Thursday, July 23, 2009

State of the Nations Address

The State of the Nation Address (Filipino: Talumpati sa Kalagayan ng Bansa, abbreviated SONA) is an annual event in the Republic of the Philippines, in which the President of the Philippines reports on the status of the nation, normally to the resumption of a joint session of the Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate). This is a duty of the President as stated in Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution:

"The President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session. He may also appear before it at any other time."

The address is also an opportunity for opposition parties to protest against the government. In 2005, tens of thousands of people attended protest rallies during the State of the Nation Address of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, calling on her to resign.

The "State of the Nation" address was first mentioned in the 1935 Constitution, in Section 10 of Article VII:

"The President shall from time to time give to the Congress information on the state of the Nation, and recommend to its consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

The first SONA was delivered by President Manuel L. Quezon on June 16, 1936. All such addresses are published in The Official Gazette, an annual publication by the government, which is a collection of all promulgations, Supreme Court decisions, executive issuances, and laws, which have been passed for the year. It is always delivered on the fourth Monday of July.

On Monday July 27, 2009 marks the 9th SONA of Pres. Gloria Arroyo. Will it be her last SONA? - that's the many questions of the people who are now ready to converge for demonstration for the said event. Let's see and hear from all the same promises she will be telling to the people on what happened after one year.

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