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Marcos readies for 3rd SONA on July 22 as House, Senate discuss priorities

By Jennifer T. Santos

 QUEZON CITY – President Ferdinand Maros Jr. will deliver his third State of the Nation (SONA) before the joint session of Congress on July 22 at the Batasang Pambansa.

The SONA is a national event where the President, in compliance with Article VII, Section 23 of the Constitution, comes before the assembled members of the Philippine Congress at the opening of its regular session, to give a report on the national situation, the development agenda for the next 12 months and propose certain legislative measures.

SONAs are traditionally held at the House of Representatives.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives and the Senate have started coordinating on their legislative priorities ahead of the 3rd and last regular session of the 19th Congress.

Speaker Martin Romualdez said he initially discussed their common legislative agenda with newly installed Senate President (SP) Francis Escudero  in Malacañang during the signing of the law increasing the teaching supply allowance of public school teachers.

“Nag-agree kami ni (We agreed with) Senate President that even before the LEDAC (Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council) na sa third week ng buwan na ‘to, mag-usap kami (that in the third week of this month, we will talk). Ah siyempre naman, ‘yung (Of course, the) coordination between SP and myself of course, we have each other’s numbers,” he said.

He said House Majority Leader Jose Manuel Dalipe and his Senate counterpart, Senator Francis Tolentino, have their own coordination.

“So mukhang (it’s like) we’re on our way. We will allow the Senate to fully organize itself or reorganize itself and the common legislative agenda will be outlined as well as the priority legislation,” he said.

Romualdez said Escudero and the other new leaders of the Senate are aware that the House had already passed all the priority measures of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

“So the coordination will be particularly dito sa mga (here in the) bicameral conference committees on how we reconcile the differing versions,” he added.

He pointed out that he and his colleagues would also “just await the Senate in prioritizing which of the local legislations that we have also passed and transmitted to the Senate will be acted upon.”

“Pero maganda po naman ang usapan natin ni Senate President (But my discussion with the Senate President is fine),” he said.

Asked about the proposed amendments to the Constitution’s restrictive economic provisions he and his House colleagues have been advocating, he said “these are pending with the Senate as well.”

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