By Luel Galarpe
CEBU CITY – Several of President Rodrigo Duterte’s accomplishments in the first three years of his administration highlighted the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum at the Waterfront Cebu Hotel and Casino here on Wednesday.
Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista outlined the Duterte Administration’s human development and anti-poverty programs, while Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and Budget OIC Secretary Janet Abuel reported on the government’s accomplishments in participatory governance reforms.
Abuel also discussed the government’s budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2020. She said among the programs to be given priority in 2020 are the “Build, Build, Build” program, Education, Human Resource Development, poverty alleviation, Universal Healthcare, national security, and the institutionalization of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the pre-SONA forum aims to present to the public the accomplishments and programs implemented by the government, ahead of the President’s SONA on July 22.
“We are doing this pre-SONA to give the President leeway to emphasize what he wants to emphasize in his SONA. It will take him more than three hours if he will discuss all his accomplishments during his SONA,” said Nograles.
“We are doing this, so that government agencies whose accomplishments might not be mentioned by the President in the SONA won’t be disappointed,” he added.
The Cebu pre-SONA was the second of the three-leg forum series, dubbed as “Tatak ng Pagbabago 2019.” The forum series kicked off last July 1 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, where the Economic Development Cluster and Infrastructure Cluster discussed their respective accomplishments.
The third and final leg will be held on July 17 in Davao City, which will be spearheaded by the Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation, and Disaster Risk Reduction Cluster and the Security, Justice, and Peace Cluster.
Other Cabinet members who attended the Cebu pre-SONA were Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Anti-Poverty Secretary Noel Felongco, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones, Presidential Legal Adviser and spokesman Salvador Panelo, and Presidential Adviser for the Visayas Michael Dino. (PNA)