Press Release
August 4, 2020

Tolentino defends Duterte SONA speech

Administration Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino defended President Rodrigo Duterte from accusations that the government has no solid recovery plan to bring the country back from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

During his interpellation of opposition Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Tolentino said he totally disagreed with the lady lawmaker's allegation that Duterte did not mention any clear recovery direction during his State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"Sa narinig ko sa SONA, napakarami pong guidance guidelines na inilatag ng Pangulo, lalo na sa ekonomiya," said Tolentino.

Tolentino said chief among Duterte's plan is to intensify the government's "Build, Build Build" program to help boost the economic activity in the country.

The Senator also mentioned Duterte's pronouncement on using the coco levy fund and the availability of P66 billion agriculture stimulus fund as part of the Chief Executive's plans on how to alleviate Filipinos from poverty.

Tolentino said Duterte's push to improve Internet connectivity in the country, loans for small and medium enterprises and paperless transactions in government are all part and parcel of his recovery plan.

"Ito po ay pagpapatunay na bagamat inaabot tayo ng isang napakalakas na unos, mayroon pong markers na inilagay ang ating Pangulo kung saan tayo pupunta," Tolentino stressed.

Meanwhile, Tolentino insisted that Duterte's decision to impose modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila was a clear sign that he values the lives of Filipinos and he was listening to the people's sentiment.

"Binanggit ng Pangulo na dapat i-prioritize ang buhay kumpara sa ibang konsiderasyon. Ito'y napatunayan nang nagbigay ng puwang ang Pangulo sa hiling ng ating medical frontliners na mag-adjust patungong MECQ," said Tolentino.

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