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Assignment No. 1 – Affairs of the state under the present administration
Dennis B. Danao
University of the Philippines Open University
Submission date: September 22, 2018
Affairs of the state under the present administration
President Duterte’s victory in the election positioned the Philippines on a podium much different from his predecessors’ political style and leadership. His popularity since day one reflected his commitment for change and transformation particularly in the area of peace & order and corruption in our government systems. In our country where the elites are at the top, his triumph meant that the mass is clamoring for real change. His medium term development plan (PDP 2017-2020) that is anchored on the long-term vision “AmBisyon 2040” targeting the poor will ensure that inclusive programs will ensure economic growth & stability.

The past years has been crucial for the Duterte government when sweeping change gets going. Amidst tensions and political pressures, Duterte has improved law & order with his crackdown on illegal drugs along with the clean-up of the police force. Big time drug lords and their cronies are relentlessly polluting our communities to this day. The PNP & PDEA’s has been working progressively with the president’s trust to secure our highly-infested communities with illegal drugs. Their operations, upon the president’s order, busted millions worth of shabu laboratories in remote areas of the country and freed our barangays of this menace in our society killing the future of even our younger children. To eradicate the enemies of the state, he has been attacking drug syndicates who are under the protection of erring government officials and police authorities. Duterte did not backed down from ISIS extremist that prowled in Marawi (Mindanao) and ultimately came out victorious. Now, the Marawi rehabilitation through Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) is underway at an overall cost of P86.5 billion with countries i.e. US, Australia, the WB ; ADB who indicated their interest to provide financial support.I see a leader who is pragmatic in spite of several deficiencies. He has made progress on the implementation of Train Law (Tax Reform for Acceleration ; Inclusion) which raises the tax exemptions for lower income earners. While TRAIN is being criticized as anti-poor due to increased taxes in the midst of an inflation, Pres. Duterte pushed for it in a move to tax powerful private enterprises in the country. In running after tax evaders, the government managed to collect from PAL P6 billion worth of unpaid air navigational charges. The Philippine tobacco giant Mighty Corp., through government effort, paid P40 billion worth of tax liabilities. Said revenues will help the government fund its nationwide infrastructure programs.

Duterte is also keen on adding a third telco player in a race to improve our telecom system. Reports revealed that by December a third player will be identified. Local and foreign entities have shown their interest this endeavor. Pres. Duterte signed and approved the long overdue RA 11032 (Ease of Doing Business ; Efficient Government Service Delivery Act) which aims to improve the country’s competitiveness climate in doing business better by eliminating red tape in our bureaucracy. The law is an amendment of the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007. His inexorablecampaign for fighting graft and corruption became inevitable when he created the PACC (Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission)to probe erring officials in all branches of the government.The Build BuildBuild program, an ambitious infrastructure investment, is the major highlight of Dutertenomics. This economic feat hopes to transform the Philippines into a more robust market which include building & rehabilitation of airports, railways, bus transits, building of roads & bridges, and seaports. The national program identified 75 flagship projects for its implementation with an overall budget that is expected to hit up to P9 trillion by 2022 with 35 of these have been approved and are now ready for execution.

The list goes on i.e. launching of the OFW bank to cater to the needs of OFWs, free tuition fees in 112 state universities & colleges, RA 10969 that reassures farmers of free irrigation including its upgrade, 10-year passport & 5-year driving license validities, RA 10349 (Revised AFP Modernization) that aims to improve and modernize the AFP, laglag-bala in NAIA & other airports, free internet access in public areas, penalties for hospitals and medical clinics that refuse to administer treatment and support in times of emergency are among the few accomplishments demonstrated by the current administration. Also, the proposal of San Miguel Corp. to build a new airport in Bulacan is at the negotiating table. This venture will be a huge financial risk on the part of the government nonetheless, it would positively guarantee economic returns in the long run.

I did not vote at the last 2106 election being an OFW in the Middle East but I calmly appeal for change which is categorically inevitable in all governments. None of us can say that life is trouble-free in an imperfect world where we strangely inhabit. Ours is a dimension with struggles and barriers that will defy our resolve and human faith. Perhaps this is how I want to paint our government with all the strains it has on its shoulder today. Truth be told, there is no president who has not undergone drawbacks that daily confronts his office and leadership. I value nationalism, democracy and human dignity though our ideals are not parallel to the kind of bureaucracy we have that is evidently weak and inefficient. Genuinely, let us value change by giving Pres. Duterte the opportunity to perform its mandate. He needs our reason and not our rage in building a democratic but tough state that truly embraces our aspirations and renewed national pride as Filipinos.