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SONA 2024 will be the ‘biggest in history’, says House exec 


The House plenary. (Speaker’s office)

This year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) is poised to be the biggest one in history in terms of attendance from guests, House Secretary-General Reginald Velasco said.

“Yes, yes [it’s the biggest],” Velasco told House reporters Tuesday afternoon, July 9 when asked for an update about the July 22 event at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.

“I think this will be the biggest in history based on the number of confirmation that we got and the additional requests,” he said.

President Marcos will be delivering his third SONA at the House plenary hall, the traditional site of the annual speech.

Velasco said the seats in plenary will be increased from 1,312 to 1,814 specifically for the upcoming SONA.

“So far we have received confirmation from over 2,000 guest including the House members and members of the Senate who will be joining the joint session to hear the SONA of the President,” he said.

“Overwhelming talaga yung request ngayon for seats sa plenary (The requests for plenary seats this year is truly overwhelming). But unfortunately we can’t accommodate all of them,” added the secretary-general, who is the highest-ranked civilian official in the House.

Velasco says that he has congressman-friends who are asking if they could bring along 40 to 50 people to watch the SONA in Batasan.

“Sabi ko hindi pwede, wag ganun (I said that’s not allowed, you can’t do that).”

He said that House members are officially limited to” plus one” companion during the SONA. This is usually the members’ spouse, he said. There are currently 306 House members.

Like last year, Velasco said the House will once again open a “viewing room” within Batasan for SONA guests who won’t be able to get seated in plenary.

He saya the advantage of such viewing room is that there would never food there as well as a wash room. The elderly and persons with disabilities can be accommodated there, Velasco said.

Romualdez Hall–located two–to-three minutes away on foot from the plenary hall–will be used as viewing room. It has a capacity of 300 people.

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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