News Release

FilipiKnows: Things Filipinos should know about the SONA

Every fourth Monday of July, Filipinos and the rest of the world are all ears to what the current Philippine President has to say in his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

SONA is expected to present to all Filipino citizens the work the government has achieved and its ongoing projects. It is also a chance for the President to unveil the future programs and projects the administration has in store for the country in the coming years and be transparent to the public about certain legislative measures he prioritizes.

In recent years, SONA begins at 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A list of personalities – family, friends of the President, senators, legislators, celebrities, and other special attendees convene at the Batasang Pambansa before the head of the nation addresses the Congress for his report. Before the actual SONA, the Senate and House of Representatives have regular sessions and elections of officials.

Looking back to history, the first SONA was delivered on November 25, 1935, during the Commonwealth of the Philippines by former President Manuel L. Quezon at the Legislative Building in Manila, now the National Museum of Fine Arts.

In the succeeding years, SONA was delivered in various locations. Sergio Osmena and Manuel Roxas delivered their speeches at the temporary Congress established at Lepanto Street, Manila (now S. H. Loyola Street).

For his second SONA, Elipidio Quirino had his speech delivered from a hospital bed at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The message was relayed to the Filipinos via Radio Broadcast through RCS.

Ramon Magsaysay, Carlos P. Garcia, and Diosdado Macapagal had their SONA at the House Session Hall of the Legislative Building.

For 21 years, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. has delivered his SONA in different locations – Legislative Building, Malacanan Palace, Quirino Grandstand, Philippine International Convention Center, Luneta Park, and Batasang Pambansa, where the succeeding Presidencies had their SONA up to Marcos Sr.’s son who took the office in 2022.

On July 24, 2023, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will deliver his second State of the Nation Address after his first 12 months as the 17th President of the Philippines.

The President has expressed optimism in his second SONA. He is expected to report his administration’s accomplishments, including the fulfilled plans enumerated in his first SONA.

To recall, Marcos’ first SONA was delivered at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City on July 25, 2022. It was one hour and 14 minutes long. He laid his plans as the nation’s new head, highlighting his priority projects focused on economic recovery, the Covid-19 pandemic response, foreign policy, and legislation.

His emphasis on bringing much-needed health facilities outside Metro Manila and his promise not to surrender the country’s territory were some of the most acclaimed. His “data-driven” SONA which laid out his plans for the Philippines during his six-year term was also praised.

As the head of the Department of Agriculture, Marcos is expected to highlight the accomplishments across the sector as he believes that it is at the forefront of reviving the economy of the Philippines after the challenges brought by the pandemic in recent years.

SONA is an annual obligation of the nation’s current Chief Executive that is written under Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution. (MVMV, PIA-CPSD)