EXPLAINERThe Philippines’ newly elected president will give his first report on the state of the nation later on Monday, and lay out his policy agenda for the coming year.Ferdinand Marcos Jr will give his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) as the leader of the Philippines on Monday.
The 64-year-old son of the disgraced dictator Ferdinand Marcos won a landslide victory in the race for the presidency in May, easily beating off a challenge from then Vice President Leni Robredo.
He took the oath of office on June 30, surrounded by his family including his 93-year-old mother Imelda Marcos.
Critics have accused Marcos Jr of rewriting history to gloss over the abuses of his father’s time in office and polish his family’s image after they were forced from power in a mass uprising in 1986.
Marcos Jr, popularly known as Bongbong, takes over as the economy struggles with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and rising prices. He has promised to create more jobs and deliver a better future in a country where nearly a quarter of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
Here’s what to expect:
What is SONA?
Under the Philippines’ 1987 Constitution, the president delivers the SONA each year on the last Monday in July.
The address assesses the state of the country, lays out the government’s agenda for the coming year, and suggests priority legislation.
The government has 30 days after the SONA to submit its proposed budget to Congress.
Filipinos are calling on the government to tackle the rising cost of food with these protesters marching earlier this month to urge the president, who is also in charge of agriculture, to bring down the price of rice [Jam Sta Rosa/AFP]
What is planned for the occasion?
The SONA will take plac …