“Never did I imagine that my presidency would not only be judged on how I made good on my campaign promises, but also on how well I led our nation during the global pandemic,” says Duterte
(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26, giving a report on the accomplishments of his administration so far, and what he intends to do in the remaining period of his term.
At the start of his SONA, President Duterte also recalled how he viewed the country’s problems at the start of his presidency, and on how he planned to achieve his “vision of a better life for all Filipinos.”
But he said that he never imagined that a global pandemic would happen during his term.
“I have to admit that back when I decided to answer your call and ran for higher office, never did I imagine that my presidency would not only be judged on how I made good on my campaign promises in fighting illegal drugs, criminality and corruption, but also on how well I led our nation during the global pandemic,” he said.
In his SONA that took almost three hours, Duterte said that at the start of his presidency, he saw his dreams and visions for the country as “reachable” and he had laid out how to fulfill the changes he promised in his presidential campaign.
“When I assumed the presidency five years ago, dominant in my mind were dreams and visions of a better life for all Filipinos. I saw them as reachable through the institution of reforms and radical changes in both the structure of government and the mode of governance,” he said.
“All in consonance with the truth that public office is a public trust.”
-Before COVID, Pres. Duterte said he thought all his goals were reachable, doable-
“When I ran for the presidency, I just made fundamental promises and strangely you can count them by the fingers of your hand. I made those changes, which I thought that was really at that time doable,” he said.
Duterte enumerated the promises he had so far fulfilled including offering free education, Universal Health Care, the fight against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption; his Build, Build, Build projects improving the country’s infrastructure; providing free irrigation, and other projects.
He also cited his efforts to improve peace and order; to improve the condition of the police and armed forces, and the country’s defenses; the protection of the environment, and the overseas Filipinos.
“Today as I approach the end of my term, I have less visions but more remembrances. But mine is not to rue or to second guess what might have been, but to bear and respond with urgency of unforeseen events as they unfold.”
-Deep appreciation for frontliners, PH partners-
The President also expressed his deep appreciation to all those who had selflessly been a partner of the government in development and in helping the country amid the pandemic.
Duterte said that if not for COVID-19, the Philippines was already “poised to leapfrog into the company of the world’s fastest growing economies.”
“Due to the brilliant programs and excellent work of our economic managers and the extraordinary cooperation between the executive and the legislative branches of government, our economy, with investor confidence, was poised to leapfrog into the company of the world’s fastest growing economies until the COVID-19 pandemic stalled everything,” he said.
“Be that as it may, allow me this opportunity to extend my personal and the nation’s gratitude to all those who selflessly gave their all in the fight against COVID-19. Our health workers and other frontliners who risked their own safety to keep our essential health services and our food supply chain running, (including) economic activity, and ensure peace and order in our communities.”
President Duterte also extended his “deepest appreciation for the generosity of the private sector who came to the government’s aid in fighting COVID-19.”
“I am profoundly thankful for your sustained assistance to our fellow Filipinos, amidst the same deleterious effect of the pandemic to your respective industries. Let me assure you that the government is committed to assist the private sector to regain the commercial vibrance of the country prior to the pandemic,” he said.
He also recognized the efforts of the local chief executives efforts to help their citizens amid the pandemic which, Duterte said, pushed them “to step up and deliver responsive assistance.”
“I am glad to have seen you undertake new and heightened responsibilities, working doubly hard to protect your constituents.”
The President also thanked the international partners who helped the country amid the pandemic.
“To the international development partners who extended a helping hand amidst the global health emergency, the Philippines remembers your kindness and goodwill with sincere gratitude,” he said.
“And to all of you who answered the call to protect one another by adhering to our nation’s health protocols, daghang salamat.”
(Eagle News Service)