(Eagle News) – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano opened the 18th session of Congress on Monday, July 27, in preparation for the fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA) later in the afternoon by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Cayetano spoke about an “unprecedented crisis” that the country and the whole world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic which still has no vaccine to prevent it from further spreading.
-Accepting the “new reality”-
“We cannot sugar-coat the fact that our way of life, what we once knew, and took for granted as being normal, is completely, irrevocably undeniably gone. It has forever been changed by this pandemic, and nothing we can do can bring back. Everything from this point on, should no longer be about recapturing the past,” he said in his speech as he opened 18th Congress second regular session.
He said how important it is at this time to be truthful and humble to acknowledge the “uncertainties and the fears that our people are facing.”
-New roadmap needed amid COVID-19 reality-
Cayetano said that what is now important is to “humble ourselves, pray, discern, work hard.”
“But definitely we need a plan. We need a roadmap. These are the hard realities,” he said.
The challenge, he said, is “surviving the present” and building a great future.
-Some lawmakers test positive prior to SONA-
As Congress opened and prepares for President Duterte’s fifth SONA, some lawmakers already reportedly tested for COVID-19 after taking the required swab tests over the weekend.
One of them is House Deputy Speaker Johnny Pimentel who announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, July 27.
(Eagle News Service)