Students ‘hopeful’ for change after Duterte’s 2nd SONA

MANILA– Students remain hopeful on President Rodrigo Duterte’s plans in the next five years of his administration despite some points that have been missed out on the chief executive’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In spite of Duterte not being able to bring up topics on education in his SONA, Angel San Pedro of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) lauded Duterte’s approval of bills concerning education and health regardless of the bills authored by opposition lawmakers.

“It’s hard to judge the President based on his achievements. Despite the crackdown on drug users, he has also played a vital role in changing the country,” San Pedro said.

Under Senate Bill 1304 or the Free Higher Education for All Act, students are allowed to enroll for free in state colleges and universities.

However, she disagrees with the President bringing up of the war on drugs in his SONA, where Duterte lauded police officers involved in the drug crackdown.

Adam Ang, also of UST and among the thousands of protesters who trooped to Batasan last July 24. said: “It’s a breath of fresh air to listen directly to the people instead of the President’s SONA. You can directly feel their sentiments and their eagerness to fight for their causes,” Ang said.

Despite being against the war on drugs, Ang lauded Duterte for his consistency and political will after having approved bills vital to the administration’s success.

“I would (still) laud the President in his consistency and strong political will,” Ang said.

Despite the campaign against crime, San Pedro hopes to see the change in the next five years of the Duterte administration.

“I want to build my trust in him and I’m hoping for a change for the best of our country for the next five years,” she added.

Source: Philippine News Agency