What the basic sectors expect from Marcos’s first SONA (2022)

What the basic sectors expect from Marcos’s first SONA (1)

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. will deliver his first-ever State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday (July 25) at the Batasang Pambansa complex to lay down his administration’s plans for the country.

Meanwhile, progressive groups will gather in protest in the streets to register the basic sectors’ needs, and to hold the Marcos Jr. administration to account.

And in different press conferences and state of the sectors’ addresses, several organizations and formations representing the most basic sectors in the country laid down what their expectations are for the new government.

Security of tenure, additional support for transport sector

What the basic sectors expect from Marcos’s first SONA (2)

(Video) WATCH: What the business sector hopes to hear from President Marcos' 1st SONA | ANC

Representatives from different groups and formations under the labor sector held a “State of the Labor Address” on Saturday (July 23) at the University Hotel in UP Diliman to lay down the demands of workers from the Marcos Jr. administration.

Among those who are present are former senatorial candidate and Kilusang Mayo Uno chair Elmer “Bong” Labog, and ex-presidential candidate and Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino chairperson Leody De Guzman.

KILOS NA Manggagawa spokesperson, Julie Ann Gutierrez, decried the state of contractual workers in the country, and the lack of security of tenure. She said that six or seven out of 10 workers in the Philippines are contractual workers, and she called on the Marcos Jr. government to hear their pleas for livable wage and regularization.

Ang sabi po ng pangulong nakaupo ngayon, ang pangarap natin ay pangarap niya. Kaya ito po ang pangarap naming mga manggagawa, makamit ang karapatan namin … Lalung-lalo na ang karapatan naming mag-unyon,” she said.

(The sitting president said that our dream is his dream. So this is the dream of us workers: to achieve our rights... Especially our right to organize unions),

Mody Floranda, Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) national president, said that the continuing jeepney modernization program of the previous administration continues to be a burden to jeepney drivers, as well as the non-suspension of excise tax on fuels and value-added tax on other petroleum products.

Meanwhile, Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees’ Santi Dasmarias slammed the proposed rightsizing of the government bureaucracy, saying that it will affect the livelihood and job security of an estimated 600,000 government workers.

Free land distribution to farmers, production subsidy to fisherfolk

What the basic sectors expect from Marcos’s first SONA (3)

(Video) What to expect from President Marcos' first SONA? Exec. Sec. Rodriguez gives an overview | ANC

During a “State of the Peasant Address” on Saturday titled “Nilulutong Krisis” (Brewing Crisis), different peasant groups like Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Amihan National Federation of Peasant Women (Amihan), and Anakpawis Partylist held a primer of the current situation of peasants, farm workers and fisherfolk in the country.

Rafael “Ka Paeng” Mariano, a former Anakpawis Partylist Representative and Secretary of Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) under former President Rodrigo Duterte, said that seven out of 10 farmers in the country do not own the land that they’re tilling.

Mariano said that although Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) 75 in 2019 mandating concerned government agencies to identify government-owned lands suitable for agriculture and distribute them to qualified farmers without land, it still won’t count as agrarian reform.

Walang naging bago sa reporma sa agraryo sa ilalim ni Duterte. Naidagdag lang ang EO 75 o pamamahagi ng government-owned lands. Pero nanatili pa ring hawak ng mga ahensya ng gobyerno ang desisyon kung itu-turnover nila sa DAR ang mga lupa,” he said.

(There was nothing new in terms of agrarian reform under Duterte. There was only the EO 75 or distribution of government-owned lands. But it is still up to the government agencies whether they will turn it over to the DAR.)

Mariano said that the peasant sector is pushing for the filing, and eventual passage, of the Free Land Distribution Bill, a bill similar to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program but based on the principle of social justice to ensure that it will uplift the lives of the farmers.

For the fisherfolk sector, Pamalakaya, a national federation of fisherfolk organizations in the country, said that the state still has no respect for fishermen’s democratic rights.

Hindi itinataguyod ng mga umiiral na fisheries code at amendment ang pag-unlad ng pangingisda sa bansa. Instrumento pa ito upang pahirapan ang maliliit na mangingisda,” the group said.

([The government] doesn’t care about the fisheries code and amendments to it in improving the fisheries sector in the country. Instead, it is being used to harass small fisherfolk.)

Aside from reclamation projects by San Miguel Corporation in Bulacan and the Revilla’s in Cavite, fishermen are being thrown out of their livelihood, and cited a study they conducted that says 70% of their daily earnings have been slashed since the government started importing huge volumes of fish.

Sa pagbaha ng imported na isda sa mga pamilihan, lalong malulugi ang mga mangingisda sa pambabarat ng presyo ng kanilang produkto,” Pamalakaya added.

(Video) What to expect in Marcos' first SONA | News Night

(With the overflowing of imported fish in the market, fishermen are bound to lose because their products are being lowballed.)

Which is why, Pamalakaya is calling on the Marcos Jr. administration to provide a P15,000 production subsidy, and the junking of the fisheries code.

Teachers’ salary upgrading, educational reforms

In a petition letter submitted on Thursday (July 21) by 20 teachers representing the sector and signed by a total of 200 teaching and non-teaching personnel organizations, teachers’ group the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Philippines demands from the Marcos Jr. administration the long-overdue salary upgrading of teachers and some reforms in the education sector, including the overhauling of the K to 12 educational system.

Citing the recent Pulse Asia survey that says more Filipinos are dissatisfied with K-12 than those who are satisfied, they say that part of this problem is the fact that teachers are not getting paid enough, forcing them to take odd jobs, or other part-time jobs instead of focusing on their profession as educators.

The teachers’ group laid down their demands in 10 points, which include doubling the budget of the education department to hire more teachers and cut class size to around 35 per section and non-teaching personnel to unburden teachers of too much administrative duties and paperwork, provide the necessary learning equipment to ensure quality teaching and education, bringing back subjects like Philippine History as required subjects in high school and tertiary education, improve the benefits of teachers who are SSS and GSIS members, among many others.

The group also decried the “overkill” deployment of more than 20,000 troops on the day of the SONA and the billions of pesos spent in preparing, which could’ve been used instead to increase the salary of teachers or ensure a safe back-to-school program.

“More than 21,000 police force, not counting soldiers and other force multipliers, will be mobilized to prevent protest actions that will only air the just demands of the people in the face of the economic crisis we are enduring,” Vladimer Quetua, ACT’s chairperson, said.

Safe reopening of schools, providing aid to students

In a virtual press conference held on Saturday (July 24), the youth sector, represented by Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raoul Manuel, and other youth and student leaders from different colleges and universities nationwide as well as members of mass organizations, are calling on the administration of President Marcos to certify as urgent the bills on the safe reopening of schools and P10,000 aid to students.

The Safe School Reopening Bill and Emergency Student Aid and Relief Bill were filed last year by Manuel’s predecessor, former Rep. Sarah Elago.

Ito ang dapat i-certify as urgent ni Marcos Jr. kung gusto niyang magkaroon ng pondo para maging ligtas ang plano nilang pagbubukas ng mga campus,” Manuel said.

(These bills are what Marcos Jr. should certify as urgent if he wants adequate funds for a safe reopening of schools.)

(Video) What to expect in Marcos' first SONA

Hindi pwedeng salita lang, dapat may pondo at aksyon,” he added.

(Mere words aren’t enough, there also must be funds and action.)

Manuel also said that instead of mandatory ROTC, the government should instead prioritize bringing back Philippine History, Filipino, Panitikan (Literature) and Constitution subjects in high school and in college “if we want the youth to be more nationalistic.”

The lone representative of youth in Congress is also calling on the Marcos government to implement a moratorium on tuition fee increases and collection of exorbitant fees, and to prohibit police and military forces within the school premises, among others.

Ayaw natin sa SONA na puro rhetoric tungkol sa ‘unity.’ Ayaw natin sa SONA na iiwas sa katotohanan sa datos at sa aktwal na nararanasan ng mga naghihirap na Pilipino…” Manuel said.

(We don’t want a SONA that rehashes rhetoric on ‘unity.’ We don’t want a SONA that denies factual data and the lived experiences of struggling Filipinos.)

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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What does a Sona contain? ›

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a constitutional obligation and yearly tradition, wherein the chief executive reports on the status of the country, unveils the government's agenda for the coming year, and proposes to Congress certain legislative measures.

What kind of government did the Philippines have during Marcos administration? ›

Diokno, virtually turning the Philippines into a totalitarian dictatorship with Marcos. Initially, the declaration of martial law was well received, given the social turmoil of the period.

What did Marcos do in his first term? ›

Marcos used the military and the government bureaucracy for his campaign, and also went on a campaign spending spree, initiating US$50 million worth in infrastructure projects meant to impress the electorate.

When and were a SONA should be delivered? ›

The tradition of delivering the SONA on the fourth Monday of January ended in 1972, when from 1973 to 1977, President Ferdinand E. Marcos delivered the Address every September 21—the official anniversary of his imposition of Martial Law upon the country.

What SONA means? ›

Sona is a feminine given name meaning gold. It can also be related to the name Sonia, which means "wisdom." Variants include accented Soňa and Soná. Sona also is called to a beloved one, someone very close to heart. Sona also means beautiful. Sona.

Is SONA every year? ›

The State of the Nation Address or SONA is delivered by the President of the Philippines every year. In it, the Chief Executive reports on the state of the country, unveils the government's agenda for the coming year, and may also propose to Congress certain legislative measures.

What is the real reason why Marcos declared martial law? ›

When he declared martial law in 1972, Marcos claimed that he had done so in response to the "communist threat" posed by the newly founded Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), and the sectarian "rebellion" of the Mindanao Independence Movement (MIM).

What is the purpose of martial law? ›

Martial law is law administered by the military rather than by a civilian government, typically to restore order. Martial law is declared in an emergency, in a response to a crisis, or to control occupied territory.

How did the martial law economy affected the current economy of the Philippines? ›

Macroeconomic indicators

The GDP of the Philippines rose during the martial law, rising from $8.0 billion to $32.5 billion in about 8 years. This growth was spurred by massive lending from commercial banks, accounting for about 62% percent of external debt.

What was the contribution of the former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos to science and technology? ›

Marcos assisted 107 institutions in undertaking nuclear energy work by sending scientists to study nuclear science and technology abroad, and providing basic training to 482 scientists, doctors, engineers, and technicians.

Who is the first President of the Philippines? ›

January 23, 2013 marks the 114th Anniversary of the First Republic of the Philippines that was inaugurated in Malolos, Bulacan. It also marks the anniversary of the start of the Presidency of Emilio Aguinaldo, the first President of the Philippines.

What happened during Marcos second term? ›

By the time Marcos gave the first State of the Nation Address of his second term on January 26, 1970, the unrest born from the 1969–1970 Balance of Payments Crisis exploded into a series of demonstrations, protests, and marches against the government.

What are the example of monopoly in the Philippines? ›

In a 1988 interview, she stated, "We practically own everything in the Philippines—from electricity, telecommunications, airline, banking, beer and tobacco, newspaper publishing, television stations, shipping, oil and mining, hotels and beach resorts, down to coconut milling, small farms, real estate and insurance."

What did Ferdinand Marcos do to the Philippines? ›

In 1962, Marcos would claim to be the most decorated war hero of the Philippines by garnering almost every medal and decoration that the Filipino and American governments could give to a soldier. Included in his claim of 27 war medals and decorations are that of the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor.

Is there a monopoly in Philippines? ›

The biggest monopoly in the Philippines? The government itself. It is the country's biggest landowner, biggest port operator, biggest banker, and biggest buyer of goods.

Who is the first president of the 5th Republic of the Philippines? ›

When the 1987 Constitution was put into full force and effect, the Fourth Republic was ended and the Fifth Republic inaugurated. Thus, President Aquino became the first President of the Fifth Republic.


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