Zubiri lauds Bongbong Marcos’ first Sona: It was clear, comprehensive
MANILA, Philippines — Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday said he was “happy” and “pleased” with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (Sona), saying it was clear and comprehensive.
“It wasn’t just a simple Sona. I think what the President delivered was a plan for a better nation. It was an amazing speech, one speech that touched on so many topics. I am so happy that it touched on so many issues,” Zubiri said in an interview on ABS CBN News Channel.
“He touched on so many topics that were so vital for the development of our country. It was quite refreshing to hear that. So I was very happy and very pleased about the speech,” he added.
Zubiri lauded Marcos for discussing specialty hospitals across the country, saying it was one of his campaign promises during the 2022 elections.
He also praised Marcos for having a plan on the country’s economy: on how to increase the Gross Domestic Product growth rate, on the plan to decrease the poverty rate and boost the middle class.
“In the beginning, it sounded like great statements, then he led into the specifics, which I really appreciate. He was talking about healthcare, education, livelihood, he was talking about helping the farmers. He really focused on helping the farmers. He also acknowledged the challenges ahead, and he gave us the direction,” the Senate President said.
He also said he appreciated how “clear” the President was on his instructions to Congress with his 19-point legislative agenda on the latter part of his speech.
“How clear is that? That is so clear, clear as day. That is great action from the President, it was quite clear and concise,” he said.
Zubiri, responding to criticisms that Marcos missed a few things in his Sona, said the President was able to “cover most of the bases” the Filipinos want to hear on the Sona.
“What’s important is he was able to cover all the bases, it’s impossible to cram all things in one speech, unless one expects a telenovela,” he said.
One of criticisms on Marcos’ speech is that there is no mention of anti-corruption measures, but Zubiri disagreed.
He said Marcos was able to touch on the corruption issue by mentioning ease of doing business and plugging tax leakages.
“You don’t have to say we’re going to strengthen the anti-corruption program. He said it in his speech if you listened carefully. He said that he wanted to plug the tax leakages. Tax leakages are through either inefficiency of tax collection or corruption or both,” Zubiri said.
“Ease of doing business is another way of saying we strengthen our anti-corruption policy. So he touched on it [corruption] and I was quite appreciative of it. For me, it was quite a comprehensive speech,” he said.
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