Malacañang cites gains of ‘strong and decisive Duterte leadership’

January 01, 2019

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has shown “strong and decisive leadership” in advancing the nation’s interests since taking office two and half years ago, Malacañang said in its 2018 yearend report.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, in Malacañang’s 54-page report, cited some of the Duterte administration’s achievements in the past year which include the return of the historic Balangiga Bells, declaration of the Philippine Rise as a marine resource reserve, signing of a memorandum of agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait for the protection of overseas Filipino workers, the rehabilitation of Boracay, and the government’s “anti-endo” campaign or the campaign to end the practice of labor contractualization.

Panelo also mentioned the signing of “landmark pieces of legislation” including free irrigation, free tuition in 112 state universities and colleges, a national mental health policy and a national feeding program for undernourished school children.

Executive issuances were also highlighted by the Palace official, which included protecting the right of all workers to security of tenure, reviving barter in Mindanao, and increasing employees’ compensation benefits in the private sector and allowance in the government.

Citing National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) data, the Palace said the Philippine economy “has been growing at least 6 percent for 14 consecutive quarters now.” This is the strongest economic growth the country has seen since the mid-1970s, according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.

Meanwhile, 35 out of the 75 infrastructure flagship projects which have a total investment requirement of P1.54 trillion have been approved by the NEDA as of end of November 2018.

Malacañang also trumpeted the administration’s advancements in the country’s justice system.

According to data from the Department of Justice, annual preliminary investigation backIogs were reduced from 59 percent in 2015 to 45 percent by the end of 2017.

Total nationwide conviction rate increased from 18 percent in 2015 to 22 percent by the end of 2017 while nationwide conviction rate on illegal drugs cases also increased from 28 percent in 2016 to 33 percent.

For the government’s drive against corruption and exacting accountability and promoting good governance, the Palace cited 17 Boracay officials who were charged; 237 Ombudsman decisions; 186 local officials police deputation withdrawn; 57 complaints against local officials investigated; 16 local officials to be charged for failure to organize the Barangay Anti-Drug Abuse Council (BADAC); and eight show-cause orders issued and implemented against illegal mining operations in Caraga.

The National Security Council, according to Malacañang has monitored, discussed and resolved national security issues and concerns through the Cabinet Cluster on Security, Justice and Peace (SJP).

On the West Philippine Sea dispute, the Palace said the Security Cluster “recommended courses of action by the Philippine (PH) government on the political, diplomatic and socio-economic impact of the Arbitral Tribunal award.”

For peace and order issues, the Security Cluster resolved issues and concerns related to the peace process with the Communist Party of the Philippines/ New People’s Army/National Democratic Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.

The Security Cluster also provided recommendations that would address public reactions to the list of government officials/personnel involved in illegal drug-related activities; and issue of extra-judicial killings (EJKs),  the Palace noted.

Panelo, who is also the President’s  chief legal counsel, said “2019 will certainly be an exciting year” as the government looks forward to the implementation of the Philippine National Identification System, the plebiscite for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the country’s hosting of the Southeast Asian Games and the entry of the official third major telco player.

“With all these, the Duterte administration will certainly enter the new year with enthusiasm and vigor in serving the people,” Panelo said.

Greater populace. Together, we shall move forward for a better and more prosperous Philippines,” he added.  -30-