President Benigno Aquino III’s third State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, July 23, 2012, is the 73rd in Philippine history and the 26th of the Fifth Republic.
The Sona will also mark the opening of the third regular session of the 15th Congress of the Philippines.
Sona, as an annual practice, began during the Commonwealth of the Philippines under the 1935 Constitution, as amended, wherein the President reports on the status of the country and tackles the government’s agenda for the coming year.
Article VII, Section 5 states: “The President shall from time to time give to the Congress information on the state of the nation and recommend to its consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
* Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon made his first Sona on January 31, 1941.
* It was only President Elpidio Quirino who was not able to appear personally before the Congress to deliver his Sona in 1950. He delivered his Sona through RCS in the United States and was picked up by the local radio network. He was at that time recuperating at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in America.
* From 1973 to 1977, the Sona was delivered on the official anniversary of the imposition of the martial law on September 21 of each year by President Ferdinand Marcos.
* From 1979, the Sona was delivered on the fourth Monday of July following the provisions of the 1973 and later the 1987 Constitutions.
* Marcos delivered about 20 Sonas followed by former President-turned-Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo with nine.
* On July 26, 2010, President Aquino reported the first Sona in history delivered entirely in Filipino.