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Fast facts about the President’s SONA

 • 00:30 AM Tue Jul 28, 2015
Office of the President

Here’s a look at 16 fast facts about the State of the Nation Address or SONA, which is delivered by the Presidents of the Philippines every year, according to the country’s official journal, the Official Gazette.*The SONA is a constitutional obligation, required by Article VII, Section 23 of the 1987 Constitutionand [T]he President shall address the Congress at the opening of its regular session.”*Article VI, Section 15 prescribes that the Congress shall convene once every year on the fourth Monday of July for its regular session.”*The first SONA was delivered during a special session of the National Assembly on November 25, 1935. It was the only SONA delivered before a special session of the Legislature.*Historically, SONAs have been delivered on the months of January and Julyand 31 SONAs were delivered in January 36 SONAs were delivered in July.*SONAs under different Constitutionsand 35 SONAs have been delivered under the 1935 Constitution, 13 under the 1973 Constitution, and 29 under the 1987 Constitution.*SONAs without Congressand President Ferdinand Marcos was the only President who did not deliver SONAs in front of Congress. He did this in 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977.*Most SONAsand The president who delivered the most SONAs was Ferdinand E. Marcos, who held power from December 30, 1965 to February 26, 1986. He delivered 20 SONAs.*Fewest SONAsand The president who delivered the least SONAs was Sergio Osmeña, who delivered only one upon the restoration of the Philippine Commonwealth in 1945.*Longest SONAand The longest SONA according to word count was the one delivered by President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1969. The SONA had 29,335 words.*Shortest SONAand The shortest SONA according to word count was the one delivered by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005, which had 1,551 words.*The only SONA via Radioand President Elpidio Quirino was the only president who delivered a SONA via a radio broadcast, which was aired live in Congress while in session. At the time, he was confined at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States. It was also the first SONA where the President did not appear personally in Congress.*The only SONA delivered entirely in Filipinoand President Benigno S. Aquino III was the only president to deliver his SONA entirely in Filipino, having had his first SONA on July 26, 2010. Past presidents have either delivered entirely in English or included some portions in the vernacular, starting with President Manuel L. Quezon, who used the single Tagalog word kasamas” in the 1936 SONA —the address wherein he proposed the creation of Filipino, the national language.*The first SONA translated to English in real timeand On July 25, 2011, during the second SONA of President Benigno S. Aquino III, an English translation of the address was delivered in real time for the benefit of the Diplomatic Corps. Thus, on his second year in office, President Benigno S. Aquino III has introduced two new innovations in the SONA traditionand the delivery of the address purely in Filipino and real-time translation.*Two Presidents who did not deliver SONAsand Two presidents did not deliver SONAs because the constitutions during their time made no provision nor requirement for a report to Congressand Aguinaldo and Laurel.*Years without SONAsand From 1942 to 1944, the years of the Japanese Occupation, there were no SONAs delivered. In 1986, upon her ascension to the Presidency, Corazon C. Aquino did not deliver a SONA, making it the only year since 1944 wherein a SONA did not take place. However, on June 4, 1986, she delivered a speech in Malacañan Palace in form of a panel discussion to mark her first 100 days in office*SONA venues from 1935 to 2015: Batasang Pambansa, Quezon City (37 SONAs), Legislative building, Manila (30 SONAs), Temporary Congress building, Lepanto St. Manila (4 SONAs), Maharlika Hall, Malacanan Palace — now Kalayaan Hall (2 SONAs), Quirino Grandstand (2 SONAs), Philippine International Convention Center (1 SONA), Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1 SONA).Incumbent Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III, 15th president of the country is now deliveringhis 6th and last SONA.

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