MANILA – With all the peace and order initiatives undertaken by the government in the past five years, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Tuesday said that living in the Philippines is now much safer.
He said this noting that the legacy accomplishments of the Duterte administration in maintaining and securing public safety, peace, and order across the Philippines is critical in the continued growth of the country.
“We have given back the streets to our people. It’s safer now to live in the Philippines because we’ve managed to bring down the crime incidence. There’s lesser petty crimes reported like theft. There’s no more “laglag bala” scheme,” he said during an interview.
In the recent presentation of the Security, Justice, and Peace Cabinet Cluster (SJPCC), Gallup’s 2020 law and order index said that 8 out 10 Filipinos felt secure based on their own experiences with crime and law enforcement, placing the Philippines among the top 50 countries with good peace and order, at par with New Zealand, Australia, Serbia, and Poland.
The total crime volume in the country dropped in 2020 to 383, 189 from 520,641 in 2017.
Secretary Andanar said that the unrelenting promotion of the anti-illegal drugs campaign of the administration also contributed to the effectiveness of preventing crime. Over 21,000 barangays have been cleared from the influence of illegal drugs across the country and more than P59 billion worth of illegal drugs were confiscated.
Secretary Andanar also said that while the government continues its campaign, its attention is now also on addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that the country is further promoting the vaccination of all Filipinos against the virus.
The PCOO chief also noted that the government is also doing well on managing the pandemic as told by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“The World Health Organization commended our government for doing a good job in managing the pandemic,” he said.
“In spite of being a developing country and relatively, if you compare our health system to that of the first world countries we are far from them. But we have managed to maintain a low mortality rate of COVID-19. So, we are doing the right thing,” he added.
He encouraged the public to take part and support the government’s push for recovery amid the pandemic. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported that the country’s economy expanded in the second quarter this year with 11.8% growth, ending the recession.
“For the legacy to continue, let’s walk hand in hand with President Rodrigo Duterte in his remaining 11 months so that we will be able to attain economic prosperity, which we have gained prior to the pandemic,” he said.
“We have seen in the last four years of his administration that he knows what he is doing and we’re treading in the right direction,” he added.
The orderly and timely rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program is also crucial especially since Filipino voters are expected to flock to voting precincts for next year’s national elections.
“We need to be able to conduct elections in a clean, honest, and orderly way. And we can only achieve this if we are already vaccinated,” Secretary Andanar said.