PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA) tomorrow before Congress with a mixed report card. The Manila Times tracked 52 promises he made in his first SONA, and found that after one year in office, 28 promises or 54 percent of the total were either fulfilled or partly fulfilled.
Fulfilling many of the pledges will take time, such as pending legislation in Congress. As a result, efforts in 16 areas or the total were still ongoing. Among these bills are the Bangsamoro Basic Law carving out a wider autonomous region in Mindanao, and amendments to the Bank Secrecy Law aimed at curbing corruption.
Research by The Manila Times however found that eight promises (15 percent) were not fulfilled, such as the passage of a bill to solve the traffic and transport crisis through emergency powers.
Two other critical areas have seen very little progress: the proposed shift to a federal form of government through charter change and peace talks with communist rebels, which have bogged down over rebel attacks on government troops.
Criminality and illegal drugs
1. Relentless and sustained fight against criminality and illegal drugs—fulfilled
• From July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, the Philippine National Police (PNP) conducted 63,926 anti-drug operations resulting in the arrest of 86,926 and the deaths of 3,200 drug suspects who allegedly resisted authorities.
2. Creation of an interagency committee on illegal drugs that will integrate efforts and strengthen the partnerships of all stakeholders—fulfilled
• On March 6, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 15, forming the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs. PNP Public Information Office Director Dionardo Carlos said the “war-on-drugs” was a “work in progress.”
3. Use of military camps and facilities for drug rehabilitation.—partially fulfilled
• Rehabilitation centers were established in two military camps, in Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur and Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija
4. For the National Police Commission to hasten the conduct of investigation and adjudication of administrative cases against police officers involved in criminal and illegal activities—ongoing
• PNP Director General Ronald de la Rosa dismissed at least 307 police officers on his first year in office. Out of the 204 cases handled by PNP Internal Affairs, 160 were dismissed.
Bureaucratic red tape
5. Establishment of hotline 8888 for public complaints—fulfilled
• The Civil Service Commission launched hotline 8888 in August 2016 to serve as a complaint desk of the public. Complaints received involved the slow-paced processing of documents, arrogant employees, and delayed releases of documents.
6. Reduce to three days the processing time for applications for permit and licenses—ongoing
• The Department of Trade and Industry, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology signed a joint memorandum circular on August 30, 2016 to streamline business permits and licensing systems.
7. For the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to streamline the documentary requirements and passport applications and open additional consular offices in strategic places to decongest Metro Manila sites and avoid the cause of suffering of passport applicants – partially fulfilled
• On June 6, the DFA added 15 data-capture machines to speed up the passport application process at its consular office in the Aseana complex. However, applicants still wait two to three months to secure an appointment date. On the appointed time, applicants still form a long queue.
Defense and national security
8. Employing the full force of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to crush the Abu Sayyaf criminals who operate under the guise of religious fervor—ongoing
• The AFP and PNP have been conducting “search-and-destroy” operations against the ASG but the group continues to sow fear and terror.
9. Increase spending on basic education and incorporate mandatory education about the evils of drugs—partially fulfilled
• Under the Duterte administration, 53,831 teaching and 13,280 non-teaching positions were filled up, and 40,000 more teacher items are needed in the 2017-2018 school year. Teacher salary subsidy of P18,000 per year or P1,500 per month of service was granted.
10. Intensification and expansion of Alternative Learning System (ALS) programs—partially fulfilled
• 2016: 691,461 learners enrolled. ALS was offered to drug surrenderees in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
11. Mandatory financial education for all migrants and their communities with incentives to encourage entrepreneurship among them to help ensure that the hard-earned money of Filipinos overseas are put into productive use—ongoing
12. Increase spending on basic education—fulfilled
• The Department of Budget and Management allocated P543 billion to the Department of Education for 2017. Included in the budget were P125.4 billion for school buildings for the construction of 37,492 classrooms and replacement of 10,000 others.
13. Construction of access roads to boost tourism—fulfilled
• The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) built the access road leading to the Napidad View Deck and Water Falls in Takulao, Mataltala and Pao, Dumalneg, Ilocos Norte, costing P32 million. Also constructed was the P43-million Aringay-Tubao alternate road leading to Asin Hot Spring and Baguio City. The P41-million Naguilian-Bagulin Road leading to Tuddingan Falls and Kedlap Burial Cave, Naguilian-Bagulin in La Union was also built.
14. Road development for agriculture, and acceleration of infrastructure spending by improving national roads and bridges and other road network master plans for inter-island linkage projects – partially fulfilled
• Roads improvements were implemented but inter-island linkages remain plans. DPWH has repaired nine major roads in Metro Manila as of July 14. It completed strengthening works at Magallanes Interchange on June 22. DPWH also opened two lanes on Commonwealth Avenue on May 31 in preparation for the construction of the MRT-7.
Energy, environment and eco-tourism
15. Military to intensify efforts against illegal logging, illegal mining and other destructive practices that aggravate the devastation of natural resources—ongoing
• The Army’s 10th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Rafael Valencia, has been active in abating illegal logging and mobilizing the anti-illegal logging task force in Mawab, Compostela Valley.
16. Review of permits granted to mining, logging and other activities to ensure compliance with government standards and if warranted, amend, suspend or revoke permits—ongoing
• The Mining Industry Coordination Council has vowed to continue the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ review of mining permits and contracts despite the departure of Secretary Regina Lopez.
17. Final closure and rehabilitation of the sanitary landfill in Carmona, and at the same time adopt waste-to-energy facilities—partially fulfilled
• The Carmona Sanitary Landfill in Laguna is closed and is undergoing rehabilitation while the waste-to-energy procedure is still being discussed.
18. To develop Laguna de Bay into a vibrant economic zone showcasing eco-tourism.—ongoing
• The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) has approved plans for leisure parks and view decks. Illegal fish pens were dismantled beginning April. The LLDA has drawn up a 10-year Laguna de Bay Region Master Plan, approved by Regional Development Council of Calabarzon last month.
19. Enactment of a revised Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL)—ongoing
• Congress has not passed a bill providing for the BBL that will form a political entity in Mindanao in lieu of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. A revised draft of the BBL was submitted to President Duterte on July 17, after delays for various reasons.
20. Shifting the form of government to federal—not fulfilled
• Congress has yet to discuss proposed changes to the Constitution. Malacañang has issued an executive order forming a commission to study charter change.
21. Declaring a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front (CPP-NDF) to immediately stop violence on the ground, restore peace in the communities and provide an enabling environment conducive to the resumption of the peace talks.—not fulfilled
• Just a few days before the President’s SONA, the government had pulled out of the back-channel peace negotiations with the communist movement following the communist rebels’ attack on a convoy of the Presidential Security Group in Cotabato. The peace panels had four rounds of talks.
22. Enhance 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and direct the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide the rice subsidies to the poorest of the families—partially fulfilled
• The DSWD has started releasing rice subsidy of P600 a month to 4Ps beneficiaries, vowing to regularly monitor and report the distribution of rice subsidy to maintain transparency and avoid the risk of fund misuse.
23. Revival of the Pasig River Ferry Service system—fulfilled
• The Pasig River Ferry Service system was re-launched with a free shuttle service on Dec. 9, 2016. The ferry service operates from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The fare ranges from P15 to P95. It has 12 stations.
24. Intensify anti-colorum campaign and out-of-line apprehension—fulfilled
• Intensified anti-colorum operations and out-of-line apprehensions were jointly conducted by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Land Transportation Office and the PNP Highway Patrol Group.
25. Extension of the validity of the driver’s license validity from three to five years—partially fulfilled
• The House of Representatives approved on May 22 House Bill 5648 extending the validity of driver’s licenses to five years. The Senate approved on May 30 Senate Bill 1449 allowing the same. New drivers licenses have yet to be issued however.
26. Increasing the number of running MRT-LRT trains—not fulfilled
• Passengers still fall in long lines to get a train ride especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Forty-eight new train cars for the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) remain unused due to issues and defects on compatibility, power supply and signaling system.
27. Extension of the Light Rail Transit’s (LRT) operating hours—fulfilled
• Earlier this month, the operating hours of LRT were extended, to 4:30 a.m. to 10:15 p.m., from 5 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., to serve more passengers. The new schedule is expected to increase LRT-1’s daily trips to 554 from 512, as well as the number of daily commuters.
28. Pursue more railway projects in Metro Manila and key cities, including Mindanao—ongoing
• The National Economic Development Authority approved on June 1 three railway projects, namely the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of the Mindanao Railway Project, the south line of the North-South Railway Project and the Malolos-Clark Railway Project.
Media and Communication
29. Implement Freedom of Information (FOI) in the Executive branch—fulfilled
• The President signed Executive Order 2 on the eve of his first SONA, instituting FOI in the Executive branch. It was implemented on Nov. 18, 2016, almost 5 months after it was signed. However, critics have cited nine exceptions that could impede public access to information.
Human rights, women’s rights and judicial reforms
30. Human rights must work to uplift human dignity, but human rights cannot be used as a shield or an excuse to destroy the country—not fulfilled
• The President’s pledge to combat criminality and drugs in the Philippines led to killings and human rights violations, according to critics.
31. Fully implement the Magna Carta for Women to ensure that men and women will be partners in the pursuit of country’s economic, social, and cultural and political developments—partially fulfilled
• Productive employment for women is still insufficient. Gabriela Women’s Party notes that 16.22 million women or half of the 32.5-million total population of working women in the country are shut out of the labor force.
32. Wage a war against those who make a mockery of laws, and swift prosecution of offenders—partially fulfilled
• From January to December 2016, 334,100 (88.5 percent) of 377,533 filed criminal complaints were resolved, of which 283,831 cases were filed in court, and 23,184 suspects were convicted.
33. To pursue an intensified war against human traffickers and illegal recruiters that prey on migrants—fulfilled
• In a 2017 US State Department report, the Philippines has met the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking, retaining a “Tier 1” ranking.
Economic development and jobs
34. Continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies—fulfilled
• Robust fiscal policies, alongside credit growth and stable inflation, strengthened private consumption.
35. Lower personal and corporate income tax rates and relax the bank secrecy law—ongoing
• The House of Representatives approved on May 31a tax reform bill called the “Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion” or Train Act. The Senate has yet to approve its version of the bill.
36. Attract more investments and to develop labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and tourism—ongoing
• The Philippines posted a 6.4-percent growth in gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2017, with manufacturing contributing significantly to industrial growth.
37. Establish a one-stop shop within the civil aviation complex of Clark Airport for the benefit of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)—fulfilled
• The second one-stop shop established inside Clark’s freeport zone was opened two months after President Duterte made this promise.
38. Enhance local business environment by addressing bottlenecks in business registration and processing, streamlining investment application processes and integrate the services of various government offices—ongoing
• Last March, the House committee on trade and industry begun discussions on four measures to promote ease in doing business in the country through the establishment of a national policy and the creation of a commission to carry it out through one-stop-shop offices.
39. Implementation of the Reproductive Health law—partially fulfilled
• President Duterte issued Executive Order 12 to implement the Responsible Parenthood Act of 2012.
40. Health insurance coverage for all Filipinos—ongoing
• The 2017 national budget allocates P96.336 billion for the Health department, including spending for additional health facilities and drug rehabilitation centers.
International affairs and diplomacy
41. Suppress tensions with neighboring countries and establish corporate partnership with countries with similar interests—partially fulfilled
• The Philippines has reached out to China, despite territorial disputes, and Russia. The United States’ criticism of extrajudicial killings in the drug war has caused friction between the two countries.
42. Develop a National Broadband Plan to accelerate the deployment of fiber-optic cables and wireless technologies to improve internet speed—partially fulfilled
• Although the government has claimed progress in the NBP project, it has yet to be utilized by Filipinos because of a pending feasibility study. A plan by the DICT is expected to provide at least 10 mbps in connections to all households by 2020 at a much lower cost than today’s average of P1,299 per month.
43. To provide free wi-fi access in selected public places including parks, plazas, public libraries, schools, government hospitals, train stations airports and seaports—partially fulfilled
• The government was able to provide free wi-fi access in selected public areas, including EDSA. However, 183 more areas have yet to be covered by the project.
44. Construction of farm-to-market roads—partially fulfilled
• The administration has started construction of the Malitubog-Marigadao Irrigation Project Stage 2, and the irrigation project in North Cotabato and Maguindanao.
45. Conduct a nationwide soil analysis to determine areas most suitable for rice farming to optimize production with the use of effective soil rehabilitation and fertilization—fulfilled
• The administration has completed a National Color-Coded Agriculture Guide Map. It was launched on March 7, 2017. It incorporates and digitalizes the latest scientific data on soil analysis and climate impact, as well as geographical hazards and weather prediction.
46. Strictly enforce fisheries laws, particularly on illegal fishing and promote aquaculture along riverbanks and in backyards—ongoing
47. Amendments to the Bank Secrecy Law—ongoing
48. Emergency powers to solve transport and traffic problems—not fulfilled
49. Establishment of a People’s Broadcasting Corp., to replace PTV-4, with separate channels for Muslims and Lumad—not fulfilled
50. Extending the validity of passports to 10 years from five years—ongoing
51. Enacting the Whistleblower Protection Act—not fulfilled
52. Consolidation of agencies handling OFWs—not fulfilled
• Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said the OFW department is still under study. An OFW bank will open later this year. Tita Valderama with Ian Benedict Amurao, John Anthony Dungan, Keara Arielle Eugenio, Abcedee Ferrer, Caryl Christine Manabat, Angel Love Mendoza, Ira Minella Milag, Kathleen Palapar, Angela Se, Ginina Siochi and Klaire Ting (TMTC interns)