Tomorrow, July 22, 2013 at the Batasang Pambansa, the President of the Philippines Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III will again deliver his annual State of the Nation Address. In-front of the the joint session of the members of the House of Representatives and Senators of the Republic and his “bosses”, the Filipino, President Aquino III will once more report the current status of our country.
State of the Nation Address or most commonly known as SONA is a yearly speech by the President of the Philippines in a joint session by the bicameral congress. SONA is mandated by the 1987 constitution and should be delivered every 4th Monday of July at the Plenary Hall of the Batasang Pambasa Complex. And it was President Manuel L. Quezon who delivered the 1st SONA on November 25, 1935. titled Message to the First Assembly on National Defense.
So, before we get to hear President Aquino III’s 4th State of the Nation Address tomorrow, let us know first who among the 15 Presidents delivered the most numbers of SONA.
Topping the list is President Ferdinand E. Marcos who delivered a total of 20 SONAs. His first being delivered on January 24, 1966 and his last before he was ousted by the bloodless People Power Revolution on July 22, 1985. It is but obvious to note that he topped the list because he also have the record for having the longest term as President brought about by his martial rule.
Next to the list is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who had the chance to deliver 9 State of the Nation Addresses. The 1st SONA of PGMA was on July 23, 2001 after ascending the Presidency from the ouster of President Joseph Estrada from EDSA Dos. And her 1st SONA as the elected president was delivered on July 26, 2004.
If Marcos had the most number of SONAs delivered, it was President Sergio Osmena who got the least with only 1. The lone SONA delivered by President Osmena was on June 9, 1945 and was titled Message to the First Congress of the Commonwealth of Philippines.
Here’s the complete tally of SONAs delivered by the Current and Past Presidents of the Philippines.
|President||# of SONA|
|Ferdinand E. Marcos||20|
|Manuel L. Quezon||7|
|Fidel V. Ramos||6|
|Corazon C. Aquino||5|
|Carlos P. Garcia||4|
|Joseph Ejercito Estrada||3|
|Benigno S. Aquino III||3|
No matter how many SONAs were delivered by the President, what’s important is the changes it made in the lives of the constituents. The substance of SONA is not in the words said in front of the many Congressmen, Senators and millions of viewers in TV and listeners in radio, but how it translates in deeds. How the government transforms the country into a more livable place.
For the complete list of all past State of the Nation Addresses delivered by the Philippine Presidents please click here.