Summary of Duterte's 4th SONA


Signalling the second half of his term, President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address on Monday.

His speech, which was delayed for about an hour, lasted for more than an hour and a half.

Here are the issues tackled and promises made by Duterte in his fourth SONA.

Illegal drugs

  • The illegal drug problem persists
  • I am aware that we still have a long way to go in our fight against this social menace.


  • Corruption continues and emasculates the courage we need to sustain our moral recovery initiatives.
  • Concerning the unscrupulous persons manning our ports and scalawags in uniform, we have been unyielding in our reforms to weed them out of public service.
  • I have fired or caused the resignation of more than a hundred officials and appointees of government without regard to relationship, friendship and alliance. There is no sacred cow, as the saying goes, in my Administration.

Death penalty

  • Let the reason why I advocate the imposition of the death penalty for crimes related to illegal drugs.
  • I respectfully request Congress to reinstate the death penalty for heinous crimes [applause] related to drugs, as well as plunder.

PhilHealth fraud

  • The recent uncovering of the massive fraud perpetrated against the public health insurance system proves that corruption is pervasive. Huge amounts of medical funds were released to cover padded medical claims and imaginary treatment of ghost patients. I am grossly disappointed.
  • I appointed a new PhilHealth President, whom I know is a man of integrity, a military man, a former military officer, and gave him marching orders to prioritize ridding the agency of corruption.


  • Our government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs), infamous for high salaries and bonuses being paid their executives and employees, have started to shape up. 
  • As of July 9, 2019, we collected more than P61 billion from GOCCs or government corporations, 32% of which, or P16 billion, from PAGCOR. [applause] This is more than the P36 billion collected in 2017.


  • Bureau of Customs, though corruption-ridden, managed to collect Five Hundred Eighty Five Billion Pesos (P585,000,000,000) in 2018. Imagine how much more could have been collected had the BOC been clean and less corrupt.
  • If we cannot abolish their position and if I cannot dismiss them for the reason that there is a security of tenure, I will just allow them to have their plantilla positions but they have to report to Congress every day to help me in the huge paperwork that we have to do every day. All of them will go out from the premises of the Customs area. I do not want them back.

Hotline 8888

  • Our ultimate goal is for our people to be freed from using these hotlines because government service and response have markedly improved.
  • At kung totoo, Malacañan, I said, is open 24 hours --- 24 hours basta corruption.


  • So I told the Agrarian Reform, go to the place, have it inspected because I will declare the whole of the island a land reform program. And I gave the islands piece by piece to the Atis, the natives of the place para walang masabi. Marami kasi ginawa ko raw [applause] para linisan ko, ibigay ko sa mga kaibigan ko.

Manila Bay rehabilitation

  • On January 27, 2019, we officially started the Manila Bay rehabilitation. Though we have a long way to go, we are encouraged by the test results of the waters near Padre Faura.
  • We will relocate informal settlers --- I hope it can happen during my time --- along the waterways and shut down establishments that continue to pollute and poison our waters.

3rd telco

  • Do not worry about this. There is no corruption at all. I guarantee you, upon the grave of my father. I do not allow --- I do not talk to them.
  • I challenge this new player to fulfill its commitment to provide fast and reliable telecommunication services to our people, especially in the underserved areas.


  • After almost two decades of peace negotiation, the Bangsamoro Organic Law was finally passed and ratified. For decades, our Muslim brothers in the ARMM have been mired in poverty.
  • It is my hope that the Bangsamoro Transition [Authority] will fast-track the establishment of regional government that will secure and comfortable life for Muslim brothers and sisters, and all indigenous communities in the Bangsamoro Regions.

Communist rebellion

  • Additionally, I have taken the helm of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict and have assigned a Cabinet member to each region to harmonize government efforts in attaining national development [and] security.


  • I am proud to say that this year more Filipino learners are receiving basic education, with over 27 million enrollees from Kinder to Senior High School. [applause]


  • For our national sports development, I support the proposed measure to create the National Academy of Sports for High School students. [applause]


  • Almost 86,000 micro, small, and medium enterprises or the MSMEs have received over P3 billion worth of loans since 2017

Delaying 2020 polls

  • Congress has to postpone the May 2020 elections and ‘yung Barangay, Sangguniang Kabataan to October 2022. Because if you read it, this… [applause] To rectify the truncated terms. Paiba-iba na eh. The truncated terms of sitting barangays but also provide them with the ample time to finish their programs and projects.


  • The milestone signing of the Bilateral Labor Agreement with Kuwait in 2018 is a testament of my commitment to stop abuses inflicted on our overseas Filipinos.
  • To ensure their welfare, protection and their access to government services, the establishment of the Department of Overseas Filipinos will sufficiently address this particular need. [applause]

West Philippine Sea

  • The avoidance of conflict --- armed conflict and protection of our territorial waters and natural resources compel us to perform a delicate balancing act. A shooting war is grief and misery multiplier. War leaves widows and orphans in its wake.
  • More and better results can be reached in the privacy of a conference room than in a squabble in public. That is why I will do in the peaceful way, mindful of the fact that it is our national pride and territorial integrity that are at stake. 
  • Short of expressly advocating a call to arms, there are those who say that we should stand up and stop those who fish in our economic zone. Of course we will do in due time.
  • You know, I cannot go there even to bring the Coast Guard to drive them away. China also claims the property and he is in possession. ‘Yan ang problema. Sila ‘yung in possession and claiming all the resources there as an owner.
  • We do it in a confrontation doon. We try to drive them away, it could lead to a violence. Any way 'yan, by the way the President answered when I said "I will dig my oil" the first time I went to China. Nakita ko 'yung tao eh. So you can, more or less, draw a profile of his, "Please do not do that because there will be trouble." Ano... Anong magagawa ko?

Fishing deal with China

  • I go there, I said, "The fisheries who were..." And besides, I was invoking 'yung traditional fishing rights. It is in that arbitral ruling. Ayaw lang ninyong gustong tignan. 
  • It is mentioned there that even before countries were in existence, people around an ocean or a lake had already been fishing there for generations. And that is why fishing rights are allowed in the so many cases between Finland and Germany, decided by UNCLOS --- UNCLOS and the International Law of the Seas.
  • Our ownership of the Philippine --- West Philippine Sea is internationally recognized. However, both the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the Arbitral Award in the case of People --- “Republic of the Philippines vs. People’s Republic of China” recognize instances where another state may utilize the resources found within the coastal state’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
  • The arbitral ruling even states, the one that they are charging me for violating the Constitution.... Sino gani 'yon? Suntukin lang kita diyan ngayon mabuti pa. Nandito eh. The arbitral ruling even states that the Philippines may enter into fishing agreements with other states, provided certain conditions and requisites in the UNCLOS are met.
  • So 'yung akin, sabi niya, "Let's go fish." Sabi ko, "You have to act..." You know, they have been there fishing since time immemorial. I think it was Adam who got the first Lapu-Lapu there.

Reed Bank allision

  • Eh 'yung disgrasya, 'yung pagsabi "a mere incident --- legal, marine incident,"  ‘yan ang ginagamit sa batas ‘yan, "a marine incident happened." Hindi naman sinasabi na "marine accident."
  • It was just nabanggan, wala naman. So they wanted to talk, tapos ayaw dito. And so, "So sige, we will investigate and you investigate, and when you are ready, we should meet and compare notes, and let us determine who pays for what damage."
  • Ganun lang. Ipadala ko 'yung marines ko to drive away the Chinese fishermen. I guarantee you, not one of them will come home alive.

Poverty reduction

  • Poverty incidence fell from 27.6 percent in the first half of 2015 to 21 percent in the first half of 2018. The most important number, though, is the six million Filipinos we need to pull out from poverty. Kindly help me on this. [applause]
  • We have pursued tax reforms to fund our poverty reduction programs. I therefore implore Congress to immediately pass Package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, or the TRABAHO Bill, which shall gradually lower the income --- corporate income tax, and rationalize and improve fiscal incentives.
  • Our goal for the next three years is clear: a comfortable life for everybody, all Filipinos.

Wage hike

  • I, therefore believe that it is now time for Congress to approve a new version of the Salary Standardization Law. Ngayon na.[applause] And to the teachers, alam mo dito who toil and work tirelessly to educate our young.
  • Kasali na po dito 'yung hinihingi ninyo. Hindi naman masyadong malaki, pero it will tide you over during this hard time. A little bit bigger than before. [applause] This is intended to increase the salaries of national government workers, including teachers and nurses. Nurses. [applause] 

Tax reform

  • I am also asking Congress to pass the remaining packages of my Administration’s Tax Reform Program, and the bills that would further raise excise taxes on --- very good, let us do it --- tobacco and alcohol.

Delivery of government services

  • I signed the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act, a significant piece of legislation to improve service delivery and fight corruption, still until now.
  • Based on complaints received by the Contact Center [ng] Bayan, Contact Center [ng] Bayan --- that’s in my office --- the LTO, SSS, BIR, LRA, and PAG-IBIG are the top five agencies that need to drastically improve their service.... Simplify and make your services responsive to --- client-friendly. Your client is the Filipino, our employer --- from where the money in our pockets come from, from our salaries.
  • I urge Congress to review and pass the Government Rightsizing Bill to reconfigure the existing Metro Manila-centric bureaucracy; streamline government systems in order to deliver services without delay and within a short timeline.
  • Mayors --- mayors. I am directing also the DILG, Secretary Año of the local government to see to it that this is honored. All clearances, permits emanating from your office that would need also your approval, must be out at the very least within 3 days. [applause]

Disaster response

  • The Philippine experience has shown that natural disasters and --- are poverty creators. That is why, we need to hasten the establishment of a Department of Disaster Resilience (DDR) so that these department focus on the natural hazards and climate change. I urge Congress to fast-track the passage of the Administration of this bill --- Administration version rather.
  • In 2017, I reminded all of you of the probable consequence of a catastrophic earthquake in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces. Since then, I have established the Project Management Office for the Earthquake Resilience and the Greater Manila Area to implement two-pronged strategy on earthquake resilience and mitigation efforts.
  • I also call on Congress to pass a law mandating a Fire Protection Modernization Program. Diyan tayo nagka-ano. If you go to Davao, you'll find the best. The best of everything. 911, all the cameras, all the screens, we did that if you can find it. 

Water shortage

  • The El Niño wreaked havoc in the agricultural sector and caused water shortage in the greater Metro Manila area. We need to pass bill creating the Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission. [applause]

Land use policy

  • I further ask Congress to urgently pass the Na --- ito --- the National Land Use Act or NALUA within this year. [applause] Paki lang po. So that we can proceed with the new... Well, we can meet the --- the demands of the new investors coming in. Ang lupa natin ang problema eh. 
  • A science-based national land use plan would serve as basis for the LGUs in crafting respective development plans, and help disperse economic activities to the countryside.
  • The dispersion of economic and business activities to Visayas and Mindanao is not just a campaign promise. It is an economic imperative and a key to our country’s sustainable and equitable development. We will encourage investments that would develop the rural areas and Metro Manila and other mega urban areas.

Metro Manila traffic

  • One ese --- one estimate pegs economic losses at P3.5 billion a day due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
  • So meantime, I reiterate my directive, my request, my pleadings to the MMDA and all concerned local officials in Metro Manila, and all other cities, to undertake immediate action to ensure the speedy and smooth flow of vehicular traffic. Reclaim all public roads that are being used for private ends. Marami diyan. [applause] 
  • And again, I asked Secretary Año to see to it that this is enforced. If there is a mayor or a governor, or kung ano kang --- sino kang demonyo ka, i-suspend mo Sir Año.


  • We shall continue to invest in the countryside through agricultural programs that will increase the productivity and income of our small farmers and fisherfolk. 
  • We shall ensure the full implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, including the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. This will safeguard the livelihood of small farmers through the provisions of modern farm equipment and machineries, seeds and credit, and extension services.

Coconut Levy Fund

  • I also have not forgotten my commitment to uplift the lives --- ito --- coconut farmers and further develop the coconut industry until the urgent --- ah through the urgent utilization of the Coconut Levy Fund.
  • Itong coco fund na ito, ito 'yung naiwan sa --- noong kay Marcos na levy fund. This is sacred money. This money was taken out of the pockets of the Filipinos arbitrarily. Wala kang magawa noon eh martial law. Ito na 'yan.
  • Ang plano ko, kung gusto ninyo, you save the money. You invest the money. Siguro mag-abot 'yan ng mga more than 100 billion. Ilagay na lang ninyo ng ano trust fund for the government. It’s about mga 5 billion. Ayon na lang ang gastusin ninyo to reserve the money. Rather than do it parang sprinkle na ibigay mo sa mga tao. You cannot --- sabi ng Supreme Court tama sila --- you can no longer trace the genealogy of the owners --- the original owners. And sometimes it would fail.
  • I once again urge both Houses of Congress to pass a more responsive version of the bill establishing the Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund to ensure the accelerated utilization of coco levy funds for the well-being and empowerment of the coconut farmers. [applause]

Energy sources

  • We recognize the urgent need to ensure the sustainability and availability of resources and the development of alternative ones. In this regard, I trust that Secretary Cusi shall fast-track also the development of renewable energy sources, and reduce dependence on the traditional energy sources such as coal.

National security

  • We expect support for legislative initiatives aimed at strengthening defense-related systems such as the proposed National Defense Act, the Unified Military and Uniformed Personnel Separation, Retirement, and Pension Bill, and the revival of the mandatory ROTC in Grades 11 and 12. [applause] I think a military training would be good for everybody. 
  • We are aware of the fact that there are times in AFP and PNP personnel, while in the performance of their duties, get unjustly sued. Providing them with free legal assistance to help and boost their morale.


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