Jun 082013
President Benigno Aquino III’s State of the Nation Address for 2013 is still in its early stages, with speechwriters still working on the outline as of Saturday, Malacañang said.

On state-run dzRB radio, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the Presidential Management Staff (PMS) and Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras are collating data from concerned agencies.

“Between now and SONA, apart from the daily briefings (and) the daily work the president will be engaging, there will be opportunities to meet with speechwriters, Cabinet members and the Cabinet Secretary to discuss the SONA,” he said.

He added the PMS is responsible for tracking the promises Aquino had made when he assumed office in 2010. It will assess “what we delivered and what we still need to deliver,” he added.

Citing updates from communications undersecretary Manuel Quezon III, he said this year’s SONA has undergone at least two outline revisions.

“Wala pa ang talumpati (We have not started work on the speech itself),” he said.

On July 22, Aquino is to deliver his SONA before members of the 16th Congress at the Batasan complex in Quezon City.

The Official Gazette website said the SONA is a “constitutional obligation,” and stems from Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitution.

Under that provision, the president “shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session,” it said.

“Moreover, Article VI, Section 15 prescribes that the Congress ‘shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session,’” it added. — BG, GMA News

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