Duterte’s socioeconomic agenda and trust rating


President Rodrigo Duterte

Every time a Social Weather Station (SWS) and Pulse Asia survey on the satisfaction and trust ratings of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte comes out people always wonder why the president has been able to maintain a high mark of approval despite the brouhaha raised by some group of people and organizations, both local and international, about his controversial war on drugs, extrajudicial killings, etc.

It must be confusing and frustrating to Sen. Antonio Trillanes and his ilk in the senate and in our society, in general, why even as they hurl a fuselage of personal accusations against the president and his family, still it does not make a remarkable dent on his popularity and approval ratings.

But for the people who were inspired by Duterte’s candidacy and continue to support his presidency there has been a noticeable change in the kind of leadership the country needed which could have never happened had the Roxases, the Binays and the Poes won.

Duterte’s war on drugs, criminality and corruption are in itself big changes toward better future for country and people which can only be fought and sustained by somebody with political will to carry it out.

Events have shown that Duterte is no rubber stamp or a stooge of anybody, either here or abroad, and to the consternation of many that wants to meddle in his governance.

Duterte’s declaration of independent foreign policy had silently earned the ire of some friendly nations at first but is being accepted now as he saw the realities of the times where China has become the major regional power in Asia and the importance of improving relations with non-traditional including Russia, Japan and India.

This is a paradigm shift in our geopolitical relations that perhaps only Duterte could have thought of and it is earning him the respect of the whole world.

Duterte should be credited for where we are now as a nation, especially in having discovered earlier, rather than later, that narco-politics have engulf the country already. He is doing everything possible that this country will not go to the dogs.

What should make everybody hopeful, however, is that Duterte, while relentless in his war against drugs, corruption and criminality, is also making sure that his 10-point socioeconomic agenda listed below will continue to be followed through. This program in his presidency being implemented now is what is helping Duterte also earn his high satisfaction and trust ratings.

  1. Continuing and maintaining current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary and trade policies;
  2. Instituting progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection while indexing taxes to inflation;
  3. Increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business, drawing upon successful models used to attract business to local cities such as Davao, as well as pursuing the relaxation of the Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, except with regards to land ownership, in order to attract foreign direct investments;
  4. Accelerating annual infrastructure spending to account for 5 percent of the gross domestic product, with public-private partnerships playing a key role;
  5. Promoting rural and value chain development toward increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism;
  6. Ensuring security of land tenure to encourage investments and address bottlenecks in land management and titling agencies;
  7. Investing in human capital development, including health and education systems, as well as matching skills and training to meet the demands of businesses and the private sector;
  8. Promoting science, technology and the creative arts to enhance innovation and creative capacity toward self-sustaining and inclusive development;
  9. Improving social protection programs, including the government’s conditional cash transfer program, in order to protect the poor against instability and economic shocks; and
  10. Strengthening the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable especially poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.



Robredo’s satisfaction rating suffers


Vice President Leni Robredo

Results of the latest Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) survey released showed that Vice President Leni Robredo’s net satisfaction rating dropped by 11 points, from a “good” +37 to a “moderate” +26.

It was reported also that among top government officials Robredo registered the biggest decline which made Professor Ramon Casiple, a political analyst, opine that the 11-point dip in the vice president’s ratings was beyond the “normal range.”

Does Robredo have to worry that her satisfaction rating has suffered?

Of course she has to worry, and while she may not show it or does not want to comment about it, the fact is it could worsen and put her political life in jeopardy both as a politician and a leader.

I don’t really think that Robredo’s controversial video message to the United Nations (UN) about the government’s bloody war against illegal drugs (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/obredo-un-message-slanders-the-philippines/) was a big factor in people being dissatisfied with her performance and neither are the black propaganda against her, as claimed by Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts, significant reasons enough for her satisfaction rating to decline.

But I would like to think that the main culprit for the downturn in her satisfaction rating is simply because of her being useless/inutile in her position as vice president with no responsibility whatsoever, ever since she resigned from the Cabinet as head of the Housing and Urban Development coordinating Council (HUDCC).

It is bad enough that Robredo does not have any achievement or accomplishment to crow about as vice president, but it is even worse that people sees her as a willing mouthpiece of the opposition and the Catholic Church, for that matter, to find fault and disparage at President Rodrigo Duterte who is trying his level best to make drastic and unorthodox changes in the way government is run.

Robredo may not agree in everything that Duterte does, but if majority of the Filipinos trust, believe and have high hopes in Duterte for the long awaited growth and development of the country and the lifting up of the lives of people, then who is she to be so critical of him?

All is not lost, however, for Robredo.

What could save her is her acceptance for dinner with Duterte after the Holy Week, where members of her family are also invited.

Hopefully, Robredo will know more Duterte better this time around and decide to be herself and not be used as pawn for the political advantage of her party mates in trying to destroy Duterte’s dream for the country and the Filipino people.

Team PNoy senatorial bets gaining ground

team pinoyRecent senatorial survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed Team PNoy gaining grounds as nine of their candidates have barge into the so-called magic twelve. Suffice to say that at this stage of the senatorial race the administration coalition candidates led UNA bets by 9-3.

Those that made it for Team PNoy are Legarda, Escudero, Cayetano, Villar, Poe-Llamanzares, Pimentel, Trillanes, Aquino and Angara, while UNA had Ejercito, Binay and Zubiri.

While the result may not sit well with UNA’s 3 kings and its spokesperson, Toby Tiangco, who claims it as being manipulated by the ruling party, for it was not too long ago that they were dominating the surveys, the fact remains that the wind of change has suddenly blown favoring Team Pinoy.

This is an encouraging result to many as Team PNoy is what is needed to support the determined drive of President Aquino to move this country forward.

We have gone quite a long ways now with the forceful stride that the president has taken in making people trust government again, and he is winning the hearts of the populace, as well as earning the recognition from other countries for his earnest desire to meet the expectations of all through the implementation of reforms and good governance.

If the confidence level of those sampled/surveyed, which is deemed to represent the sentiment of the whole, the reason why the Team PNoy senatorial bets are gaining ground, then the Filipinos are now starting to recognize and understand, and, most importantly, beginning to appreciate the brand of leadership President Aquino is showing that is sincere and selfless, directed mainly towards making the Philippines an investment mecca and improving the quality of life, especially those of the poor sector of our society.

Perhaps it helped that Legarda, Escudero and Poe-Llamanzares opted to stick it out with Team PNoy, which made them bigger than life in the face of people. This option made them all the more likable, making Aquino’s credibility stand out better and in the process helped their fellow candidates go up in the ratings.

The result of the survey could not have been described aptly than what the Team Pinoy spokesperson said: “The survey also shows that the voters are ready to vote Team PNoy’s candidates because of their willingness and commitment to pursue the reform agenda. The voters now realize the bankruptcy of UNA in terms of platform and concrete agenda. We will continue our track of the campaign which is based on issues and platforms.”

I hope this is really the case and the trend continues until elections in May. It is important that while UNA’s Tiangco and their senatorial candidates continue to bark viciously at their rivals, making the issues more personal and hostile than necessary, that Team PNoy keep endearing themselves to the people by being relevant to their aspirations and the interest of the nation.


Well, yes, but hopeful that an aging, yet principled man like Team PNoy’s Ramon Magsaysay could make it to the winning circle instead of  a Nancy Binay who does not have any track record to boast except being the daughter of the vice president. God forbids, not the other Magsaysay of UNA, too.