President Rodrigo Duterte’s first two years in office have been “generally fruitful,” according to Malacañang. It cited the administration’s reported successes in its war on drugs, the economy, and the improvement of government services as some of the promises that Duterte fulfilled.
Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said in a statement on Sunday, July 1, that Duterte “has fulfilled many of his promises of real change” because of his “strong political will” and “decisive leadership.”
“I have witnessed firsthand the president’s hard work, dedication and sense of duty. Major promises have materialized because we are headed by someone who has strong political will, decisive leadership and compassion for his fellowmen,” he said.
According to Roque, the current administration remains laser-focused on the president’s strong campaign against illegal drugs — one of the cornerstones of his administration.
Roque cited the latest data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), saying a a total of 91,704 anti-drug operations were conducted by law enforcement agencies from July 2016 to March 20, 2018, during which 123,648 drug suspects were arrested.
Furthermore, the intensified effort against illegal drugs also resulted in the dismantling of 189 drug dens and clandestine laboratories in the country.
A total of P13.46 billion-worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or shabu and P19.67 billion-worth of drugs, controlled precursors and essential chemicals, and laboratory equipment were seized by government forces, as stated by Roque.
He added that 6,462 barangays in the country have already been declared drug-free, as of April 2018, as reported by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
The country’s significant economic feats under the Duterte administration were also cited by Roque.
According to him, the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 6.7 percent from last year, making the Philippines among the fastest growing economies in Asia.
“The government is now targeting the country’s GDP to increase by 7 to 8 percent in 2018,” Roque said.
The administration’s tax collection efforts also received a boost during Duterte’s second year in office, Roque added.
Revenues from tax collections in 2017 reached P2.251 trillion, as reported by the Department of Finance (DOF) in March 2018. It is considered as the highest tax effort in 10 years prior to the introduction of new laws.
Roque also said, “investors’ confidence in the country also remains high.”
He cited the P195.7 billion worth of investment approvals for January to April 2018, which is 28 percent higher than the P153.1 billion figure during the same period last year as reported by the Board of Investments.
Foreign direct investments (FDIs), meanwhile, are at an all-time high as data gathered from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) showed FDI net inflows amounted to US$2.2 billion for the first quarter of 2018, a 43.5-percent hike from the US$1.5 billion recorded in Q1 last year.
“The Duterte administration’s independent foreign policy with other countries has also proven beneficial to the country,” Roque said, citing Duterte’s state and official visits in the past months that resulted in billions worth of investments, and are expected to create thousands of jobs for Filipinos.
“Efforts of the Duterte administration to afford all Filipinos of the services they deserve continue to be unrelenting,” he added.
According to Roque, the launching of the Overseas Filipino Bank, a wholly-owned savings bank subsidiary of Landbank that would service overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), was another presidential promise fulfilled.
He also mentioned the signing of Republic Act 10931 or the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, which has paved the way for 1.3 million students to avail of free tuition and miscellaneous fees in state universities and colleges and local universities and colleges beginning school year 2018-2019.
Roque said the Free Irrigation Service Act or Republic Act 10969 signed in February 2018 is another promise of Duterte that has been fulfilled.
“(This) ensure(s) that free irrigation services are made available to poor farmers through the continued construction, repair, and maintenance of necessary irrigation facilities,” he said.
Moving onto the “Build, Build, Build” initiative, Roque assured that the administration is doing double-time to begin and to finish major infrastructure projects — preferably within the term of Duterte — that have been lined up.
He said 35 infrastructure flagship projects have already been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority, 16 of which are are estimated to be completed by 2022. Meanwhile, the remaining 19 will extend beyond 2022.
“The tourism industry likewise experienced growth,” Roque said.
He noted that foreign visitor arrivals also increased to 642,757 in March — which is higher than the 574,065 arrivals recorded in the same period last year. The total foreign visitor arrivals for the first quarter of 2018 reached 2,049,094, higher by 14.8 percent over the 1,784,882 recorded in the first quarter of 2017.
Roque also mentioned the 93 Republic Acts that have been signed into law by Duterte in his two years in office.
Among the 93 laws signed include extending the validity of Philippine passports to 10 years and drivers’ licenses to five years, a measure establishing free internet access in public places, and an act increasing penalties for hospitals and medical clinics that refuse to administer appropriate treatment and support in emergency or serious cases.
“Indeed, the first two years of the Duterte administration has generally been fruitful,” Roque said.
“Much has been accomplished but much more needs to be done. It is a continuous work in progress in achieving and actualizing the promise of genuine and meaningful change for the Filipino people,” he added.
“The president cannot do it alone. No man or woman can do it alone. Let us help the Chief Executive fulfill his goal of building a nation where opportunities abound and where citizens are empowered to realize their aspirations,” he concluded.