Government Investments News Analysis

Fifty shades of anything-but grey

socio-economic plan for the Philippines

With all the negative noise being created by critics of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, and his government – much of it from the Western media and more than enough of it from local media – it’s easy to lose sight of the positive changes taking place across the Philippines. And there are many.

Below, is a snapshot of just 50 of them. What they show is that the Philippines is not in some eternal night of the Goths, as many would have the world believe. These developments improve, in some way, the daily lives of millions of people.

The government’s socio-economic plan, designed to provide a fair and equitable society, address the problems of poverty and boost the middle class, is being put into action. This involves a major shake-up of the public sector and the introduction of a new work culture by which public employees – from immigration officers to municipal clerks – serve the people, rather than exploit or harass them as has hitherto been the practice.

At the same time, real progress is being made to create a safe and stable environment – not just for Filipinos but also for those who want to do business there. This cannot be faithfully delivered if the deeply entrenched problems of illegal drugs, crime and insurgency are not first tackled head on. For the same reason, corruption, monopolies and other protectionist practices in the corporate arena are also being dealt with. This battle will be stepped up in due course.

In effect, what Duterte and his colleagues are engaged in here is a programme of national reconstruction.  Their intention is to do away with the stubborn remnants of a feudal system that dates back to Spanish colonisation and usher in a modern era.

A vibrant economy cannot be delivered, however, while between 3 and 4 million people are using crystal meth; while illegal-drug lords seek to turn the Philippines into another Colombian cash cow; while terror fanatics are left to hold, not just individuals, but the economy, its tourism, and the country’s image to ransom; while oligarchs and influential clans treat Philippine commerce as their own private fiefdom; while economic disparity is allowed to exist as if its just some fact of life; while civil servants treat departments of government like their own private businesses; while corruption and waste continue to permeate the public sector, rewarding indolence and cheating and hobbling all hopes of efficiency and transparency.

These are all big items, but there is no question that Duterte and his team are fully committed to these efforts. And they’re not wasting any time. The contents of this snapshot have been achieved in less than 90 days.

Drugs War: 1. Some 700,000 illegal-drug workers and addicts have surrendered. 2. Drugs worth billions of dollars seized. 3. Drug labs dismantled across the country. 4. Crackdown of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) natcotics trade. 5. Private sector pledges cash for drug-rehabilitation centres. 6. Drugs-war effort, Oplan Tokhang (approach and talk), launched in gated communities.

Employment related: 7. Companies told to end contractualisation. 8. Age-limit requirements for jobs stopped. 9. Employment rate rises.

Increased transparency/efficiency: 10. Signing of Freedom of Information Act. 11. Corrupt government, military, police and corporate officials publicly named. 12. Installation of CCTV across Customs Department facilities. 13. Services by government agencies speeded up; respect for the public improved. 14. Centralised complaint and action hotlines (911 and 8888) introduced.

Land/rural workers: 15. Long-overdue distribution of Hacienda Luisita land to local farmers. 16. Agricultural equipment, purchased by previous government, finally distributed. 17. Provisions of irrigation projects for farmers/boats for fishermen started nationwide. 18. Removal of fishing fences in Manila Bay to help small fishermen’s livelihoods. 19. Gates to Department of Agrarian Reform in Quezon City removed after 18 years of preventing farmers’ access. 20. Shutdown/closure of environment-damaging mining companies.

Overseas Foreign Workers (OFWs): 21. Overseas Employment Certificate exemption for OFWs returning to same employer. 22. Immediate repatriation of stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia. 23. First one-stop-shop for OFWs at Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.  24. Balikbayan boxes (overseas packages) no longer mishandled and stolen from.

Peace/ law and order: 25. Indefinite ceasefire with Muslim groups (MNLF, MILF) and communist groups (CPP, NDF).  26. Government peace talks with Muslim and communist groups held in Norway. 27. Mindanao peace process resumed in Malaysia. 28. Bilateral talks with China over disputed sea territories. 29. Relations with Indonesia put back on track. 30. Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police replaces ineffective Bureau of Correction guards at NBP. 31. Drop in the number of street crimes. 32. Curfew hours imposed for minors.

Servicemen/police: 33. Proposed salary increase for servicemen. 34. Proposed state-of-the-art hospital for servicemen. 35. Benefit claims by families of fallen servicemen speeded up. 36. Pay rates for members of the Philippine National Police raised.

Taxation: 37. Crackdown on tax evaders. 38. Tax-avoiding online gambling stopped. 39. Standard 10% income tax rate to be introduced.

Travel: 40. Dept. of Foreign Affairs speeds-up passport processing. 41. Passport validity extended to 10 years. 42. Removal of processing fee for travel-tax exemptions. 43. Tanim bala (planting bullets in airport luggage) stopped once Duterte took office. 44. New Manila airport buses to major hubs in nearby cities. 45. VIP treatment at airports for government officials ended. 46. Improvements to MRT/LRT services.

Welfare/assistance: 47. Twelve government agencies to focus on poverty, centralised under Cabinet Secretary, Leoncio Evasco Jr. 48. Social Security System pension raised by PHP2,000. 49. One sack of rice added to government “4Ps” poverty-alleviation programme. 50. Increased allowances for Olympic delegates.

There is a long way to go and the current administration is the first to admit it. But the government is also pledged to see this work through – with of without the consent and approval of CNN, CNBC, the BBC and their fraternity. After all, this is not their country; irrespective of the outcome, their lives will not be affected. The lives of the Filipino people, however, will and that’s what is driving this government to cure the ills of the past. And for investors, that knowledge should be very reassuring. Certainly one thing they already know is that the success of their investment portfolios is of no interest to CNN, CNBC, the BBC and their fraternity.

52 Comments

    • Basahin mo quinciano ataviado para may alam ka.😊😊
      Some people are so consumed by their hatred towards Duterte that their eyes are blinded to see the PLAIN TRUTH.
      Anyone who cannot appreciate the following developments do not deserve to live in this country. Get out of the Philippines, you have no right to live here – you don’t care a bit for this country but only for your own goddamned agendas.

      1. The indefinite ceasefire between the MNLF, MILF, CPP NDF and the government (held in Norway)
      2. The centraliZed complaint and action hotlines – 911 and 8888
      3. The one stop shop for OFW in POEA which is way better than before
      4. The opening of the DAR gates which were closed for 18 years
      5. The distribution of the long overdue Hacienda Luisita to the farmers
      6. The distribution of the agricultural equipmentS that were purchased by the previous government but weren’t distributed for some political reasons
      7. The immediate repatriation of stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia (which if I remember it right, one Kuya was crying when he finally touched base simply because he could now be reunited with his loved ones because those who were sent by the previous government only visited them to have some selfies with them.)
      8. The laglag bala at the airport has finally stopped right after PRRD took office. I personally experienced that worry free moment and noticed that no more luggages are plastic wrapped.
      9. The services in the government agencies are much faster and employees have started to treat the people with some respect and even with a smile. The transactions are much better these days.
      10. The legit balikbayan boxes are no longer mishandled.
      11. The irrigation projects for the farmers have already started nationwide.
      12. The almost 700,000 surrenderees who have promised to change their lives.
      13. The removal of processing fee on travel tax exemption
      14. The resubmission of the 2,000 pesos SSS pension bill
      15. The much empowered servicemen who are now willing to serve the country with pride and higher self esteem
      16. The servicemen’s one in a million dinner opportunity at Malacanang
      17. The rounds in all of the defense camps to see what each station needs so that they can give better service to the country
      18. The shutdown/closure of some mining companies that destroy the country’s natural resources
      19. The removal of the fishing pens in the Laguna Lake to give other small fishermen a fair chance to use it for their livelihood
      20. The new buses from the airport to many major hubs in nearby cities
      21. The one sack rice added to 4Ps cash assistance to our less fortunate fellowmen
      22. The salary increase of the servicemen which is bound to happen any moment soon – and the soon to be state of the art equipped hospital for them.
      23. The hastened benefits claiming of the family of our fallen men
      24. The increased allowance of our olympics delegates
      25. The immediate signing of Freedom of Information
      26. The exposés against local executives, police generals, judges and other top officials in government
      27.The now better looking cleaner Baclaran, Divisoria and other public places
      28. The employment increase and unemployment decrease
      29. The exposés against olligarchs who have been evading to pay taxes
      30. The lower street crimes because most of the nutters who are more likely to commit the crimes have already surrendered and therefore identified
      31. The Mindanao peace process that has resumed again in Malaysia
      32. The bilateral talks with China over the WPS dispute
      33. The launch of Oplan Tokhang which has more positive results
      34. The cooperation and openness of fenced elite subdivisions for Oplan Tokhang as they show support to the war on drugs campaign
      35. The billions worth of drugs seized in the operation
      36. The closure of so many drug labs all over the country, including the floating shabu laboratories operated by Chinese drug lords
      37. The more regulated and SAF manned BUCOR
      38. The no VIP treatment for government officials in airports
      39. The ongoing improvements of MRT/LRT service and other major thoroughfares
      40. The customs installation of CCTVs all over the place to promote transparency
      41. The crackdown of Bilibid Drug Trade and the expose’ of Lielie de Lima
      42. DFA is now faster in processing passports.
      43. Fixers are now out of sight
      44. End of Contractualization
      45. No more age limit requirements to all job seekers.
      46. The closure of online gambling. From 4 thousand outlets during the arroyo admin, to 8 thousand outlets during Aquino admin
      47. OEC exemption for OFWs returning to same employer! Finally no need to pay and go through the troublesome process of acquiring OEC.
      48. The order to extend passport validity to 10 years
      49. The curfew hours for minors.
      50. The release of Abu Sayyaf hostages
      51. The drivers license validity extension up to five years
      52. Karaoke ban after 10:00pm. Peace at last!
      53. The cleaning up of LTO and LTFRB
      54. The deputation of Badjaos as Bantay Dagat (Wow! What an empowerment to the least of our Filipino brothers)
      55. The DAR and BFAR’s boat distribution program, feeding fishers for life
      56. The conversion of the Presidential Plane into an air ambulance
      for the military
      57. The proposed 1.07 trillion 14 Train Railways Project to help ease the traffic congestion problem

      Sad to say, the local media is turning a blind eye to these accomplishments and instead is focusing on unfounded EJK accusations. The foreign media on the other hand get their reports from paid and biased journalists. Worst of all, some leaders of the International Community including the President of the US, EU and UN swallow the reports hook, line and sinker, handle included. I can’t believe that so called dignitaries based their judgments on garbage sources. Get it straight from the Filipino people! Logic is the ability to suspend judgment before proper evaluation, and sadly, these international leaders are grossly wanting. DUTERHEARTS, let us show the world our 16 million strong sentiments. Stop the foreign media from destroying the reputation of our President and in effect, our economy.

      Thanks much to those who contributed!
      Please comment to add if you know of more 🙂

      #totoongpagbabago #welovePRRD #wesupportPRRD

    • Sad to say pero marami ang pikit mata at sarado ang tainga sa mga pgbabago. Mahirap pa rin nila tanggapin na galing probinsya ang Presidente ng Pilipinas. Kagaya ng gnawa nila ky Erap noon dahil drop out hindi dapat mamuno sa mga elite at edukado. . . .? ? ?

    • Repost Mark Louie Dolot

      It will fail. Takot lang ng USA mapunta sa China at Russia ang Pilipinas.. It will be vetoed by China and Russia if ever they will attempt to discredit the Philippines.

      I think they should first review USA Human Rights Violations… Specially killings of black American and the shooting incident in Charlotte , USA.

      Let us all remember , Philippines is the key for any countries who wants to dominate in Southeast Asia… So better for the Philippines to become neutral to get maximum potential of the country. Let these major countries fight with themselves.

      It is about time to support independent Foreign Policy… That is the essence of being independent… We should hate “Double Talk”.

      Just observed countries like Turkey, Syria, and now Hungary. Hungary fights their sovereignty against EU dictatorship in terms of illegal migrant policies. I will not be surprised if Hungary will also break out in EU just like the UK did.

      If UN will not addressed respect sovereign laws of every member countries, surely member states will break out of UN.

      Moreover, as a Filipino ,we must act like our brothers keepers… No one will help and destroy the Filipinos ,it will be only us. So better unite.

  • Come together and rebuild this nation, 97% of PH people will support our President,our country.He knows what he is doing and come Nov, America will elect its President, whether for change or continuity, but let us enjoin the whole world for Peace.No war, nuke not necessary, including US, it’s disastrous to humanity.

  • I commend you for this article. The exchange rate that the yellow media has as it’s headlines, is another “red herring” The main cause is the US Fed lack of competence and the sorry state of its foreign reserves, in fact in a congressional investigation questions are being asked where has XX

  • xXX trillions gone. So far those called to the inquiry have failed to provide any answers and engaging in “doublespeak” another scenario much worse than the missing emails. This is USA 2016

  • to foreigners: beware of the media in the philippines. those guys pretend that they dont understand our language and slang and literalize everything the president says. they report the shallow stuff again and again but the good progressive stuff, which are many, only once probably just to say that they did report it.. people are getting help here, government is doing the best it can to help the poorest of the poor expecting nothing in return. check out the men and women in his cabinet. theyre giving out help left nd right. (so much has been done in a few months u gotta wonder what the past admins did. is it incompetence? corruption? or both?) it has never been like this in the history of the philippines. best thing for foreigners to do is to get a filipino translator and watch from rvtm or ptv on youtube. there you’ll get pure video and audio without any host blabbering in the background nd no sudden cuts midspeech and glitzy graphics. it may seem boring but yea it’s the real deal. what you see n hear on location is really what happened. abs cbn, gma, etc chop n edit shit up to fit whatever story they want. u can compare both sides and you’ll see that it’s really fuckin sickening what media can do. it will also be good knowledge if you feel media is doing some shit in your countries too, learn from us. we need overwhelming support from foreigners right now just like how we did when duterte was running for president up until now. we need you to make alotta noise because it seems like youre the next target of misinformation by our media.

  • Atanciado baka matauhan ka basahin mo..
    Some people are so consumed by their hatred towards Duterte that their eyes are blinded to see the PLAIN TRUTH.
    Anyone who cannot appreciate the following developments do not deserve to live in this country. Get out of the Philippines, you have no right to live here – you don’t care a bit for this country but only for your own goddamned agendas.

    1. The indefinite ceasefire between the MNLF, MILF, CPP NDF and the government (held in Norway)
    2. The centraliZed complaint and action hotlines – 911 and 8888
    3. The one stop shop for OFW in POEA which is way better than before
    4. The opening of the DAR gates which were closed for 18 years
    5. The distribution of the long overdue Hacienda Luisita to the farmers
    6. The distribution of the agricultural equipmentS that were purchased by the previous government but weren’t distributed for some political reasons
    7. The immediate repatriation of stranded OFWs in Saudi Arabia (which if I remember it right, one Kuya was crying when he finally touched base simply because he could now be reunited with his loved ones because those who were sent by the previous government only visited them to have some selfies with them.)
    8. The laglag bala at the airport has finally stopped right after PRRD took office. I personally experienced that worry free moment and noticed that no more luggages are plastic wrapped.
    9. The services in the government agencies are much faster and employees have started to treat the people with some respect and even with a smile. The transactions are much better these days.
    10. The legit balikbayan boxes are no longer mishandled.
    11. The irrigation projects for the farmers have already started nationwide.
    12. The almost 700,000 surrenderees who have promised to change their lives.
    13. The removal of processing fee on travel tax exemption
    14. The resubmission of the 2,000 pesos SSS pension bill
    15. The much empowered servicemen who are now willing to serve the country with pride and higher self esteem
    16. The servicemen’s one in a million dinner opportunity at Malacanang
    17. The rounds in all of the defense camps to see what each station needs so that they can give better service to the country
    18. The shutdown/closure of some mining companies that destroy the country’s natural resources
    19. The removal of the fishing pens in the Laguna Lake to give other small fishermen a fair chance to use it for their livelihood
    20. The new buses from the airport to many major hubs in nearby cities
    21. The one sack rice added to 4Ps cash assistance to our less fortunate fellowmen
    22. The salary increase of the servicemen which is bound to happen any moment soon – and the soon to be state of the art equipped hospital for them.
    23. The hastened benefits claiming of the family of our fallen men
    24. The increased allowance of our olympics delegates
    25. The immediate signing of Freedom of Information
    26. The exposés against local executives, police generals, judges and other top officials in government
    27.The now better looking cleaner Baclaran, Divisoria and other public places
    28. The employment increase and unemployment decrease
    29. The exposés against olligarchs who have been evading to pay taxes
    30. The lower street crimes because most of the nutters who are more likely to commit the crimes have already surrendered and therefore identified
    31. The Mindanao peace process that has resumed again in Malaysia
    32. The bilateral talks with China over the WPS dispute
    33. The launch of Oplan Tokhang which has more positive results
    34. The cooperation and openness of fenced elite subdivisions for Oplan Tokhang as they show support to the war on drugs campaign
    35. The billions worth of drugs seized in the operation
    36. The closure of so many drug labs all over the country, including the floating shabu laboratories operated by Chinese drug lords
    37. The more regulated and SAF manned BUCOR
    38. The no VIP treatment for government officials in airports
    39. The ongoing improvements of MRT/LRT service and other major thoroughfares
    40. The customs installation of CCTVs all over the place to promote transparency
    41. The crackdown of Bilibid Drug Trade and the expose’ of Lielie de Lima
    42. DFA is now faster in processing passports.
    43. Fixers are now out of sight
    44. End of Contractualization
    45. No more age limit requirements to all job seekers.
    46. The closure of online gambling. From 4 thousand outlets during the arroyo admin, to 8 thousand outlets during Aquino admin
    47. OEC exemption for OFWs returning to same employer! Finally no need to pay and go through the troublesome process of acquiring OEC.
    48. The order to extend passport validity to 10 years
    49. The curfew hours for minors.
    50. The release of Abu Sayyaf hostages
    51. The drivers license validity extension up to five years
    52. Karaoke ban after 10:00pm. Peace at last!
    53. The cleaning up of LTO and LTFRB
    54. The deputation of Badjaos as Bantay Dagat (Wow! What an empowerment to the least of our Filipino brothers)
    55. The DAR and BFAR’s boat distribution program, feeding fishers for life
    56. The conversion of the Presidential Plane into an air ambulance
    for the military
    57. The proposed 1.07 trillion 14 Train Railways Project to help ease the traffic congestion problem

    Sad to say, the local media is turning a blind eye to these accomplishments and instead is focusing on unfounded EJK accusations. The foreign media on the other hand get their reports from paid and biased journalists. Worst of all, some leaders of the International Community including the President of the US, EU and UN swallow the reports hook, line and sinker, handle included. I can’t believe that so called dignitaries based their judgments on garbage sources. Get it straight from the Filipino people! Logic is the ability to suspend judgment before proper evaluation, and sadly, these international leaders are grossly wanting. DUTERHEARTS, let us show the world our 16 million strong sentiments. Stop the foreign media from destroying the reputation of our President and in effect, our economy.

    Thanks much to those who contributed!
    Please comment to add if you know of more 🙂

    #totoongpagbabago #welovePRRD #wesupportPRRD

  • Please give our President a chance. He is just like a Tatay who wants to discipline his wayward children. Do not believe in the rumors spread by some that he is behind all the extrajudicial killings. He is a lawyer after all, and a prosecutor, at that. Thus, he knows what the constitutional rights of a person are – even for addicts, drug lords, and what have you.

  • Even during the time of Arroyo and even during Erap’s time, there are “positive changes” as well as with all the reign of other Philippine presidents before Digong. Are you trying to justify the doing of evil acts by simply making “positive changes”?

  • Hahahaha,this just the beginning.Its been months since Pres .Duterte take oath as Pres.and there are already changes.We will wait how he govern this nation before we judge him.Its us to reform,this nation by being supportive to him.How could we move ,if someone is trying to pull us down by throwing criticism and not helping.Why not join hands instead.