and workers’ rights, among others.
Others saw the irony in how Marcos was tackling issues such as education and taxes when he has been embroiled in controversies surrounding these matters such as the Marcos family’s P203 billion unpaid estate tax.
Here’s how other netizens reacted to Marcos’ SONA speech.SONA 2022 Tweets – Curated tweets by rapplerdotcom
Read the full transcript of Marcos’ first SONA here.
– with reports from Kyla Cariño and Alyssa Tiangsing/Rappler.com
Alyssa Tiangsing is a Rappler intern. She is currently taking BA Communication at the University of Santo Tomas.
Kyla Cariño is a Rappler intern. She is a Journalism major from the University of Santo Tomas.