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Preparations for Pres Marcos’ second SONA on final stages

Preparations for the upcoming Joint Session of Congress and State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2023 are in high gear in the House of Representatives. House Secretariat officials, led by Secretary General Reginald Velasco are in close coordination with the Malacañang Media Affairs Relations Office (MARO) Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM), Presidential Management Staff (PMS), Presidential Security Group (PSG), and other agencies to ensure a safe and orderly conduct of the event. (Photo credit: House of Representatives)

QUEZON CITY, (PIA) -- Preparations for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) is on their final stages.

At the House of Representatives, Secretary General Reginald Velasco has announced that “all preparations” for President’s Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s upcoming SONA on Monday, July 24, “have been done.”

All preparations have been done, physical arrangements, security. We are confident that by Friday [July 21] everything will be all set kasi (because) we will have a rehearsal,” Velasco said in a media interview on Monday.

The House official said they are only awaiting the final guest list, which they anticipate receiving soon. Velasco also shared the invitations sent out, with at least 90 percent of the guests responding positively, including Vice President Sara Duterte, former President Joseph Estrada, and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Velasco also mentioned that a rehearsal will be held, although the specific date has not been determined yet.

The official also clarified that the rehearsal will focus on the technical aspects and that President Marcos will not be present for it.

He confirmed that the House complex will be locked down starting Thursday, July 20 prohibiting access to individuals not involved in the SONA preparations.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will implement a traffic management plan for the President’s SONA on Monday.

MMDA Acting Chairperson Atty. Don Artes said 1,354 personnel are tasked to manage both vehicular and pedestrian traffic; assist in emergency response; conduct road and sidewalk clearing operations; assist in crowd control; traffic monitoring; and support the operations of the Task Force SONA 2023, Philippine National Police, Quezon City Police District, Presidential Security Group, and Quezon City government to ensure a peaceful and orderly SONA.

"Preparations are in full swing for us to ensure that traffic will be orderly along Commonwealth Avenue, IBP Road, and all other thoroughfares surrounding the House of Representatives. SONA-related activities as well as transport strike will be monitored at the newly inaugurated MMDA Communications and Command Center," said Artes.

For her part, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has issued Executive Order No. 23, suspending classes in all levels, in both private and public schools in Quezon City to give way to the President’s SONA at the Batasang Pambansa Complex.

Belmonte said even most of the classes are in vacation  mode, there those who holds Summer Classes that maybe affected during road closures on Monday. (PIA-NCR)

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