State of the Nation Address of
Rodrigo Roa Duterte
President of the Philippines
to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of
[Delivered at the Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City on July 26, 2021]
Kindly sit down.
By far this is the most beautiful SONA crowd that ever happened here. [applause and cheers] So many — so many beautiful faces and you only have to guess when you see the full face of the person.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and the honorable members of the Senate; House Speaker Lord Allan Jay Velasco and the honorable members of the House of Representatives; Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo; former Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Joseph Ejercito Estrada; the Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo and the justices of the Supreme Court; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the members of the Cabinet; Dean of the Diplomatic Corps His Excellency Archbishop Charles John Brown and the distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps; my fellow government workers; and of course to my lovely wife Honeylet; mga mahal kong kababayan [applause].
When I assumed the presidency five years ago, dominant in my mind were dreams and visions of a better life for all Filipinos. I saw them as reachable through the institution of reforms and radical changes in both the structure of government and the mode of governance — changes designed [to yield] responsibility [and] accountability. All in consonance with the truth that public office is a public trust.
When I ran for the presidency, I just made fundamental promises and strangely you can count them by the fingers of your hand. I made those changes, which I thought that was really at that time doable.
To offer free education — it’s there already — the Universal Health Care [applause], nandiyan na po; the fight against illegal drugs, [applause] criminality and corruption; and the development of infrastructure, including free irrigation and other big ticket projects, which I thought I did not have the funds to do it, but per chance, among others, they were done in my term.
Today as I approach the end of my term, I have less visions but more remembrances. But mine is not to rue or to second guess what might have been, but to bear and respond with urgency [to the impact] of unforeseen events as they unfold.
Even before I took my oath of office, [I] – and everyone else, I suppose – knew the gravity [and] enormity of the problems that the country was facing. And precisely because of that awareness, I was driven to hasten the implementation of changes which I believed the country needed, keeping in mind that the Constitution afforded me only six years to make those changes happen. Making a difference within the constitutional time-frame is what I was up against. But no one gets by legally without worming through the needle’s eye of constitutional imperatives.
That is why I cajoled, I shoved, I pushed, and I tangled with men of wealth and influence who were oblivious to the anguish and pleas of the weak and impoverished. And for that, I was pilloried to no end. But I did not succumb to the attacks. And neither did I allow criticisms, however intense, to dampen my determination and initiatives, because my purpose was pure and unpolluted. [applause]
While we were busy instituting reforms, the twin ogres of illegal drugs and corruption laid low for a while only to resurface us — still with us, and make no mistake about it corruption is but another term for stealing people’s money, dashing, in its wake, a nation’s goals and aspirations.
Due to the brilliant programs and excellent work of our economic managers and the extraordinary cooperation between the executive and the legislative branches of government, our economy, with investor confidence, was poised to leapfrog into the company of the world’s fastest growing economies until the COVID-19 pandemic stalled everything.
Be that as it may, allow me this opportunity to extend my personal and the nation’s gratitude to all those who selflessly gave their all in the fight against COVID-19. Our health workers and other frontliners who risked their own safety [applause] to keep our essential health services and our food supply chain running, [boost] economic activity, and ensure peace and order in our communities.
I would like also to extend my deepest appreciation for the generosity of the private sector who came to the government’s aid in fighting COVID-19. [applause] I am profoundly thankful for your sustained assistance to our fellow Filipinos, [applause] amidst the same deleterious effect of the pandemic to your respective industries. Let me assure you that the government is committed to assist the private sector to regain the commercial vibrance of the country prior to the pandemic. [applause]
To our local [chief] executives, this pandemic pushed you to step up and deliver responsive assistance. I am glad to have seen you undertake new and heightened responsibilities, working doubly hard to protect your constituents. [applause]
To the international development partners who extended a helping hand amidst the global health emergency, the Philippines remembers your kindness and goodwill with sincere gratitude. [applause]
And to all of you who answered the call to protect one another by adhering to our nation’s [health] protocols, daghang salamat. [applause]
But then, let me ask, perhaps you and to myself: What exactly is the state of the nation today in the light of the pandemic which has paralyzed business activities and crippled even the strongest of the world’s economies? So where do we go from here?
[Looking Back to our Accomplishments]
In my first SONA, I laid down with utmost commitment and resolve the overall direction of my presidency: a comfortable life for all Filipinos anchored on a people-centered approach to development and governance. If I remember correctly, my administration, I said, will implement a human approach to development and governance, in our people’s welfare in the areas of health, free education, adequate food and housing, environmental preservation, and respect for the culture.
I bore no illusion that steering the nation towards a comfortable life for every Filipino would be easy. Indeed, the past five years have truly been challenging and humbling. I stand here before you today bearing no conceit, but if there is one thing that I could be proud of is that not once did I waver in doing the unpopular even if it meant upholding the greatest good for the greatest number. [applause]
Before I took office, our country was beset with a communist insurgency scattered across the nation, a separatist movement that sought to divide us on the basis of religion and religious differences, and the proliferation of illegal drugs and criminality.
Our armed forces were ill-equipped to deal with internal and external threats, while the police force had been overwhelmed by criminality and the drug trade problem. This is why I made it a priority to strengthen the institution and boost the morale of the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police, and other armed services. [applause]
Again, I thank Congress for working with the executive department in enhancing the capabilities of the AFP and the PNP through our modernization program.
In 2018, we raised the salaries of our military and uniformed policemen and personnel [applause] to a level commensurate to the critical role they play in upholding national security and maintaining order.
I am asking Congress to pass a Unified System for Separation, Retirement and Pension of Military and Uniformed Personnel to maintain [applause] government fiscal flexibility and provide adequate benefits and remuneration to our men and women in uniform. This shall apply only to the new entrants of the Military and [Uniformed] Services.
Hindi ho lahat. It cannot be that we have to pay so many, even the salaries of the retired. They get a chunk of the big budget. And if we include the new entrants, the funds available for them would not be enough.
It is also high time for us to pass a law providing Free Legal Assistance to AFP and PNP Officers and Enlisted Personnel [applause] to help [defend] them from charges arising from incidents related to the performance of official duty. [applause]
The continuous upgrading of our defense capability shall ensure that we shall uphold our territorial integrity and sovereignty from external and [internal] security threats, among the new additions. [applause] We welcomed the country’s two missile-capable warships, to enable us to protect our seas.
By providing them with the necessary equipment, by enhancing their professional capabilities, and looking after the families of the soldiers who would not be longer be in their company. We do not only strengthen our military and police institutions — we also inspire them to serve this nation with the highest degree of loyalty and patriotism. We enabled them to carry out their mandate to defeat all enemies of the state whatever the cost.
Indeed, I am proud of the accomplishments of our troops in securing our nation against all threats to our democratic institutions. [applause] But peace must be realized — peace and security is not only just a military concern. That is why we deviated from the traditional purely military approach in dealing with matters of national security.
With the creation of the National Task Force to End [Local] Communist Armed Conflict or NTF-ELCAC, [applause] we have made great strides in addressing the root causes of this conflict by empowering our kababayans who have been used by the communists for so many decades.
In our continuing effort to build safe and conflict-resilient barangays, we have worked towards the sustainable rehabilitation and development of communities where the communists used to operate.
Through the NTF-ELCAC, we invested in farm-to-market roads, school buildings, water and sanitation [systems], [applause] health stations, and livelihood [projects].
Alam mo, kasali na tayo dito lahat. Always every law or every regulation must pass Congress, of course, to the President. But sometimes, you know, in our… Well, in the performance of our duties, we encounter the not-so-nice of confronting each other.
But because of these interventions, more than [17,000] former communist rebels have surrendered to the government. They have returned to the fold of the law and are happily reintegrating to [society], [the Enhanced Community Local Integration Program] or E-CLIP. [applause]
It’s either I am talking too fast or too slow or the operator of this thing here is drowsy. [applause] Maybe because I had so many ad libs along the way. Marami ho akong akin lang. Kaya ‘yung… [applause] Nahinto ako. When I stop and I process something in my — the gray matter between my ears — hindi humahabol o hindi alam ng operator.
Hindi bale, ma’am. Mahal pa rin kita. [applause] Lalaki ba ito o ‘yung mga babae? Kagabi ‘yung mga babae. Sila? O sabihin mo sa kanila makipagkita ako mamaya. I will embrace them for their punctuality in operating this ano — this strange machine that [applause] gives you the speech.
With the support of our local government units, I am confident that support for the communist movement will continue to erode in the next few months. [applause] And like the decades-old Moro rebellion in Mindanao, we will also bring an end to the armed struggle of the communists once and for all. [applause]
Sa totoo lang, itong komunista college pa ako. Hanggang ngayon, ang mga — sige pa rin. So… Speech-speech man lang ito. Kunwari lang pero ang totoo there’s a lot of fighting going on in the countryside. But I’d like to credit the police and the military for destroying so many communist fronts. [applause] I think they have destroyed more than 15 apparatus of the fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Alam mo, mag-istorya muna tayo sa taxation. I’d like to be frank with you. Everybody, as everybody in this country, are paying taxes to the communists. The Communist Party earns billions but pass on a little to their fighting men who die for an ideology that is so rotten and corrupt.
They themselves are pocketing the money and their children are studying in Europe and in other places, which I think none of you here can finance such journey. Iyan ang masakit dito. They collect taxes, support Sison in Netherlands, and they do nothing but bad-mouth the government and mouth the war dogmas and everything.
Hindi na sila napagod. It’s about 53 years in the making. And until today, the poor people are dying. The cadres and most of them belonging to the indigenous tribes of our country are fighting a losing battle between the communist and the government. They waste lives, they enlist children and they are proud of it, but they deny it.
But when you go to the mountains such as I and Senator Go many times, even during the elections, they were there with so many arms that I think somebody — an idiot here in the Philippines supplied the firearms.
I’d like to ask Congress, especially Senator Bato, kindly dig on because we have identified the person who imported the AK-47 into this country on the pretext of using it in the security — providing security and guards in all, in business establishments and for those who can afford their home.
This policeman, I think, is still there. He was a colonel and he is still… Walang nangyari. At maraming sundalong namatay dahil sa mga armas na pinasok nila dito sa Pilipinas.
So that my orders to the — to you, if you see them walking around, kindly shoot them dead. I would be happy. Anyway, you are already charged in the ICC together with me. So what is the problem of adding another one? Another idiot Filipino who has caused great damage to our country. Iyan ho ang totoo diyan. At itong mga pulis…
But let me go back in time. When I first said I will fight drugs in six months, I thought it was like in Davao. You can either coerce, intimidate or bribe them, or give them money, I said, “Lumabas kayo ng Davao. Doon kayo magkalat sa Luzon at sa ibang lugar, huwag dito sa Davao.” Naniniwala naman ang mga ulol at we were able to attain a sense of normalcy in the city. Iyon ho ang totoo.
There are people charged with corruption and even going to prison for just maybe not telling the truth in their itong assets and liabilities, nakukulong. Eh p***… Itong mga pulis who are doing their thing, their drugs, they were the manufacturers and they were the distributor of drugs. When I became President, I asked Dela Rosa — he was the chief of police of my city — I promoted him direct to be PNP chief. Four star na kaagad automatic. But I told them, I told him and the others, “Look for the enemies. Look where — for where they are and if you find them, destroy the apparatus, destroy all from the manufacturers to the peddlers because we are fighting a drug war that was being participated in the business by nine generals of the PNP.”
Kaya ‘yan ang masakit sa loob ko. I did not know that I was fighting my own government. Customs and everyone else were facilitating the importation of drugs. And one importation, as you can see it every night on TV, the police now seize about almost a billion worth of drugs everyday.
And if you look at the , there are about a thousand Filipinos arrested everyday by the police in connection with drug trafficking. And that is why I go crazy looking at the situation. They are still around. We do not have the laboratories now because nawala na sila at itong naiwan ngayon are doing the importation.
The citizens of another country cooked their shabu in their — [Anong tawag nitong…?] — in their tugboat or something and they threw out the product in — contained in the plastic bags and with GPS attached to the contraband so that the importers here could find them easily. That is how we are fighting almost losing a battle against drugs.
And now the [Sinaloa] gangsters of Mexico and the Triad of Laos in that area, they are busy cooking and we have the Filipinos here with no — with nothing in their mind except to destroy a nation — distributes them. That is what I said.
I’ve been asked the question and several times I gave the answer. I am a Filipino and I love my country. I do not want my country in disarray because of drugs. I do not want families break up and become dysfunctional. Iyon ang masakit sa akin.
When there — if you want to destroy a family, look for a way of the member or a resident of that family home, bigyan mo ng droga. ‘Pag nandiyan na ‘yung droga at they are hooked, and that is the end. Sometimes families are separated because of drugs, becomes dysfunctional, at ‘yung mga asawa magpunta doon sa abroad, ika nga, to look for jobs.
And you know, in the Middle East — I am not attributing it to any particular country — but there are tribes in the Middle East who are employing our Filipina citizens and they are uniform. Everybody who comes here home ask them how many hours of sleep they have? They said it’s only three to four hours and the food is hogwash.
And they sacrifice because they send money to the families back home and thinking all the time that the money was spent usefully, only to realize when she comes home that that family has already dispersed to nowhere.
Bakit ‘yan? Because itong mga durugista sa baba, itong peddlers, itong basurero tawag — it’s a street lingo — they look for families na may mga nanay, tatay nagtrabaho — ang tatay or nanay nagtatrabaho sa abroad. And to think na iniiwan nila ang mga anak nila kung saan-saan na lang, to their neighbors at a tender age of three to four, five, it breaks your heart.
Iiwan lang nila sa kapitbahay kung walang mga relatives. And then when they come back five years, four years after, they now realized that their young sons and daughters have gone into prostitution because of drugs and their boys or the fem — the male are nowhere to be found and into the drug business also. Iyon ang pinakamasakit.
Masakit sa akin na ang Pilipina pumunta doon para magtrabaho because sexual abuse in some tribes in the Middle East have this notion that if you are a slave or you are a paid person working for them, sexual abuse becomes part of the territory. Kaya diyan ako pumuputok at nakikita ko ‘yung mga pamilya na sira.
And to think that they labored without sleep, eating, I said, garbage, and not being allowed to go to their own church to pray for that is prohibited by them. And we have been just because of the money that they get, we just look the other way around. But still being — you know, bothered every night and they… What will happen to the next succeeding group of…? That is why I have in this speech a talk about slavery.
Pero ‘yan magprangka ako uli, I would never deny and the ICC can record it: Those who destroy my country, I will kill you. And those who destroy the young people of our country, I will kill you. Talagang yayariin kita because I love my country.
You can do it the legal way but it would take you months and years. And you know what? The statistics, I just learned the other night, that plenty of those who are in the middle class have been released from prison despite the fact that they are charged with trafficking, which is non-bailable and most of them are out. Babae pati lalaki ang kaso. And that is why I said I toyed with the idea — I said, if there is still a space — with due respect to the Senate President, he is a good man, he can become a good vice president. He is holy. Ngayon hindi na siya nahuhuli, noon huling-huli siya. But with due respect to Senator Sotto, who is also running for the vice presidency, he is a capable man, a good man and a Filipino. [applause]
Sige ako tingin sa harap, nandito pala sa likod ko. [laughter] You know when you are old — I have been in politics, mayor for 23 years; five years as a congressman, dito, I worked here; and four years of working as vice mayor for my daughter Sara; and the presidency. I have been in politics almost — 23 plus four, plus four — almost 40.
Kaya kung — hindi ko na malaman ang seat arrangement dito. Hindi ko alam nandoon pa ang mga Senate President pati… Buti’t na lang hindi ko sinali si Velasco. Baka hindi na ako makabalik doon maya. ‘Di bale, diretso na ako uwi.
I have said many times before: The bloodshed caused by the separatist movement in Mindanao is all about correcting the historical injustices suffered by the Moro people since the period of colonization. With the help of Congress, we were able to pass the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, [applause] finally fulfilling a promise that was decades in the making.
Our victory in Marawi is also a testament to how the Filipino’s patriotism is far stronger than any extremist group. As I have said before, many times, there is no room for lawlessness in this country. [applause]
Rebuilding a better Marawi remains today, still not completed. To Task Force Bangon Marawi, we need to race against time. And you have to finish the necessary work to rehabilitate the war-torn city and bring back its [displaced] families back home.
Now let me talk again about the drugs. I was just ahead because I was talking something else. Nag-segue ako.
While we have made great strides in ending rebellion and insurgency in various parts of the country, we still have a long way in our fight against the proliferation of drugs. This problem has hounded our country for several decades — destroying families and degrading the moral fiber of our society.
When I assumed office, I committed to end this problem at the soonest possible time. We launched an unprecedented war against the illegal drugs and to destroy their apparatus that permeated every level and sector of society. We waged war on the manufacturers, the financiers, the suppliers, the peddlers, and the entire syndicates and, more importantly, their protectors in government. We have rescued and reformed drug dependents because of their idiotic sense of decency by [launching] interventions and building facilities not only for their rehabilitation, but also to prepare them to reintegrate into society.
Our unyielding campaign led to the surrender of millions of drug dependents; and neutralization, capture and prosecution of thousands of drug personalities; the dismantling of illegal drugs and syndicates and the drug laboratories; the extensive drug-[clearing] of communities down to the barangay-level, and the cutting of narco politics.
You know, just allow me a little bit of your time. Wala naman siguro kayong lakad ngayon, unless na you want to — unless you have this appointment with… I’m sure hindi babae ‘yan. That would be a sexist statement. But kung nagmamadali talaga, halos tumatakbo, babae ‘yan. Kung naglalakad lang nang natural, medyo less important ‘yan. Ganoon ‘yan pero dito, wala. I am not making any sexist — I’m just saying — I’m just saying the truth. What is the truth? It’s there for all to see.
Let me talk about our quest for infrastructure development.
Five years ago, the first thing I made sure was to increase our infrastructure spending to an average of five percent of the country’s GDP. This is significantly higher than the infrastructure spending of each and [of the] past four administrations. Thanks to the comprehensive tax reform program that enabled us to fund critical infrastructure projects. Today, we can see the tangible results all around.
MRT-3, with its frequent breakdowns and unloading of passengers midrail, was a horror that was for the daily commuters to endure in the past.
Now, MRT-3 no longer unloads passengers but to their destinations. The waiting time between trains has been significantly reduced. [From] 10 trains running at only 30 kilometers per hour before, now [MRT-3] runs 23 trains at 60 kilometers per hour. [applause] We have taken away the misery of public commuting.
We also pursued the completion of the LRT-2 East Extension Project. [applause] By extending Line 2 and adding two more stations, we have reduced travel time between Manila and Antipolo from the usual two or three hours to only just 40 minutes. [applause]
Thanks to our partnership with the private sector, we were able to open Stage 3 of the Metro Manila Skyway in January this year. [applause] This decongested EDSA and other major roads in Metro Manila. [applause]
On Independence Day last month, we also inaugurated the Kalayaan Bridge, part of the BGC-Ortigas Center Link Project, [applause] which will reduce the usual one hour travel time between the two business districts to just 12 minutes.
Beyond Metro Manila, we are pursuing several high-impact projects that will be completed within my term and perhaps in the following years. It’s a question of money.
Just this July, we inspected the newly-built passenger terminal building of the Clark International Airport. [applause]
The new and modern passenger terminal is equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology. This can accommodate 8 million passengers, alleviate air traffic congestion at the NAIA Airport, as well as serve as a major growth driver and gateway for Northern and Central Luzon. [applause]
Madali man ang magpakpak, ang basa ang mahirap. [cheers and applause]
To help promote equitable development, we also completed several roads leading to important trade corridors. Last year, we completed the construction of the Poro Point Freeport Zone Road in La Union, which improved — [applause] nakita na ninyo ‘yan? Wala, sige lang pakpak. [laughter] You do not even have a picture of what I am talking about, I’m sure — to improve access to prime spots for investments and tourism in the Poro Point area.
We also completed the Junction Lanao-Pagadian-Zamboanga City Road, which will provide easier access to farms and easily transport their agricultural products at low cost and in great quantities to industries and economic zones located in Diplahan, Zamboanga Sibugay. [applause]
The Sorsogon City in Bicol, inuna namin ‘yan kasi mahal ko ang mga Bicolano. [applause] Pangatawanan ninyo ‘yang pakpak ninyo ha, baka…
The Sorsogon City Coastal By-Pass Road is targeted for completion by the end of 2021 while the Davao City Coastal Road will be completed by 2023.
Bakit? Why? Why is Davao last? Kasi sinabi ko sa kanila, unahin ninyo ‘yung buong Pilipinas. During the initial years of my presidency, I told the economic managers and the DPWH, pati si Art Tugade sa Transportation, “Unahin ninyo ang Luzon at ibang areas sa Mindanao. Do not look into the political entrails of the city and the other provinces.” Sinadya ko talaga na ipanghuli ang Davao.
Kaya ang — for the Davaoeños, you must understand that we cannot really unahin natin iyong — kasi taga diyan ako eh. Kung hindi ako sigurado taga-Davao, tapos na ‘yan pareho ng iba. Kaya lang sinabi ko, make Davao the last priority. [applause]
Totoo ‘yan. Sorsogon is a — a little politics, but that’s the territory of our Vice President Leni Robredo. Are you here, Ma’am? Ah, Zoom. Mayroon ho kayong… [applause] Sorsogon at iba pa.
We have inaugurated new highways, roads and skyways. We have bought new trains. These are all testament that we have greatly eased the grueling experience of traveling and commuting.
And to sustain our momentum in infrastructure development, I have directed the DPWH, DOTr, NEDA, Department of Finance and DBM to be on full speed to ensure that our flagship projects will be completed within my term, [applause] especially those that would help disperse economic activity outside the densely populated Metro Manila.
I thus earnestly call upon our LGU and private sector partners to help us [go on] full speed towards the realization of our flagship [infrastructure projects] and others.
Let me talk about — let me dwell about governance.
As we improved connectivity, we worked towards greater convenience for our travelers. We have extended the validity of Philippine passports to 10 years to lessen the burden of our [international] travelers and OFWs. [applause]
We have also gone beyond merely addressing the three million backlog of driver’s licenses in 2016. [applause]
We also extended for the new cards the validity of the driver’s license to five years, and addedly, we shall begin the issuance of these driver’s licenses within 10 years — which would be good for 10 years if there is no traffic violation. [applause]
So punta ka doon sa LTO, maybe you have a good sight. Mayroong ano ‘yan eh, I think there’s an examination there somewhere to test your ability to drive safely. And you go back 10 years after, and you think that you good — you still have a good sight and your reflexes are still good.
Ten years, maraming banggaan ‘yan, sigurado ako. You know, after 10 years, no after five, there should be a stricter measure to issue the 10 years validity of a driver’s license by imposing stringent requirements to test the essential functions of eyesight, then the hearing. Iyong iba hindi na nakakarinig ng silbato eh.
And so I have to… You know, 10 years is too long. I like it, it’s good. But we should have, as I said, in five years, we should go there for a medical makeover. Tingnan lang kung kaya pa mag…
Not only did we extend the validity of licenses and passports, we also sought to make long lines a thing of the past by streamlining government processes. These efforts are embodied in the Ease of Doing Business Act, which Congress passed [in] 2018. Thank you, Congress. [applause]
Sa inyo ‘yun. Ako ang nagpirma pala, ako nag-execute, pakpak rin kayo. [applause] Dapat ganoon ang SONA, sabihin mo lahat at sabihin mo na your — not really your qualms, but your misgivings somewhere there.
[Government] transactions will be further streamlined with the roll-out of the Philippine Identification System or the PhilSys through the Philippine Identification System Act. With this, we hope to facilitate better access [to basic services] for all Filipinos even in the far-flung areas. I want to say something about this but I’m taking too long, you know.
We also ensured the modification of the Salary Schedule for Civilian Government Personnel through the Salary Standardization Law 5 [applause] — a necessary measure for our civil servants to recognize their work and accomplishments as well as a gesture of gratitude and good will.
We have this legacy and we hope to pass on the establishment of the Central Business Portal, a single site for all business-related transactions such as securing business permits, licenses, and clearances. Launched earlier this year, it shall elevate our global standing in the doing business arena and improve our country’s competitiveness.
Alam mo ito, ‘yung queuing, when I was a mayor — I don’t know, but maybe a legislator or a senator or a congressman, well not really he is higher than the others, but kung dumaan ka as a local government employee worker, just like me, for 23 years, itong queuing matagal ko na ito.
In Davao, ang passport issuances nandoon sa likod ng SM. Isang gabi nag-motor ako, nakita ko ‘yung mga paa sa semento. So I was thinking, “Anong nangyari dito?” So nagbaba ako, sabi ko, “Bakit dito kayo natutulog?” Sabi nila, “You know, Mayor, ang pagbukas niyan kailangan nakapila na kami, ‘pag hindi, sunod — ibang araw na naman kami.”
So I called for the chief of office and I said, “Look I may not be the person above you supervising, but make sure that this thing will not happen tomorrow, as in tomorrow.” Tapos tinawagan ko ang — itong ano, sabi ko, “Why don’t you give cards?” Kung marami sila paglinya, may maglakad na marshal, “O ito, ikaw bukas at 4 p.m.” So you have to study the time and motion of people doing work.
Sabi ko, “Ayaw ko dito sa Davao.” Because in Davao — in Mindanao, nasa Davao ang ano eh ang issuances ng passport. So ngayon pagka-Presidente ko, sabi ko, “Ayaw ko nang makita ‘yan.” Not during my time, not during my time. Maghanap ka ng ibang panahon. Ayusin ninyo ‘yan. I do not want people queuing under the heat of the sun and rain.
Kaya sabi ko, “’Di magbigay kayo ng card.” They should go to one window, magkuha kayo kung kailan sila makabalik. So divide — I said, study your time and the motion of, you know, the process of… And dito nangyari na because I insisted.
Today, there is no more queuing, especially in the National Office — Statistics Office, nakita ko. Talagang sabi ko na, “Either you fix that thing or I will resign tomorrow because I could not bear to see those people. Hindi sa panahon ko. Kung hindi ko madala, hindi ko man kayo mapatay, hindi ko kayo mabugbog, ako ang aalis sa gobyerno.” Sabi ko, “Ayusin ninyo ‘yan. Hindi ko gustong makita ‘yan.”
Since 2016, the Office of the President has issued 138 Executive Orders, 43 Administrative Orders, 86 Memorandum Circulars, 52 Memorandum Orders and 1,038 Proclamations. These issuances have [become] integral guideposts in government administration and development agenda.
The Office of the President has demonstrated careful stewardship of the powers, by initiating reforms. We upgraded and improved the systems and processes to ensure that it can provide the best service to the institution of the presidency and the offices under it and ultimately the Filipino people.
To further promote transparency and accountability in government, we also issued the order on Freedom of Information [that] opens up the records, [applause] transactions, decisions and issuances of all government agencies. In relation to this, we also have the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission that is tasked to run after corrupt and erring government officials and bring them to justice. [applause]
Alam mo, I don’t know if you perhaps have come to know about this. I have ‘yung Pastillas sa ano sa airport. There were 43 personnel involved. I fired them all. Talagang pinaalis ko sa gobyerno. Nagbalot pa nga ako ng pera sa pastillas. Sabi ko kay — “Magbalot ka, lagyan mo ng pera kay ito ang ipakain ko sa kanila.”
Tinawag ko 43 of them from the Immigration. Mabuti’t na lang nandiyan si Justice Secretary Guevarra so that prevented me from doing it because kung hindi siya dumating — and I never expected him to be there — bigyan ko isa’t isa ‘yung papel at ipakain ko talaga ‘yung pera sa kanila. “Gusto mo ng pera? Hala kainin mo.” That is the best way of… Then, you fire them.
Customs, 73 plus 42. And everyday you have about — we have dismissed about 200 government personnel but some I did not allow the publication because ayaw — may mga pamilya eh.
So of late, ‘yung sabi nila na huwag na lang ano kasi nasasaktan ‘yung mga pamilya. So ngayon, wala na. I have stopped it. But there is no — there is no saying that we cannot reimpose it again for all of these idiots. I still have about a year to go. I will — I will reach you somehow.
But corruption, it’s endemic in government. You cannot stop corruption. Nobody can stop corruption unless you overturn the government completely. If I were the next president, if you think there’s really a need for you to change everybody in the system, then you declare martial law and fire everybody and allow the new generation to come in to work for the government.
Eh kung hindi mo ganunin, walang mangyari. Nandiyan — it’s in the system eh. Kagaya ng drugs, sino ba namang maniwala na nine — nine generals sa pulis were into trafficking of drugs? And because they are — they are policemen, the charges simply just, you know, disappear there. Because the prosecution, the investigation which form part of the vital documents in court, wala eh. Nobody was investigating because they are also policemen.
Kaya ‘yan kahirap ang ano. Kaya kung gusto mo itong mga ‘to, talagang… The only way to do it just call them and say, “Look for another job. Don’t — don’t…” Ganoon kahirap.
Now, let me pursue my talk with the foreign policy of the country. In the international arena, we have vigorously pursued an independent foreign policy centered on the promotion and protection of our core national interests. Yet… [applause]
Sigurado kayo sa pinakpakan ninyo? I was just laying the predicate of what I am going to say. Yet we conti — I will just give the cue then you clap your hands. [laughter] If I… Yet we… Biro lang ‘yan ha.
Yet we continue to work with all nations and seek partnerships that work. Because despite differences, it still is an interdependent world where interests and objectives intersect.
Now, partners – heretofore silent or equivocal – have expressed [key] principled positions that echo our own: that [in] disputes and contested areas, the majesty of the law must prevail. And this is most welcome. [applause]
To our friends in ASEAN and around the world: Thank you for supporting my Government, my country and people when it truly mattered. I assure you that the Philippines will remain a responsible member of the international community [applause] and we will work with you to achieve our shared objectives.
But no mistake — but no mistake… But make no mistake rather, gone are the days when the Philippines decides and acts in the shadows of great powers. We will assert what is rightfully ours and fight for what is rightfully due to the Filipino people. [applause]
We do not have any SONA everyday. Now is as good as any other time to just let it out from sa puso mo.
This is why we sent back container vans of garbage because our country is not a dumpsite. [applause]
And the first country to do that, hindi ko alam kung bakit, ang Canada. And the container was there for three years because hindi alam ng port authorities kung anong gawain nila sa garbage. And I said, “Isauli mo. I want it done tomorrow. Those containers must be out of our country. ‘Pag hindi, kayong lahat, all of you in Customs, I’ll fire you.” That is a good ground for dismissing people for accepting the garbage. Kaya… May isa pa. Pero let me — let me end the story.
The Balangiga. We welcomed back the bells of Balangiga after many decades because a historic wrong needed to be corrected. [applause]
The deal was I would say I am in bad faith. Sigurado ‘yan. I will admit it. But this is the real story. The Americans — former soldiers, war veterans went to see me — I think that was in Aguinaldo — and some military men. And in no uncertain terms, they said that, “You have been invited by Trump to go to America. Have you decided to go there?” I said, “No.” “Why?” Sabi ko, “I do not like the way that you are treating my country.” “Why?” I said, “For one…” And there was the clamor now of Balangiga. “You return the bells of Balangiga.” That’s a war really sacred also to the soldiers. Then it is more sacred to us in addition to the religion — the Roman Catholic Filipinos — the Church.
Ang sabi nila, “Why don’t we make a deal?” Si Hogan, he’s an Ame — is he around? He’s a CIA agent. Sabi niya, “Isauli namin, pupunta ka?” Because I said earlier in my presidency, “There will never be a time that I will go to America.” Eh itong mga media mahilig mag-udyok eh. “Ah ganoon, bakit ka hindi pupunta? O arte mo lang ‘yan eh?” Sabi ko, “Then you watch me.” ‘Di gusto ninyong malaman. Sabi ko sa America, “Yes, I might consider going to America.”
So well then, sabi ko, “Work on it.” In just two months’ time, they told me that the ship carrying the Balangiga bells are on their way to deliver it to Quezon. [applause] You removed it, you put it back there, kayo mismo.
So tulong-tulong sila doon, nabalik na. And this Hogan said na, “Oh, so when are you going to go to America?” Sabi ko, “I do not have the time, but I will go there.” Noong malapit na, hindi na talaga ako pumunta. So… “Well, how about your promise?” Sabi ko, “Well, I lost time to do it. I cannot do it now.”
Pero talaga, in my mind, and the Americans might know it, I was — there was never in my mind a trip to America. Iyong Balangiga, sabi ko, you massacred one barangay — barrio noon — women and children and all pinatay nila lahat because that bell, Balangiga, was used to call the people for prayers, ganoon. Sa simbahan ‘yun eh.
So ‘yung ginawa nila, every time it is used, the Americans knew that it was — it has a great significance to the Filipinos, the Balangiga. After the massacre of one barangay, how many at the time, we would never know but it was, I said, isang barrio. Noon — barangay ngayon; barrio noon ‘yan eh. Barrio is an American word, the barrio. They also call the small places in Mexico barrio. The Americans borrowed it from the Spaniards, barrio.
So sabi ko, the blood — you really got it at the expense of the blood of Filipinos. I… “Do not hurry me up. If I go to America, it will be in my own time.” Pero actually, wala ako. I have not been to America for almost 10 years, 20 — 22 years. I have not visited America and I do not have any intention of visiting it anymore.
We called on the world to dismantle the heinous kafala system — ito ring isa — because the Filipino is no slave and to anyone anywhere [applause] and there is no room for modern day slavery. We helped start a new global civil rights movement for the migrant worker.
And, we asserted the arbitration ruling on the South China Sea — clearly and in no uncertain terms — bilaterally, [at] the ASEAN and finally, at the United Nations General Assembly. [applause]
And let me talk about [what] I said in the September of last year: the Arbitral Award is now part of the international law and beyond compromise and beyond the reach of the passing governments to dilute, to diminish or abandon. [applause]
That is the problem. Let me now — just to everybody — everybody in the Middle East, I would like to tell them that not only Filipinos but all human beings, the kafala has no place there because it’s a setup for slavery. Either you correct it or we will ask our workers, Filipino workers, to go home.
Sabi ko bahala na kung mahirap lang kami dito, okay lang. We will try our very best to make up for what they have lost, what they will lose in the process. But we will never allow them to be slaves.
But we need to do more. With our partners, we continue scaling [up] our maritime domain awareness [and] defense capabilities. Yet, we will not close our doors on diplomacy and détente. Because that is how disputes are settled and never by force.
Let me… Alam mo, I respect the opinion. You should be aware by now of how I talk, especially on matters of — crucial matters that involved the country. Ito bang arbitral ruling, I’ve said it in — I think in the latter part of the speech — I said that what’s your problem in the arbitral ruling?
America and some Filipinos — brilliant Filipinos, I would say — keep on pushing for something, which I really do not know. I have made a speech before the UN, naka-Zoom lang rin, nandito lang ako. Hindi ako pumunta doon. But in that speech, I laid down the bare, sabi ko — ng ating administrasyon.
Ano pa ang gusto ninyo? What will I do with a document that [does] not bind China because they were never a part of that arbitration? There was really no arbitration at all because it was only the Philippine side was heard. Well and good.
But ito ngayon that there is the arbitral ruling, you know, I do not want to insult these people pushing me for something more than what I can handle. At ano ang gusto nila, makipag-giyera? “Do something.” What do something? Do you want war against China? Well, I’ll tell you, even on the coast beach of Palawan, before you can take off, the missile of China would be there in about five or 10 minutes. It would be a massacre if I go and fight a war now. We are not yet a competent and able enemy of the other side.
So what I did I was just being nice to them. But for some people to say that I was helped by China in being President, these idiots, really. I will never, never do that. Hindi na bale ako hindi ma-Presidente, hindi ko talaga gagawain ‘yan. To be what? Receiving money from China to buy votes? They say that they helped.
Maybe in some Chinese communities, the gossip going around was that “support Duterte.” But the whole of the Chinese community in the Philippines went for me. Why? Kasi sa Davao noong mayor ako, ni minsan hindi ako tumatanggap maski Christmas gift.
Dito marami sa dito sa Maynila Presidente ako ngayon, maraming nagpapadala ng baril, kung anong ano diyan, sabi ko, “Isauli mo ‘yan”. Iyong mga relo. Eh itong aking relo, it’s IWC. This is only 300,000. But the Patek that has come [my] way, isinauli ko talaga. “Return it o ‘pag hindi, itapon mo sa Pasig sa harapan nila.”
Hindi — hindi ako tinulungan ng China. Nag-usap kami ng China civilly but after election. And after election, I was a good friend of President Xi, until now.
When the pandemic struck, the first country I called for help was China. President Xi, sabi ko, “Mr. President, we have no vaccination program here because we do not have the vaccines. We have not been able to invent one. We might have a hard time.” He said, “no, it’s okay. We’ll send you.”
And he send us — donated about 1,500,000 of vaccines. Ganoon, kaya nga sabi ko ako, lalo na kaming mga Bisaya, mabigat sa amin ‘yan, for us Visayans, iyong utang na loob mabigat talaga ‘yan. Hindi mo mabayaran ng ano pero ‘pag may utang na loob ako sa iyo, you can be sure that I will be your friend, a true friend and die for you.
Pero itong China magdayo, bakit ako magpakamatay diyan? Iyang sundalo ko ubusin ko? How can we fight China? Do we have the weapons? Do we have the — everything?
Now comes America, they say that if the attack is against the Philippines, they will defend. But they issued a statement that America does not meddle in conflicts involving the boundaries of other nations. And if America has to go to war, you would have to go to Congress to get — American Congress to get the authority to go to war.
That is why many presidents hindi na lang — it was a — just a mere — an error, a mistake — a malicious mistake. No president has ever been punished for attacking nations, getting into a fight with nothing. And if they come here, well, ang problema kasi nandito na ‘yung Balangiga. Isauli na lang natin uli. Maybe I’ll just return it ‘pag ito’y… It’s no big deal to us. Iyan ang bells, ring it until you die.
Fulfilling my promise to our coconut farmers and the Filipino people, my administration has worked with Congress to pass the Coconut Farmers and Industry Trust Fund Act. [applause] We have returned also the Coco Levy funds to its true and rightful owners — our coconut farmers. [applause] The fund is now worth an estimated to be 75 billion [pesos], which will be utilized according to the plans and programs in the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan for the direct benefit of the coconut farmers and the development of the coconut industry.
In our effort to ensure that food is within reach of every Filipino family, we worked for the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law in 2019 despite pushbacks. This resulted in the stabilization of rice supply and food prices. The proceeds from the tariffs enabled us to provide our farmers with modern machineries that increased their yield and sustaining the growth in agricultural production.
We also fulfilled our promise to [provide] free irrigation. That was the first promise I made some — in San Miguel, Bulacan when I was campaigning. The farmers invited me to go into the farms inside San Miguel, Bulacan. And we had a sort of a — well, a meeting, and the first thing that they were complaining about was the severity of the irrigation that they have to pay 5,000 every month — ah every year. Si sabi ko, “I will work on it.” Free Irrigation Service Act of 2018 is a product that now lowers the cost of agricultural production, especially for poor farmers.
We also worked to ensure that households have adequate supply of clean water. Potable and affordable water is more than a commodity. It is a vital public good. This is why I used my political capital to fight vested interests behind disadvantageous water service contracts [applause] that burdened consumers with unjustified water price increases. With the signing of [Revised Concession Agreements] with water concessionaires, consumers will be protected at least until 2037.
Ganito ‘yan eh, there is this concessionaire, dalawa. Ayaw ko na lang mag-ano — I will not mention names pero this is really what happened. Ang dalawang concessionaires, one in the south and the one is north, as the rich cartel dito sa Southeast Asia, ang kina-capture nila ang electricity pati tubig.
Dito sa tubig, in this contract with the water concessionaires, we made so many concessions that really, sabi ko, if you look at the contract and look at the Anti-Graft Law, talagang it’s all anti-graft. All of the sentences even the period and the question marks there.
Ah bakit? Sila walang problema sa tax because the people, consumers, will pay the taxes for them. Sila kung malugi, sabi nila hindi nila kasalanan and we can — I can think of it through not of their own fault, sabi doon bayaran natin sila malugi. We pay for the tax corporation nila at sila ang mag-decide kung i-increase nila o i-decrease nila ang water prices.
The regulators, itong mga regulators sa Pilipinas walang magawa and they acceded to the contract. It was really — I do not know how to put it. Kaya ako nag-pardon, ‘di ba nagmura ako? Sabi ko, biro mo kung malugi sila, babayaran pa natin. Tayo ang — ang corporate tax nila, tayo ang magbayad. And it’s a cartel, that service concessionaires are part of the cartel of Malaysia and Indonesia, and they form part of that mother corporation. Itong mga sa Pilipinas pati sa Malaysia, Indonesia they are just — kumbaga sa istorya, chapter lang ‘yan sila. It’s being controlled up by the…
Kaya sabi ko, “Wala ito.” I told them — I told Dominguez, “Tell them that I am no longer honoring the contract.” Mayroon pa doon payment of itong tax — water treatment plant to be constructed in the Harrison Plaza site. Iyon ang pinirmahan natin. So 1997 up to the present or up to the month that I blew my top, nagbabayad — ewan ko kung ngayon nagbabayad na. There’s a kuwan there sa water bills ninyo for enhancement of quality water. Ang ibig sabihin water treatment. And they were collecting since 1997 so until now how much of the Filipino’s money are with them for nothing, not even for a song?
Kaya ako, if there is something — hindi naman proud — but if there is something someday that my children will say: “What have you done for my country?” Sabihin ko, sila. Talagang inupakan ko sila. Sabi ko… [applause]
Ayaw ninyo? You do not want it? Well, okay, I will — I will just confiscate your system and call the military to operate it. I will exercise the eminent domain and expropriate all of your assets here kasi gagawin ko.
Iyon ang nangyari sa… So sinabi ko sa military, in one of our meetings immediately after that incident, I said, “If I do not make it to the finish line, kindly — look kindly at the Filipino at tanungin ninyo kung ano na ang nangyari sa kanila, iyang tubig na yan.”
Now, there is a new contract. I have not yet — I have to thoroughly digest it inside. I have to absorb it every word of it that the Filipino is protected. ‘Pag nandiyan na ‘yan, then I will sign. But I will not forget, I’m telling them the crime is there already and any Filipino who would want to go after you, can. Sabi ko, “I will not free you, I will not — there’s no way we’re —- in your… I will never allow that. Just make a new contract, just realize everyday that I can call you.”
Itong frequency, frequency ng ABS-CBN. Iyan ang pinaka-ideal kasi, you know, frequency is everywhere. But there is a spot, kung sa golf, a soft spot na maganda ‘yung… Wala akong problema sa ABS-CBN. They got my money, I’m not… They wanted to return it when the case blew up at they printed all the garbage including my daughter as a drug trafficker. Nilamon ko na lang lahat ‘yun because I never wanted to be — to appear vindictive.
But itong ano… They are cheating government by the billions in taxes. And they still want that frequency because ‘yan ang pinapag-awayan. No. I will give it to a Filipino na gustong maggawa nang tamang ano and pay. Because sa ABS-CBN, ‘yung even their equipment were imported tax-free kaya talaga ako hindi magpapayag. They still owe government billions. In the contract diyan sa nakalagay doon four hectares. So ang binabayaran nila four hectares sa property taxes. Supposed they are occupying 40 hectares, that complex there. Pero ginamit nila na papel ‘yung four hectares. Iyon lang ang binabayaran nila. Kung hindi ba naman… Kaya ko sila inaway. And, well…
Our micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs constitute 99.6 percent of our country’s businesses and are vital to economic activity, job creation, and poverty reduction. Ipinaramdam natin ang ating malasakit sa maliliit na negosyante sa pamamagitan ng Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Program. Since 2017, mayroon na tayo niyan. We have the program. The program has provided over 219,000 underprivileged microentrepreneurs with an alternative to the exploitative lending 5-6.
Iyan ang naka ano sa… You know what, maybe I have to go to — if need be, I have to go to India. Iyong 5-6 nila ng Turko, tinatawag nilang Turko, kung maghiram ka sa kanila ng 10,000, pahiramin ka niyang hindi pera 10,000. Six, seven thousand lang. And the others, mga refrigerator or the things that you do not even need in the house, bilhin mo sa kanila. Sala set, lahat na. That is part of… You do not want the furniture, the refrigerators, they won’t give you the…
Kaya ang Pilipino nabuktot. Alam mo ang buktot? Naging hunchback na lang sa trabaho, ganoon pa man. Kaya ako, sasabihin ko itong mga Turko, you better come up with a fair scheme if you want to go into business sa money lending, but not at that usu — usury a thousand times.
Likewise, to further support development of our micro and small businesses, we [instituted] radical reforms in the tax system to ease the taxation burden and increase the net income of lower wage earners and small businesses.
Thanks to Congress… [applause] Iyan hindi pa ninyo alam ha. Sabi ko lang…
Thanks to Congress and our revenue generating agencies, our tax reforms sustained our economic growth from the third quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2019, which made the Philippines one of the fastest growing economies in Asia until the [applause] pandemic scourge.
Iyon talaga ang… Well, I don’t know what’s the plan of God. He sent us something which hit us right in the heart. We see so many — there’s no way of telling when this virus would disappear from the planet of the Earth. We can only pray to God to look into our direction and decide on what will happen to this planet he created.
However, tax laws are not always perfect and that is why every now and then, they have to be revisited to see if they are at pace with the changing times. Let us therefore continue to monitor the relevance and impact of our tax laws on individuals and private institutions to prevent serious damage on their financial health.
Going now to the social and health issues.
To unburden our people of the hefty costs of tertiary education, my administration worked with Congress to pass a landmark legislation that had remained unpassed for so many years: the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act in 2017 which provides free education to college students in state universities. [applause] Thank you, Congress.
We also passed the Universal Health Care Act in 2019. And to supplement this, I also signed into law the Malasakit Centers Act in 2019. [applause]
Kasi ganito ‘yan eh, ‘pag ang pobreng Pilipino nasa ospital, magpunta pa siya doon sa kung saan makahingi ng tulong. So ang ginawa, just like in Davao, ginawa namin ‘yung lahat na kailangan, ‘yung Internal Revenue kung nandiyan, business permit, diyan na lang sa isang lugar, medisina, kunin nila. Diyan mismo sa ospital, hindi na sila maglakad-lakad. And to me, that is one of the most — let me find the word — a poignant act of Congress and of the executive department. [applause]
[This] legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Bong Go [applause] — if you feel like standing up, you can, Senator, [applause] mas sikat ka pa sa guest speaker — [has] unburdened our people of the tedious process of going to various agencies and offices in order to avail of assistance from government. I am pleased to report that we have already established 130 Malasakit Centers across the country [applause] that has already helped millions of Filipinos in their hospitalization needs.
By establishing Malasakit Centers all over the country, we have actually levelled the playing field and provided our less fortunate countrymen the medical care they deserve. We will be establishing more. God willing, if we are still around.
Sa pagtatag ng Malasakit Center, hindi na po kailangan lumapit at humingi ng tulong sa iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno. Ang gobyerno na ang lumalapit sa tao. [applause]
So let us talk about COVID. It’s mentioned everywhere in the speech, but what — what’s this g**d*** virus is?
I have to admit: back when I decided to answer your call and run for higher office, never, never did I imagine that my presidency would not only be judged by how I made good on my campaign promises in fighting illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption but by how well I led our nation dumake — during rather, the global pandemic.
Hindi na ako maka-pronounce mabuti baka mayroon na ako. [laughter and applause] May ambulansya ba diyan? Mukhang iba na ang… You know, I cannot pronounce the words. I hope this is not asymptomatic. [laughter]
Prior to the pandemic, we recorded our lowest debt-to-GDP ratio since 1986, the highest revenue effort since 1997, the highest credit rating in the country’s history — ‘yung sa bangko — because if your rating is high, it’s easy to borrow at maliit lang ang interest, that is the dynamics of a rating by Fitch — Fitch and [Standard] & Poor’s, mga ganoon — and the lowest rates of unemployment, underemployment, and poverty, well it’s still there. It is beyond dispute that our economic and governance fundamentals were robust when COVID-19 hit us.
I am sure that much can be said about the way we took on the daunting challenge of preserving lives while sustaining our momentum towards [our] developmental — dito na lang ako — goals. Naturally, we prioritized saving lives. Buhay muna bago ang lahat. Ibig sabihin, inuna natin ‘yung gastos — ‘yung pera natin sa pandemic. Kinuha ng — lahat ng anong mga budget. Si Dominguez ‘yan. Iyon ang ginamit ninyo sa Bayanihan 1 and 2. Doon natin kinuha ‘yung pera.
We moved quickly to safeguard the well-being of every Filipino through preventive and responsive health and safety measures, and broad and inclusive social amelioration programs or SAP. Thanks to the support of Congress, we launched the most extensive Social Protection Program in our country’s history, with the passage of Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2. [applause]
Indeed, our national health system and resilience were tested to the hilt. Countless lessons were learned and continuous improvements put in place. Kahit anong krisis ay kayang malampasan, kung tunay na may malasakit at bayanihan. I agree.
At the early stages of the pandemic, our testing capacity was very limited. Recognizing the importance of conducting more tests to ensure early detection and timely isolation of confirmed COVID-19 cases, we ramped up our testing capacity. We now have more than 260 accredited laboratories nationwide which is capable of conducting at least 50,000 tests daily. All regions now can conduct their own COVID-19 tests.
To take care of mild and asymptomatic cases, we established over 9,000 temporary treatment and monitoring facilities across the country, with a total bed capacity of more than 140,000. Together with local governments and the private sector, we quickly established mega quarantine facilities that could accommodate more cases. Modular hospitals and quarantine facilities have also been established nationwide, especially in Metro Manila.
For our severe COVID cases, our tireless healthcare workers ensure that you are provided with the best care round the clock, based on latest developments and global best practices. Our health experts continue to actively participate in the search for safe and effective COVID-19 medicines.
With the help of Congress… Kita mo sa lahat. I never said, wala kang makikita, “that, I, [garbled] the key construction of a bridge that is nowhere to be found today,” iyong mga ganoon. Ako, sa inyo talaga.
With the help of Congress, we passed 13 measures that established new and improved the capacity of existing hospitals around the country to provide quality care and services to our people, especially amid the ongoing [COVID-19 pandemic]. [applause]
These include establishing new medical facilities in Mandaluyong City, Bacolod and Davao Occidental; increasing bed capacities of existing health facilities in Quezon City, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Palawan; [and] upgrading health facilities in that area to include Leyte.
Currently, we have received over 30 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. We expect [to receive at least] 36 million vaccines this month and in August. We have inoculated more than  million Filipinos [applause] — [around 11 million] of which have received their first dose. At least 17 million.
Well, I think the landscape — the health landscape of the country continues to improve as we, you know…
With the continuous [arrival] of COVID-19 vaccines, we are ready to boost further our daily vaccination rate. I am also encouraging our local government units to hasten their roll out and strengthen their inoculation program. San Juan City, for one, [will] have vaccinated 70 percent of their population in a month’s time. Saludo ako sa inyo [applause] at kay Mayor Zamora.
We cannot continue living in the shadow of this potent enemy, especially now that science and medicine has proven that it is possible to live with — if not entirely defeat — this virus. The health and safety protocols we put in place have proven effective in slowing the spread of the virus. But the best solution is still vaccination.
Am I too… Mataas na ba? Kasi kung mataas na, putulin na lang ninyo itong gumagalaw dito para sabihin ko, eh wala na man akong mabasa. ‘Pag matagal na… Those who want to go home, you raise your right hands. [laughter and applause] Pati si Monsignor baka itaas niya ang kamay niya eh. [laughter]
That is why I implore our countrymen who are now in the list of sectors to be inoculated to get vaccinated now. To those who received their first doses, please return for your second shot.
I also ask for patience to those who are next in line to receive their vaccine. More and more COVID-19 vaccines are arriving each week and you will soon have your turn.
Corollary to this, it is high time that clear, precise and uniform protocols and guidelines are issued in anticipation of the vaccination of more Filipinos and the steady reopening of our society.
You know, pagpasensyahan ninyo ako. I… I ask… I beg your kind indulgence. But I have to say this — to talk about something which would affect us all. Iyang… It seems that this government is too far away from the people. Iyong serbisyo talaga na totoo.
Noong isang araw, nakita ko, I don’t know what place was that. Ang mga tao nakapila and they say that they were there at 4 o’clock, lumalakas ‘yung ulan, sa payong lang sila. So nanonood ako sa report because I listen to the report every morning. Makukuha mo sa mga radio station ‘yan eh. So I was having breakfast. I was listening to the TV, at nakita ko ‘yung mga tao nakapila, lumalakas ang ulan. Sabi ko, “P***…” Eh doon sa breakfast table, nagmura ako. Pero dito good boy man ako kay may mga religious diyan baka…
I thus call on the National Task Force Against COVID-19 to see to it that this happens — I mean the protection. We have spent enormous amounts of resources to build our capacities to overcome this pandemic. We cannot afford more lockdowns lest our economy bleeds to the point of irreversible damage.
Balikan ko ‘yung ano, bakit mo papilahin? At sabi kasi doon libre lahat na, wala ng ano. So nagpuntahan ‘yung mga tao na nagpila kasi wala nang lista-lista pero sabi ng mga ito, alas kwatro pa sila. T*** i**.
Hindi lang ako puwedeng mag… Alam mo sa totoo lang, hindi naman ako nagyayabang. I am just an ordinary Filipino citizen. Just like you, I get hurt when people are nearly almost brutalized. Bakit hindi ka magkuha?
It’s rain time. Malakas ang monsoon — southwest monsoon. Dumadaan talaga sa Pilipinas. Gamitin mo ang utak mo. You should look for a gym at bigyan mo lahat ng tao ng number. Hanggang dito lang for this… Hanggang dito lang tayo, balik kayo itong bukas from 15 to 20, kayo na naman bukas.
Bigyan mo ng card. Prepare a card where you can — the marshal will go around the queuing na… Bakit mo…? Hindi ko maintindihan — there’s media — hindi ko maintindihan bakit gawain mo ‘yan sa Pilipino? Iyan ang tinatanong ko. Why do you have to do it to the Filipino? You can always — you know, maghanap ka ng… Tsk.
There is always a gymnasium. Mga eskwelahan walang klase ngayon. Bakit hindi mo gamitin doon? Bakit ka maghanap ng isang room…? T******** na… Kaya lang ako… Well, it is my — to my chagrin because I’m… Gusto kong lumabas. Itong PSG lang na ito ang…
You know, sabihin ko sa inyo, huwag kayong mag-presidente kay wala talagang… Sabihin ko maliit ang suweldo, wala ka. If you are not there really for the — mag-corrupt ka diyan, well, it would make you a billionaire overnight. But kung magtrabaho ka lang ng ganito…
Ako Presidente, gusto kong lumabas doon, sabihin ko, “Hoy, mga p***** i** ninyo, bakit ganito ‘to? Bakit ganoon kayo ka-estupido?” I mean, the Filipino does not deserve it even if they are not paying taxes. Because the theory of government is that all money belongs to the people and the money is there, it belongs to all of us and it should be used for public good. But what — what is the use of public good if you are not good and stupid? So ganoon ang mangyayari sa Pilipino.
I’m just letting off my… Kasi kung hindi lang talaga bawal, eh itong PSG hindi ako pinapalabas. Magsabi ako magpunta ako doon, “Sir, hindi puwede ‘yan, hindi puwede.” Kulong talaga ako. Mag-presidente ka, sa totoo lang you are a prisoner. You are brought here, kunwari ka pa de-chopper ka, de-guwardiya, tapos uwi ka doon sa bahay mo, tapos hindi ka na makalabas. Preso ka talaga.
“Tawagin mo ‘yung security, ‘yung gusto kong pumunta…” “Sir, hindi. Pasensya na.” Tapos pagalitan mo, sabihin, “Sir, eh ang authority namin does not come from you, it comes from a law so kami ang masunod.” Talagang… Sige ka pirma a bunch of papers. If you read it hanggang umaga trabaho ka. Suweldo mo ganoon lang. Just give me 219,000 tapos ganoon ang trabaho mag-isa ka. Buti’t ngayon kay nandito ‘yung asawa ko, nandito ‘yung anak ko. Nabubuhay ‘yung loob ko mag-uwi ako sa bahay ngayon. Tsk.
Looking forward, today is my last State of the Nation Address, but this is by no means my swan song. I shall never cease to implore Congress to pass vital and critical legislation as well as push the entire government to ensure nothing less than the full recovery and revitalization of our country.
But to do this, it is necessary for us to first overcome the crippling fear, anxiety and uncertainty that caused — that was caused by the threat of the COVID-19 virus.
Well, I really do not know what to do. I have to listen to the Task Force. This is a group of people volunteering to be a collective advisor that would give you the advice collectively, we put it that way, na sila ang mag-ano, magsabi. And we’re just waiting for the word.
I am referring to COVID D, Delta. It is rampaging now in Indonesia, Thailand, India, and many parts of Asia. And ang sabi doon sa — the Western medicine says that it is far more aggressive and far more dangerous and it can cause death easily than the COVID-19 original.
So this is as good as any other time to say it, if sees that it is really dangerous, you have to go back to lockdown. If there are many people in other parts of the world killing as many, then Delta, if ever it will spread — we have it here now — I hope it will not go any further. But if something wrong happens, I’ll have to be strict and I have now my word that there will be a… Just like what happened in the early days. Eh kung ganoon ang COVID D, saan tayo pupunta?
And if there is — it requires a new vaccine, we do not have it yet, I do not know what… Maybe we will just have to pray for salvation. Sabihin natin, “Diyos, we have done everything. But you know, this time we are really put hard on these things that happened.”
Rest assured that we will exert every effort to restore the lost livelihood of our affected countrymen. I have recently signed an Executive Order creating the task force that will shepherd the country’s National Employment Recovery Strategy.
The Task Force recently partnered with the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines to implement the Reform, Rebound, and Recover Program that aims to vaccinate qualified workers to fill in more than one million jobs.
These jobs will be created by different business associations in the fields of construction, information technology, BPO, and electronics. To our business associations, thank you for joining in our effort to bring back lost income opportunities for our workforce.
Another important component of our employment recovery strategy is the retooling of our workers to prepare them for better job opportunities. Since the start of community quarantines, over [1.2] million [individuals] availed of the TESDA’s free online training programs.
I am directing the National Employment Recovery Strategy Task Force, particularly TESDA, to ensure the upskilling of our workers and increase their employability. I expect the task force to work double time not only to recoup job losses, but more importantly to rehabilitate the economy and help our hardest hit sectors [recover].
Through the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises or CARES Program, we released 988 million pesos worth of loans to over 14,000 enterprises [under] Bayanihan 1. [Under] Bayanihan 2, we released 2.9 billion pesos worth of loans to over 12,000 enterprises including our displaced OFWs and enterprises in the tourism sector to help them start or sustain their businesses amid the pandemic.
Along this line, I would like to renew my call to Congress to immediately pass the amendments of priority legislative measures such as the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act. [applause]
Your applause went well ahead of its realization. You have to work on this guys and well I am sure that we can have a respite of this contagion in a — in your own little way.
Finally, I would like to reiterate my call for Congress again to pass legislation to establish a single agency that shall focus on and respond quickly to the needs and concerns of our OFWs. I pray that our next leaders and our future generations will not squander our natural resources and fight for the integrity of our environment, in a manner fiercer and more effective than my administration had ever done.
The pandemic has taken so much from us as a nation but like [all] other adversities that tested us time and again, it can never take [away] our courage and resilience. And the spirit of Bayanihan 1 — rather, bayanihan and the value of malasakit are now indelible in us Filipinos. We shall use these gifts to forge ahead towards a better normal.
As we come to a point where the risk of COVID-19 transmission can, to a certain extent, be managed, I am hopeful that we shall be united in forging ahead towards bringing the country back to its robust growth path.
Let me end by adding these particular statements. Well, on learning — education and learning.
Despite our inability to conduct face-to-face classes during this pandemic, we remain determined to deliver quality and accessible education to all. The creation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan enabled the uninterrupted learning of students in the basic education sector while ensuring their and teachers’ health, safety, and well-being.
While the pandemic has demonstrated the readiness, resourcefulness and capability of government to serve the Filipino people through the use of ICT and digital services, it has also shown its inherent deficiencies and weaknesses. As such I ask Congress to pass an E-Governance Act that will set up the transition of government processes to the digital age.
I would like to add something on the protection of our overseas Filipinos.
I also ask Congress to pass a law creating the Department of Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos [applause] — kailangan po ito because they are suffering not on — they suffered not only yesterday but they are still suffering now with so many inadequacies, in both our government response including the monetary assistance — to ensure that there is a department that is solely focused on addressing the needs and taking care of the welfare of our countrymen abroad.
Before I end, let me also touch on the environmental protection.
It has also been 13 years since the Supreme Court, through a mandamus, ordered the rehabilitation of Manila Bay. Unfortunately, no immediate substantial action to comply with the Supreme Court’s order was undertaken until 2019, when this administration started its long overdue rehabilitation.
As of May , all illegally operating open dumpsites surrounding Manila Bay have been shut down, while 151 out of 187 LGUs surrounding the Bay now have access to sanitary landfills.
Establishments have been forced to comply with environmental laws and ordinances while those who did not have been closed down.
As a result, pollutants have been largely reduced and coliform levels — also reduced to its barest maximum — are now on its lowest levels in years if not decades. I urge the DENR to sustain its efforts and continue working with our LGUs to restore Manila Bay to its former glory. [applause]
You know, just one little thing before we end. Iyong pag-ano sa Manila Bay, well, there is a corner where all the garbage con — by current — by action of the current, nandito marami sa likod ng Luneta.
Ginawa natin ‘yan at nilagay natin itong ‘yung puting bato na which is, well, scattered into small pieces. Eh nawawala minsan ‘yan because of the waves.
So every now and then, we still have to replenish because we cannot change the nature of our shores. That is how it is. It is not a permanent fixture there, [dolomite]. It is there from the mountains and we break it down and bring it to the sea.
But that would occupy that place irrespective of there is a high tide or low tide. Nakakatulong ‘yan at nawawala ‘yan. And the only way to do it is to replenish it until we can think of a good alternative of how we can process the whole thing back to its normalcy. If there was really normalcy at the time or at any other time in the past.
On the resilience. Again, dinagdag ko na lang ito. Time is good and as any other time again to ask you.
In line with this, we hope to pursue the creation of public entities dedicated to managing emerging and re-emerging diseases. I thus fervently ask Congress to enact a law creating the Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines.
We must… [applause] Maski gaano natin kahirap, however poor we are I think that the Filipinos, given the proper support and the things there, the equipment that they have to use, we can — I am sure that the Filipino brain can also process or make vaccines in the future. [applause]
Tapos na po ‘yan, ma’am. I ask Congress to pass the — ‘yan — Disaster Resilience Act that will create the Department of Disaster Resilience.
Let us also — pagkatapos nito, ma’am, ikaw ‘yung unang tao na mag-congratulate sa akin ha. Kaya ako nagka-utal-utal dito eh dahil sa iyo.
Let us also pass the law implementing the Fire Protection Modernization Program to bolster the readiness of our firefighters and ensure their ability to respond to fires and disasters. Related to this… [applause] Importante ‘yang trabaho ng bumbero maniwala kayo. They must also be there during any disaster happening.
Let us also push for the Mandatory Establishment of Evacuation Centers in every city, province and municipality throughout the country, which shall provide the basic needs and assistance to all evacuees during times of emergency.
Now, there is now the conclusion. Sabi, “Hay, salamat.” [laughter] Sabi, ” P*****g Duterte ‘to oh.”
The lights go out for this administration eleven months from now. The work that we started and expected to finish within the constitutional time frame of six years has been stalled. Much was hoped for. But we need not despair. Desperation is a feeling alien to the resilient Filipino.
A peaceful and prosperous Philippines is no longer a distant dream but one that is within our grasp if our future Filipinos would also do it — if would continue the — if they would continue and would seize the opportunity to work together.
Malaki ang pasasalamat ng mga kababayan natin at lagi nilang sinasabi na mas panatag ang loob nila ngayon. Hindi na nababahala ang mga magulang na lumalabas ang mga anak nila at naglalakad sa gabi. [applause]
I will not elaborate on anything. You can draw your conclusion. Alam mo, when the Filipino, a father, a mother, or a child, naglalakad sa gabi at siya ay — kagaya ng iba, even in America, you go into the inner cities of L.A. and New York, you — sa Washington D.C., there’s a corner there, there’s a — do not go there because you will not come out alive. Ganoon, kung hindi maglakad na sila puro takot na lang ang nasa loob nila ma-holdup sa jeep tapos pati ‘yung taga Ombudsman na buntis patay pa pati ‘yung bata sa loob ng tiyan.
Just to get the money to buy shabu because when the monkey is riding on your back, iyong katawan mo hindi mo na maano, that is why you need to higop — sip, kailangan mo maghigop at kailangan mo pumatay ‘pag wala kang pera. Hindi naman talagang papatay, maybe not. The mind is not ready for that but in the struggle, you put up a struggle if you are the owner of the money, eh talagang papatayin ka ‘pag hindi mo ibigay.
Iyan ang ayaw ko kaya noong na-mayor ako sa Davao, ganito, mga p***** i** — mga p****** i** niyo, umalis kayo sa daan, ‘yung daan, ‘yung public transportation is for public good. Huwag mo silang takutin na magkanto ‘pag uwi, nandiyan nag-iinuman sa — iyan ang hilig ng Pilipinong — mag-inuman. Hindi mo malaman ang mga nag-uwi na babae, they have to take another route that would be longer because nandiyan mga istambay.
So the streets are unsafe, hino-holdup, pinapatay. Sabi ko doon sa Davao — sa Davao na lang, huwag na lang ako dito sa Maynila, hindi naman talaga ako nakikialam dito pero alam nila, alam ng pulis kung ano ang gusto ko.
Mag-prangkahan tayo. Sabi ko sa pulis, “Isauli mo ‘yan.” The roads, the highways are for law-abiding citizens of this country. Iyong mga kriminal, ‘yung mga — well, the dregs of society, huwag ninyong gamitin ‘yang mga daan, hindi para sa inyo ‘yan. And I will see to it that you are not there, be sure that when I pass by, I do not see you. Because if I see you, I will dance with you. Isauli ko.
Kaya ngayon medyo hindi naman talaga ano but ‘yung mga sales girl ng mga — mga shopping center eh panatag na ang loob nila at least ang chances of being mugged, murdered, and raped. Iyan ang ayaw ko. ‘Pag malayo nakahigop na, kunin ‘yung pera, hilain doon sa medyo maliit na mga grassy portion and rape at papatayin. Iyan ang hindi ko matanggap. Just like ‘yang Pilipino sabi ko…
I may be — I may be just a little bit crazier than the others but that is what I am. Ayaw ko ‘yung — lalo na mag — mag-shabu ka tapos mag-pasyal ka kung ano wala kang makuhang pera, aakyat ka ng bahay. Just like that bank teller, it was raining so hard just like the rains that we had experienced. It was pouring almost cats and [dogs], ang lakas talaga nang bagsak ng ulan. She went home to knock the door and pump the door loud but ang parents nilang matanda — matanda na ‘yung parents, hindi nakarinig.
So anong ginawa nitong ma — mga sa construction workers? Sabi ko diyan nga ako galit sa droga eh. Nabibili nila mura. It’s 200, 300, susuyupin nila at ‘pag nakasuyop ng droga ‘yan, maghanap ng alcohol ‘yan. Sigurado ‘yan. ‘Pag tama ng alcohol pati ‘yung ano ng droga it shrinks the brain, ‘yon. Iyong babae dinampot — she was just picked up and brought to the construction site near the house tapos ni-rape doon, pinatay, sinunog pa.
Iyan ang hindi ko talaga maintindihan. I cannot reco… Iyong bata na 3-year-old rape-in mo. Ang problema nito, ang nakikita nila ang patay na mga kriminal. Well, how about the victims on the other side? Bakit hindi ninyo tingnan and see what these criminals have done to our children, to our wives, and daughters?
May listahan kayo p**… Ang listahan ninyo doon sa namatay hindi ba kayo maligaya niyan wala ng kriminal? Pero ‘pag tingin mo dito ilan ang patay na inosente? Pati pulis ko at sundalo namamatay diyan baka akala ninyo kriminal lang. So that is my lamentations and I just want you to hear.
In my five years in office, we made real change in governance through the reforms we pursued. However, for this governance — must be sustained and broadened. We need to make…
I’m not — I’m just getting my air. Naghihingal ako. Baka — baka dito ako mamatay pagka-Presidente. Iba na ang pitik ng ano ko ngayon ng kasing-kasing ko. Kasing-kasing is puso.
[We need] to make every public servant responsive to the needs of the people and enjoin every Filipino to assert their right to demand malasakit from their leaders until everyone lives with dignity — well-fed, educated, healthy, secure, disciplined, and empowered — to contribute to national development.
I will not be forever be President. But ang kulang sa Pilipino is assertiveness. ‘Pag may — mayroon kayong transaction at hingian kayo, ang sabi ko sa inyo, ito ang payo ko, murahin mo, sabihin mo, “P***** i** ka, nagtatrabaho kayo at kami dito. We are following papers and you are sitting on your a** on it.”
Kaya dito, sabi ko, makinig kayong lahat ng Pilipino tutal last SONA ko na ito, ‘pag may mag-follow up kayo, permit, clearance, at maghingi ng pera, murahin ninyo. Sabihin ninyo, “’Yan, sabi ni Duterte sampalin ko kayo kasi ako nagbabayad ng buwis, bakit ginaganito ninyo?”
And to the mga Pilipino, hindi naman lahat, tayong nagtatrabaho sa gobyerno, I mean it takes you one month to process a paper, it takes you — tapos pabalik-balik ‘yung tao. ‘Pag ang tao bumabalik, dalawa, isa, tatlo, then there is corruption there. Murahin mo, at kung maaari, pahiramin kita ng pangkulam para kulamin mo.
Ganoon talaga. I’m just warning everybody, there’s still one year to go. In Davao, three days. Lagyan mo ng papel, “Bumalik ka dito at this hour on Thursday.” At pagka naipakita mo ‘yung papel, hanapin niyo ‘yung ibibigay. Iyan ang gamitin ninyo, for all the local governments also.
In my Cabinet, it’s 30 days, walang extension. All. Sabi ko, you reduce the signing authority from six, seven, to only one or two. Hindi naman pala kailangan… [applause] Hindi kailangan magpirma lahat ng empleyado diyan, one or two. Iyong iba mag-process lang.
But if you cannot process it also in so many days, in Davao, if you sub — if it is a clearance, which is long overdue, hindi mo na puwedeng ibigay doon sa tao. Ibigay mo sa akin at tanungin kita, “… mo, bakit inabot ka ng ganito?” Wala — there is no other conclusion. Corruption ‘yan.
Kagaya… What is true in Davao is true for the entire Philippines. Mabuti’t na rin ‘yan nakapagsalita ako ng freely with you tutal last ko naman na itong SONA. Mabuti ‘yang malaman ng tao na ganoon ang ginagawa nila. It’s not there. Hindi man — hindi man nila lalagay ‘yang mga ganoon na, wala mang mura diyan. Be careful this is…
We need to fight to subdue narrow vested interests and ensure that our gains will [redound] to the benefit of the greater number of Filipinos, especially those who have the least in life.
We have laid down the groundwork and are continuing to push for landmark reforms and key accomplishments up to the last days of my term. I have full confidence that the Filipino spirit…
Pati ako nagmamadali na. Eh naiihi na kanina pa eh. [laughter and applause] It’s a natural human biology so what’s the big deal? Bakit kayo magpakpak kung napaihi na ako? [laughter and applause] Sabagay, alam ko rin, nahihiya kayong magtindig. Puno ang pila nito pagdating sa CR mamaya. [laughter]
I have full confidence that the Filipino spirit will persevere and triumph. Together, let us rise as a nation. Thank you. [applause]
— END —