President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address in a joint session of congress.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte delivers his first State of the Nation Address in a joint session of congress.

TACLOBAN CITY, July 25 (PNA) – The pronouncements of President Rodrigo Duterte during his first State of the National Address (SONA) earned praises from officials and residents in Eastern Visayas.

Capt. Ian Andres Fabellon, acting chief of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, said that the pronouncement of the President for a unilateral ceasefire with the New People’s Army was in line with their thrust to sustain peace.

“This is very welcome to us because our ultimate goal is to attain peace. We will just wait for further directions from higher officials,” Fabellon told PNA.

For decades, the army has been fighting with armed rebels in the region especially in the northern part of Samar Island, considered as the insurgents’ stronghold.

On the Chief Executive’s affirmation for entitlement of more resources to poor fishermen, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Juan D. Albaladejo said this was very commendable.

Although Duterte made the pronouncement referring to the proliferation of fish pens in Laguna Lake owned by rich and influential families, he said the policy direction was very beneficial in poor coastal communities in the region.

“The reason why our marine resources have been depleting and income of poor fishermen has been reduced because commercial fishers have been encroaching our municipal waters,” Albaladejo said.

In this city, more than a thousand survivors of 2013 super typhoon Yolanda from different Leyte towns held a rally expressing support to the President, but they carried placards reiterating their demands.

People’s Surge spokesperson Marissa Cabaljao said the President’s emphasis on disaster resilience was very encouraging, however, the present administration should investigate how the previous leaders spent rehabilitation funds.

“We are appealing to President Duterte to give justice to typhoon Yolanda victims. Let them get what they are supposed to get because that is why we have trust in you,” Cabaljao said.

The Chief Executive’s performance in the first few weeks get a thumbs up from a waray-speaking resident.

Single mother Sarah Dixon, 32, who lost her job after the monster typhoon, said the President’s anti crime and anti drug war would attract investments that create more jobs.

“Duterte is giving me the opportunity to get ahead. He’s creating more jobs and opportunities to get another job,” Dixon shared. (PNA)