Pinoys can pick what issues may be tackled during 'Talk to the People'; here's how

Published December 14, 2021, 7:08 AM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte is giving Filipinos “control” over what happens in his weekly late night public briefings dubbed “Talk to the People”.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the pre-taped “Talk to the People” public briefing on Dec. 13, 2021 (Malacañang photo)

In the pre-recorded episode of Talk to the People on Monday night, Dec. 13, Duterte said the public can call the shots as to what topics or issues may be discussed during the program.

“If by chance you have a question about a particular transaction in government or would want to know the money or the whereabouts of the money na gusto ninyong malaman (that you want to know), feel free to [call] us sa (at) [Hotline 8888],” he prodded Filipinos.

“We will call the particular secretary — department secretary to come here and to explain to you what you want to know about the workings of government. So iyan lang ho (So that’s it), that is the guarantee that I can give you,” the 76-year-old President said.

Talk to the People has served as Duterte’s weekly “State of the Nation Address (SONA)”, if you will, where he has freely responded to hot national issues.

These have included the alleged anomalies regarding the Philippine government’s procurement of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related medical supplies last year, and Duterte’s war of words with senators–most especially Senator Richard Gordon.

Cabinet officials have also been given opportunities to shine in the Duterte-led briefings as they give updates on important matters such as the mass vaccination campaign or just their accomplishments in general.

“Itong programa na ito (This program) was really thought of to apprise, to make the public know kung saan ‘yung pera ninyo (where your money has been going to). Kaya ‘yung mag-report dito from time on eh madalas na ito ‘yung mga malalaking expenditures ng gobyerno (That’s why the people presenting reports here are usually those who are concerned with huge expenditures of government),” Duterte said.

“Let me just say a few words to the Filipino people. We continue to serve you well and ang aming… Maasahan ninyo na lahat nang ginagawa namin ay para sa bayan, legal, at iyong pera ninyo ay nasa mabuting kamay (Rest assured that everything we do is for the benefit of the country, all legal, and that your money is in good hands),” he said.

Duterte will end his six-year term on June 30, 2022.