The online news portal of TV5
Less than half of the expected number of guests can be accommodated at the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III on July 23.
This was announced on Monday by House deputy secretary general Artenio Adaza Jr., saying only 1,800 persons of the total 4,000 will be allowed inside the plenary hall of the House of Representatives.
The House decided to limit the number of people in the plenary hall's galleries because of its infirm structure. In the past years, he said the personnel try to put as many chairs as possible to allow many people to sit and witness the President deliver his speech from inside the hall.
“This time we will limit the placing of the monobloc (chairs). Medyo binawasan na natin dahil medyo mahina na an gating building, hindi na kaya kung isisiksik natin lahat,” he said. (We reduced the number of chairs because the building is weak.) The second and third galleries, which hang above the 40-year-old hall, were occupied by the members of the media and other guests in the past SONA.
An area near the hall will be made available so other guests can sit and watch the President's address, Adaza said.
More guests are expected this year than last year because the number of congressmen have also increased to 284.
He observed that more people are now also more interested to hear what the President has to say after his two years in office. Vehicle passes and IDs would be distributed for the entry of guests, the media and other personnel during the day of the event.