Sona preparations already at 95%, says House SecGen | Inquirer News

Sona preparations already at 95%, says House SecGen

/ 05:55 PM July 17, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Preparations are nearly complete a week before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (Sona), according to House Secretary General Reginald Velasco.

Velasco, in an ambush interview Monday, told reporters that they are only waiting for the final guest list, which he hopes would be forwarded to them within the day.

“Sa preparations almost 95 percent na eh, ang hinihintay na lang namin talaga yung final guest list ng mga offices, Office of the President (OP), Senate at saka other organizations.  But we have received all of them, most of them, so siguro mga 95 percent,” he said.


(With the preparations, we are almost at 95 percent already; we are just awaiting the final guest list from offices, the Office of the President, the Senate, and other organizations.  But we have received all of them, most of them, so maybe we are at 95 percent,” he said.


“All preparations have been done, physical arrangements, security; we are confident that by Friday everything will be all set kasi (because) we will have a rehearsal, eh,” he added.

READ: House expects ‘nearly back to normal’ Sona 2023; Paul Soriano back as director 

As to when the rehearsal would be held, Velasco said there is still no specific date for it.  He, however, confirmed that the House complex, where Marcos will deliver his second Sona during a joint session of Congress, will be under lockdown starting Thursday.

This means people not involved with the Sona preparations would no longer be allowed inside the Batasang Pambansa complex.

Velasco said Marcos would not be present during the rehearsals, adding that they would focus more on the technical side of the Sona preparations.

“Hindi; ano lang, technical rehearsal ang gagawin natin ngayon. We will follow the route of the President. So ‘yan ‘yong entrance niya from the chopper or the vehicle, pasok sya diyan sa ano, then he will proceed dun sa executive lounge where we will go today after this interview,” he said.


(It’s just a technical rehearsal; what we would do today is we will follow the route of the President.  So he will enter here either from the chopper or the vehicle, and he will proceed to the executive lounge, where we will go today after this interview.)

The House official talked to the media before leading a walkthrough of the preparations for the Sona — showing where House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri would welcome and meet Marcos and the First Family and where they would eventually proceed.

Regarding invitations, Velasco said 90 percent of the invited guests have responded that they would attend the Sona, including several past and present officials like Vice President Sara Duterte, former President Joseph Estrada, and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.  Velasco said that Arroyo, who is also a member of the 19th Congress, preferred to sit with the past officials.

“Almost 90 percent eh ‘yon lang meron kasi for health reasons, hindi makaka-attend (Almost 90 percent will attend because some would not be able to go due to health reasons), from the diplomatic corps, from the Cabinet, from the OP. But we have already sent all the invitations, and we are, of course, waiting for the submission of the final guest list, hopefully, by the end of the day, we will have them,” he said.

“Yes, yes. And I think si President GMA (Arroyo) will be seated sa VIP. Kasi pwede rin siya sa floor as an incumbent congresswoman. But we were informed that she would prefer to be seated sa center,” he added.

(Yes, yes. And I think President GMA will be seated at the VIP area because she can also stay on the floor as an incumbent congresswoman.  But we were informed that she would prefer to be seated at the center.)

Marcos will deliver his second Sona by the afternoon of July 24, after the House and Senate respectively open their second regular session.

Earlier, Velasco also confirmed that according to information from the Office of the President (OP) and the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), the Radio Television Malacañang would be in charge of directing the second Sona.

READ: RTVM to direct Bongbong Marcos’ 2nd Sona — House official

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Initially, it was announced by Velasco too that Presidential Adviser for Creative Communications Paul Soriano — who directed Marcos’ first Sona — will be back at the helm of the event.

TAGS: Marcos, Sona

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