Saturday, November 3, 2018

After being compared to Brazil's president-elect: Palace enumerates Duterte’s achievements




President Rodrigo Duterte and Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro / combined photo from ABS CBN




Manila, Philippines – After being compared to Brazil’s President-elect, Jair Messias Bolsonaro, Malacanang released a statement listing President Rodrigo Duterte’s achievements.

In a lengthy statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s only similarity with Brazil’s newly elected leader is that they were both elected by people who want a real change.

Comparing Duterte to Bolsonaro

“The comparison between President Duterte and President-elect Bolsonaro is understandable given that both are populist leaders who came to power because of their respective peoples’ desire for formidable and decisive leadership,”  Panelo said in his 10-paragraph statement


“The comparison, however, ends there since Mr. Bolsonaro has yet to assume the presidency and will only do so come January 1, 2019. Everything is merely speculative at this point,” he added.

Panelo stressed that the president is not only a strong leader, who speaks tough, but has demonstrated a unique and effective management style in the past two-and-a-half years in office.

“His administration has been known for the “Tapang at Malakasakit” (guts and concern) brand of leadership which is esteemed by an overwhelming majority of Filipinos,” the spokesman said

Panelo also commended Duterte’s track record for doing “many firsts” in the country compared to the past administrations.

 Panelo cited signing into laws free tuition in state universities and colleges, free irrigation to farmers and free internet access in public places, as among of Duterte’s achievement.

He added the president’s offering of huge unprecedented subsidies in favor of government hospitals, the Philippine General Hospital and the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in particular, he also worked on increasing SSS pensions for seniors, improving the wages of government employees, and doubling the salaries of soldiers, policemen, jail officers and firemen, while committing to also give increase for teachers.*

Panelo also mentioned the certificates of land ownership awards (CLOA) which Duterte distributed to thousands of beneficiaries under agrarian reform and consistently pushing Congress to legislate for the return of the coco levy fund through a trust fund.

The spokesman also added Duterte’s efforts to reduce crime rate and how the President commenced the dismantling of the shabu apparatus, including more than a million of surrenderers and for taking a firm stand against the rebels.

“[President Duterte] undertook bold moves to thwart the communist rebellion from spreading and crushed the Daesh-inspired Maute terrorism,” Panelo said.

Among in the list is the dismantling of “tanim bala” scam in the airports, Duterte also issued an order on freedom of information for strict compliance by the executive department.

Duterte also created a task force on media security, cut the red tape in the government, implemented a nationwide smoking ban in public areas, and froze the proliferation of online gambling and ordered a halt to the construction of new casinos.

Of course, there is also Boracay’s rehabilitation and its recent reopening. Panelo also cited the president’s strong stand against open-pit mining in the country.

The palace official added Duterte’s selflessness as the country’s father by visiting troops regularly to boost their morale; consistently attending wakes of slain soldiers, policemen, and other law enforcement personnel.*

Economy and foreign policy

Meanwhile, in terms of economy, Panelo cited how the president intensified revenue collection to new record-high by firmly collecting around P6 billion debt from the Philippine Airlines and the P40 billion settlement made by Mighty Corporation for its non-compliance in paying taxes.

“The President has also made the Philippines one of the strongest economies and growth leaders in the region by changing its business climate that brought in foreign investments and ushering in the golden age of infrastructure in the country with his Build, Build, Build Program,” Panelo said

The spokesman added that Duterte pursued an independent foreign policy by removing the Philippines’ subservience to the United States and improving its relations with all countries, like China, Russia and those in Southeast Asia.

Panelo also mentioned the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) to transform Mindanao from being an “island of promise” to “an island of fulfillment.”

Corruption

Many government officials have been fired by the president, letting go of those who are corrupt or incompetent.

Panelo also listed the launching of 999 and 888 hotlines, and have reduced government officials from spending too much by prohibiting them the use of luxury cars and business class air travels.

“He has exemplified modesty in public service by forbidding the hanging of his portrait in all government offices and serving inexpensive and simple food in government social events,” he said.

Despite the lengthy statement to list down the achievement of the administration, Panelo said that there is still much work to be done.