Pres. Duterte accomplishments in 2018: "Defying the odds to bring change"

Pres. Duterte accomplishments in 2018: "Defying the odds to bring change"

2018 is over, 2019 is welcomed with so much hope and enthusiasm because it brings another year.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte if he is to be graded for what he has done for the country last year would definitely be having a grade of flying colors. Sure there were issues that could have been handled differently and efficiently but in the end the year, the country is still in the best interest of the President.

A beautiful, articulate, and a well written article done by Ms. Genalyn Kabiling titled “The President in 2018: Defying the odds to bring change“ by the Manila Bulletin last Dec. 31 , wherein she laid down the significant milestones of  Duterte as president of the republic for the year that was.

Pres Duterte (photo credit to owner)

In general she describes 2018 as “been a tumultuous, bruising yet triumphant year for President Duterte, the firebrand leader trying to defy the odds to bring change in the country.” And she stated one by one the 2018 milestones of the President for the country and most specially for all the Filipinos.

For the purpose of informing the public, understanding, clarity, and truthfulness we have quoted in full the article written by Ms. Kabiling for the convenience of our reading audience.

"The President in 2018: Defying the odds to bring change

2018 has been a tumultuous, bruising yet triumphant year for President Duterte, the firebrand leader trying to defy the odds to bring change in the country.

While he dealt major blows to crime and corruption, his presidency has been saddled with concerns on high consumer prices, an international probe on his bru­tal drug war, and personal health issues this year.

Notorious for his profanity-laced statements, Duterte also clashed with the Catholic Church this year, triggering an uproar in the largely Catholic nation after describing God as “stupid.”

Allegations of trying to silence dissent were hurled against Duterte following the revocation of the pardon of opposi­tion Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and deportation of Australian missionary nun Patricia Fox.

Despite these setbacks, Duterte, almost halfway in his six-year term, still scored some successes.

According to Presidential Spokes­man Salvador Panelo, the President has earned an “excellent” performance grade this year. His major accomplishments, he said, included the historic passage of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, a labor protec­tion pact with Kuwait, and a lower crime incidence in the country.

“The President definitely performed excellently as the government has ac­complished much under his leadership,” he said in an interview with the Manila Bulletin.

“Public confidence remains high as seen in the satisfaction, approval, per­formance and trust ratings of the Chief Executive,” he said.

Economy, foreign policy

“Under his leadership, the Philippines is considered one of the strongest econo­mies and growth leaders in the region by changing its business climate that brought in foreign investments and ushered in the Golden Age of Infrastructure in the country with his Build BuildBuild Program,” he said.

The inflation spike, coupled with the rice price and supply crisis and high oil prices, tested the President’s mettle this year. Local economic growth also slowed down to 6.1 percent in the third quarter of 2018 due to weak consumer spending and poor agriculture growth.

As world fuel prices started to drop, Panelo said inflation has started to slow down with the November figure at 6 percent.

”We expect it would further ease in the coming months following the implementation of the President’s executive assurances which boosted food supplies and stabilized food prices,” he said.

Bangsamoro Law

Another significant achievement cited by the Palace was Republic Act No. 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to address the Bangsamoro’s aspiration for genuine autonomy.

The law, which seeks to create a new political entity to replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), aims “to transform Mindanao from an island of promise to an island of fulfilment,” Panelo said.

The plebiscite on the ratification of the Bangsamoro law is scheduled on January 21, 2019.

PH-Kuwait labor pact

The President’s political will was also in full display when he pushed for an accord providing additional protection for Filipino workers in Kuwait, Panelo said.

The agreement ensures the employers will provide food, housing, clothing and registration for household services workers in Kuwait’s health insurance system. It also provides a month’s salary to workers every year of service rendered after the expiration of the work contract, change Panelo said.

“Because of the strong political will of the President, a Memorandum of Agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait has been signed to provide safety and protection of Filipinos working in Kuwait,” he said.

War on drugs, corruption

Unperturbed by criticisms and threats to oust him from office, Duterte has gone a long way in terms of fighting illegal drugs, crime and corruption as far as the Palace is concerned.
“Based on the statistics coming from the Philippine National Police, the average monthly crime rate is down by 14.63 percent with crimes against persons down by 27.69 percent and crimes against property down by 34.11 percent as of September 2018,” Panelo said.

Based on the data from the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, 161,584 drug personalties were arrested during the 113,570 drug operations from July 1, 2016 to October 31, 2018.

Around 8,936 barangays have also been declared drug-free communities.

The International Criminal Court has started a preliminary examination on the alleged crimes against humanity linked to Duterte’s ruthless campaigns against drugs. Duterte however decided to withdraw the country’s membership from the Rome Statute, a treaty that established the ICC, and refused to recognize its jurisdiction over him. “You cannot acquire jurisdiction over me, not in a million years,” he said.

In recent months, the President has offered to quit his post, feeling downbeat about the impact of his efforts to fight the endemic corruption in government. But Panelo asserted that the President’s anti-corruption campaign has been bearing fruit, citing the dismissal of dozens of erring government officials.

“There is less corruption now as the President promised to weed out corruption He has fired military and high officials in the government for corruption or incompetence, including his longtime friends and allies,” he said.

Poverty reduction

In reducing poverty, Panelo said the President has made “many firsts” in this regard.

Among the historic achievements are providing free tuition in state universities, free irrigation to farmers, free medicine to indigents, institutionalizing feeding programs for public school students, free wi-fi in public places, higher Social Security System (SSS) pension for senior citizens, and salary increase for soldiers, policemen, jail officers and firemen.


As a Labor Day gift to workers this year, Duterte signed an executive order stopping illegal contracting in workplaces. He also certified as urgent the security of tenure bill that seeks to prohibit contractualization and labor-only contracting.

A law on the ease of doing business was also signed by the President to streamline business processes and reduce processing time in government agencies. The measure aims “to make the country more conducive to investments thereby creating more and better jobs for our people,” Panelo said.

Peace process

Peace talks between the government and the rebels have collapsed over the deadly rebel attacks on government forces.

Instead, Duterte has authorized the military to step up the offensives against the communist rebels and declare the group as a terrorist organization.

Despite the impasse, Panelo said the President remained open to the revival of the peace talks if certain conditions, such as the rebels’ surrender of firearms and end to extortion activities, will be met.

Health concern

The President’s health has been a source of speculation this year after the 73-year-old skipped several official engagements here and abroad.

Duterte finally declared that he does not have cancer after undergoing a series of medical tests last October. But the President admitted that he was suffering from a bad case of Barrett’s esophagus since he had been drinking liquor again."

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Report from Manila Bulletin

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