About 350 fully vaccinated individuals will be physically allowed to attend President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 26 at the Batasang Pambansa Complex.
“As of now ang papayagan sa loob around mga 350 na tao… magkakasama na lahat, senators, congressmen, mga ibang government officials saka ibang mga VIPs or guests,” said House Secretary-General Mark Mendoza.
Mendoza announced that the Presidential Security Group (PSG) requirement that those who will be physically allowed to attend the SONA are fully vaccinated.
Apart from being fully vaccinated, those entering the plenary will also undergo RT-PCR and antigen testing.
Among those expected to attend the SONA are former Presidents, Vice Presidents, former speakers of the House, and other important personalities.
The House will be under lockdown starting this coming Friday, July 23.
Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo was not invited to attend Duterte’s last SONA physically. She was also not invited last year.
350 fully vaccinated to attend Duterte’s SONA
“VP Leni received the invitation to attend the SONA last Friday. Like the previous year, she was not asked to be physically present but to join via Zoom. She will therefore be attending remotely,” VP Leni’s spokesperson Barry Gutierrez said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy about 15,000 officers to secure the SONA.
“We encourage these groups planning to conduct mass actions to coordinate their activities with the PNP. But it would be better if they conduct their activities virtually as this is safer for all those involved,” he said.
The State of the Nation Address is an annual address by the President of the Philippines to a joint session of the Congress of the Philippines. Mandated by the 1987 Constitution, the speech is delivered every fourth Monday of July at the Plenary Session Hall of the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Batasan Hills, Quezon City, Metro Manila.