SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives will be spending less than what it spent last year when it holds the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 22, 2019.
This was disclosed by House Acting Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling who, together with the House Sergeant-at-Arms MGen. (Ret.) Romeo Prestoza, held a press conference at the House on Thursday about the SONA 2019 preparations.
Maling, Chairperson of the Task Force SONA 2019, said that based on the latest figure, the House will spend around P4.7 million for the usual expenses such as supplies and materials, food expenses and the usual SONA-related activities that the House conducts – all in preparation for the SONA.
He said that this year’s amount is lower than what the House spent for the 2018 SONA which amounted to P4.9 million.
"Yung latest figure po namin is P4.7 something million. Last year po it was P4.9 (million)," Maling said.
As for the preparations and security for the SONA, Maling said that except for very minor details and arrangements, preparations for SONA have been the same through the years.
He likewise confirmed that invitations to the SONA have already been sent out, the list of which includes the diplomatic corps, members of the Executive like the Cabinet Secretaries, former Cabinet members, local government officials, invitees of House Members and former presidents of the country.
Maling explained that the exact number of invitations sent out do not deviate from the number of seats available inside the session hall.
“Mga 1,500 ang mga naa-allot naming diyan from time to time. Di ho kami nag aallow masyado ng nagtatayo especially during the delivery of SONA of the President,” Maling said.
On security issue, Prestoza said they have not received any substantial threat.
“We have a very good coordination with all the intelligence units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP), to include the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) for possible threat. We have extensive trainings, seminars to include simulation exercises and table top exercises para in case meron nga (threat) we would be prepared,” he said.
In answer to a query on the signal jammer during the SONA, Prestoza said that this part of signal jamming will come from the end of the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
“They would be the one to control it. If they feel they need to initiate the jamming process, they can dictate,” he clarified. /Ma. Victoria Palomar / News and Documentation Section-Press and Public Affairs Bureau / House of Representatives of the Philippines