Duterte did not deliver the must-needed recovery map in SONA


MANILA, Philippines – In President Rodrigo Duterte’s self-proclaimed longest State of the Nation Address, he failed to deliver the must-needed recovery map.

In his fifth SONA, various sectors expected that the president lays down a comprehensive recovery plan. This is amid the turbulent economic situation in the country.

Instead, in his speech, he attached former Senate President Franklin Drilon. He also went on about attacking “oligarchs” and threatening telco companies.

However, he did not include the promise of a “recovery roadmap”. This was in contrary to the promise that Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque stated.

Business executives were looking forward to the SONA to get a glimpse of the government’s plans. This is amid the economic hits that the country incurred after the lockdowns.

Previously, the Trade Industry executives also lamented over the lack of government subsidy for firms.

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During the SONA, Duterte only mentioned recurring economic packages.

He cited the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bills.

“I hope that we can get some or the same treatment of clarity, purpose and the fastness to support the passage of the Bayanihan [to Recover as One Act], which will supplement funds for recovery and response against the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he explained.

“We must facilitate the country’s economic recovery. I call on Congress to fast-track the passage of proposed measures such as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act,” he added.

What everyone expected in the recovery map

At a time like this, what most were expecting was the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill.

The bill is a P1.3-billion economic package that aims to regulate and mitigate the damages that MSME’s incurred.

Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo stated that there are downsides to its neglect.

“We lose the opportunity to do a proper monitoring of these interventions, through congressional oversight,” she said.