Rodrigo Roa Duterte assumed the presidency on June 30, 2016 on the crest of a popular wave of genuine change and high optimism. Six months has passed since his inauguration as the 16th President, the nation has already witnessed drastic changes in public governance characterized by courageous and compassionate leadership and constant performance.
President Duterte launched an unprecedented anti-drug war that saw the surrender of more than a million drug addicts and charted a new course in international relations with his pursuit of an independent foreign policy which means moving strongly and swiftly towards regional economic rebalancing for closer integration. The Philippines has forged closer ties with ASEAN, China, Japan and Russia.
As the President walked the extra mile for peace, the Chief Executive made the country’s economic growth the fastest among emerging Asian economies and lowered unemployment to its lowest level in more than a decade.
The Duterte administration likewise unveiled a budget to usher in the golden age of infrastructure and bring forth the promise of real change in the country. To restore faith in government, he moved the bureaucracy to effectively implement programs that benefit the poorest. Basic services, formerly broken or unavailable, are now working. More passengers are now being served by our trains while driver’s license cards are now ready for pick up. Free education, free hospitalization and medicine, and free irrigation are now within the grasp of the marginalized, the disadvantaged and the vulnerable.
The President hit the ground running in the first six months and we expect much more will be done in the succeeding months and years. After all, the President’s heart is in the right place, and he has only the interests of the Filipino people and the nation in his mind first and foremost.