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Duterte Intends To Restore Boracay's Environmental Integrity

This year's SONA covered President Duterte's plan for the next 12 months.
PHOTO: Facebook/Rody Duterte

The 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA) was unlike that of the previous years'. Traditionally, the SONA highlighted what the government achieved in the past year, but today, July 23, 2018, President Duterte switched it up by talking about his plans for the next 12 months. 

Prior to this year's SONA, Special Assistant to the President Christopher "Bong" Go said, "He [Duterte] will also be talking about the programs he has implemented, especially those that require a leader with the political will, since these are for the greatest good of the majority." 

In the 2018 SONA, President Duterte talked about the war on illegal drugs, corruption, international relations, the TRAIN law, and environmental issues—specifically Boracay's closing in April 2018. 

The president stated that Boracay has sadly suffered through the government's "negligence": "I cannot let this continue. I said, enough is enough. We intend to restore its environmental integrity." He also urged local government units to "proactively enforce our laws and not wait for us to swoop down on your areas just to do your duty and work."

Shifting to another environmental issue, President Duterte also touched upon the issue of open-pit mining: “The environment must be a priority. Give me what needs to be given to my countrymen. Open-pit mining is destroying my country. It is destroying the environment. It will destroy the world of tomorrow.” (Editor’s Note: Open pit mining involves a large-scale excavation on the ground’s surface that contributes to erosion, contamination of ground water, and biodiversity loss, among others.)