1. ANTI-CRIME AND ILLEGAL DRUGS
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Authority (PDEA) chief Isidro Lapeña has claimed success in the first year of the war on drugs. A total of 63,926 anti-drug operations were conducted, netting 86,933 drug personalities and 1.3 million surrenderers in the first year of the Duterte administration.
PDEA says there has been a 26% reduction in the Philippines' total drug market. A total of 2,429 kilos of shabu with a street value of P12 billion were seized from July 1 to June 13, 2017.
Latest Philippine National Police (PNP) data show that a total of 3,200 drug personalities were killed in anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016 to June 20, 2017, or 9 killed daily in presumed-legitimate anti-drug operations in the first year of the Duterte administration.
PNP chief Ronald Dela Rosa said the war on drugs has improved peace and order. According to the PNP, the number of index crimes (e.g. murder, homicide, physical injury, rape, robbery, theft) fell from from 134,958 crimes in July 2015-March 2016 to 96,398 in July 2016 to March 2017 or a 28% decrease in index crimes.
Dela Rosa said people now feel safer on the streets. The public is also satisfied with the administration in terms of fighting crime and gave it a +41 (equivalent to good) net satisfaction rating, based on a March 2017 Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
However, human rights advocates say the anti-crime campaign has also resulted to an increase in extra-judicial killings and human rights violations.
Based on PNP data, the number of murder cases increased by 35%, from 6,964 cases in July 2015 to March 2016 to 9,402 cases from July 2016 to March 2017.
The PNP has determined that out of the 12,833 homicide cases from July 1, 2016 to June 16, 2017, 2,098 deaths were drug-related and 2,535 non-drug related. A total of 8,200 homicide cases were under investigation "with motives to be determined," the PNP said.
President Duterte has set a new time frame for his war on drugs, saying it would take much longer than the 6 months he had originally set, citing the supposed 4.7 million drug users (Dangerous Drugs Board data) in the country.
2. CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLICE 'SCALAWAGS'
The Philippine National Police continues to suffer from so-called "scalawags" within its ranks, an institutional problem made worse by a number of complaints of police abuse in the intensified war on drugs and other anti-crime operations.
Duterte ordered the transfer of some 200 erring cops to Basilan, while police chief Ronald dela Rosa sacked at least 150 cops linked to various illegal activities.
3. HUMAN RIGHTS
Amid criticisms of human rights violations linked to the President’s war on drugs, former Senator and now Foreign Affairs Sec. Alan Peter Cayetano told a the United Nations Human Rights Council that the Philippines has started drafting a plan to address human rights concerns in the next 5 years.
The Commission on Human Rights has lauded the administration’s programs that address basic rights, but continues to voice concerns over killings related to the war on drugs.
President Duterte ordered an intensified operation against the Abu Sayyaf Group, as kidnappings continue in Mindanao. The military said that since January this year, at least 258 Abu Sayyaf members have been “subdued,” of whom 94 were killed, 66 arrested, and 98 surrendered.
The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia agreed to ramp up cooperation to address the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorist network.
The three neighbors agreed to cooperate closely in the wake of the Marawi City siege, which saw hundreds of Islamic State-inspired terrorists launch an attack on May 23, 2017 in a bid to establish an Islamic State province in Mindanao.
5. PEACE AGENDA
Peace efforts under the Duterte administration remain on track. However, peace talks between government and the communists have been on and off as New People's Army (NPA) forces continue to attack soldiers and policemen. The NPAs have also continued their revolutionary taxation and operations against a number of plantations and business operations, especially in Mindanao. The fifth round of formal talks, where contentious issues of socioeconomic reforms and a bilateral ceasefire agreement were to be discussed, was cancelled after the NPAs ambushed a Presidential Security Guard convoy in North Cotabato on July 19, 2017.
The peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) moved forward after the Bangsamoro Transition Commission submitted to President Duterte a new draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that will enable the group’s peace pact with the Aquino government in 2014.
6. SOLID GROWTH/LOW INFLATION/DOLLAR RESERVES/STRONG FISCAL POSITION
Relatively high economic growth under President Duterte has so far been maintained, with the economy registering 7.1 percent, 6.6 percent, and 6.4 percent growth in the last three quarters. Growth slowed down in the last two quarters but was still above 6 percent, although analysts said this was due to the absence of election spending that boosted growth in the first half of 2016.
The government believes its Build, Build, Build infrastructure program will help maintain growth in the remainder of President Duterte’s term.
7. TAX REFORMS: MORE EQUITABLE AND EFFICIENT/ LOWER PERSONAL AND CORP. INCOME TAX/RELAX BANK SECRECY
The House of Representatives in May 2017 passed on final reading the first package of President Duterte’s tax reform measure, which seeks to lower income taxes and hike taxes on certain goods such as oil and sugar-sweetened drinks. The proposed measure, however, will have to overcome opposition in the Senate, as some senators have expressed concern over higher taxes on basic goods that will affect the poor.
8. JOB CREATION FOR INCLUSIVE GROWTH
The unemployment rate went down to 5.7 percent in April 2017 from 6.6 percent in January 2017. Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the government is confident there will be inclusive growth by the end of the President’s term, citing the projected 12 million jobs expected to be created under the government’s P8.4-trillion infrastructure program.
9. RH LAW IMPLEMENTATION
President Duterte vowed to vigorously implement the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act which was passed under his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III.
In January, Duterte signed Executive Order 12 to ensure the full implementation of the reproductive health law. The government wants to help Filipinos manage the size of their families to help bring down the poverty rate from 21.6% in 2015 to 14% by the end of Duterte's term in 2022.
10. ENTREPRENEURSHIP/ FINANCING FOR SMEs
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that as of July 2017, the government was in the process of rolling out its P1 billion loan fund to wean provinces off shadow lenders who charge exorbitant interest rates.
Lopez said up to P30 billion would be needed to defeat "5-6" lenders. The government aims to offer loans to micro-entrepreneurs in 81 provinces, including the 30 poorest.
11. TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE
The government is embarking on an P8-trillion program to usher in the “golden age of infrastructure." According to the Duterte government’s National Tourism Development Plan, the Philippines will have to invest $23 billion in tourism infrastructure to make the sector sustainable and highly competitive.
12. AGRICULTURE SECTOR MODERNIZATION
Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said one of the biggest accomplishments of the Duterte administration in the agriculture sector is the provision of free irrigation for small rice farmers, sourced from the P38.4 billion budget of the National Irrigation Authority in 2017.
Piñol said the Department of Agriculture (DA) also launched an improved mechanization program, which trains farm workers to become operators and mechanics of farm equipment.
The national average yield per hectare for rice rose to 4.28 metric tons per harvest from 3.9 metric tons, which translates to an increase of about 5.12 million metric tons of national harvest.
13. SOIL ANALYSIS/RICE FARMING PRODUCTIVITY
The Department of Agriculture also launched the National Color-Coded Agricultural Guide Map which identifies agricultural areas that are suitable for 20 crops. Piñol said the map revealed more areas ideal for rice farming.
14. FLOOD CONTROL IN METRO MANILA
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has scheduled the clean-up and de-clogging of waterways such as creeks and esteros in the metropolis from March 1 to July 26, 2017.
Deepening of open waterways (67,790 linear meters), de-clogging of drainage laterals (434,850 linear meters), and desilting of drainage mains (15,000 linear meters) are also underway.
15. POLITICAL REFORMS
President Duterte vowed to change the country’s system of government from unitary to federal so that regional governments would be empowered. The Department of the Interior and Local Government, since August 2016, has been conducting a nationwide information campaign on federalism.
Changing the type of government requires changes to the 1987 Constitution. As of posting, the president has yet to name members of the consultative committee which will review the Charter.
16. ANTI-RED TAPE
The government launched in August 2016 the President's Hotline or 8888, dedicated to complaints against fixers, corrupt officials, and poor government services.
According to the Civil Service Commission, which supervises the hotline service, the Social Security System and the Land Transportation Office were still the government agencies with the most number of complaints over red tape-related concerns. Despite the volume of complaints, the resolution rate improved to 95 percent this year from 87 percent last year, data showed.
17. ISSUE MOTOR VEHICLE PLATES AT POINT OF SALE, NOT THROUGH LTO
The backlog in the distribution of vehicle plates continues to plague the Land Transportation Office (LTO). LTO chief Edgar Galvante said the backlog in distribution of new plates was 6 million as of June 30, 2017.
Galvante said, government has allotted P1 billion for the procurement of new vehicle plates, as the agency deals with a court case that halted the delivery of a portion of about 15 million vehicle plates purchased during the previous administration.
18. EXTEND DRIVER'S LICENSE VALIDITY FROM 3 TO 5 YEARS
President Duterte’s promise to extend the validity of driver’s license has received support from lawmakers. The bicameral committee report seeking the extension of the license’s validity from a minimum of five years to a maximum of 10 years was ratified in May 2017.
19. EXTEND PASSPORT VALIDITY TO 10 YEARS/STREAMLINE DOCU REQUIREMENTS/ OPEN ADDITIONAL CONSULAR OFFICES
A bill extending the validity of passports to 10 years from the original 5 years is awaiting President Duterte’s signature. Both chambers of Congress approved in May 2017 a bill amending Republic Act 8329 or the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, which set the validity of passports at 5 years.
20. TRAIN TICKETS ISSUED IN STORES, MALLS
Since its launch during the previous administration in October 2015, the Beep card has expanded its list of reloading stations, which include convenience stores, malls, and payment centers.
The payment system is being a run by a joint venture between Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Inc.
21. PASIG RIVER FERRY SERVICE TO EASE TRAFFIC
Government launched in December 2016 the “Enhanced Pasig River Ferry Service” as an alternative mode of transport for Metro Manila residents. To date, the MMDA operates and maintains 11 ferries and 12 stations along the stretch of Pasig River.
22. ANTI-COLORUM/OUT-OF-LINE APPREHENSION/REMOVAL OF TERMINALS
The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board slapped ride-sharing apps Uber and Grab with a fine of P5 million each, citing violations of the terms of their accreditation. It also ordered the deactivation of about 50,000 Grab and Uber partner drivers who have no certificate convenience.
Amid strong public opposition, the LTFRB allowed Grab and Uber to appeal their alleged colorum violations, effectively putting on hold its apprehension order against the firms' unregistered vehicles.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) ordered shut down three bus terminals along EDSA for violating the “nose in, nose out” policy."
23. METRO MANILA TRAFFIC/EMERGENCY POWERS
A year has passed since Duterte assumed office, but Congress has yet to pass a law granting the President emergency powers to help solve traffic woes in the country’s major urban areas.
The government has launched a massive infrastructure program aimed at decongesting the capital and easing traffic. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar said his department will vigorously pursue the completion of critical infrastructure projects under the Duterte administration even without emergency powers.
24. IMPROVE TRAINS/EXTEND OPERATING HOURS OF LRT
According to the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), the last commercial trips of LRT Line 2’s easternmost terminal (Santolan) and westernmost terminal (Recto) have been extended to 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively, effective July 3, 2017.
25. PURSUE RAIL PROJECTS/MINDANAO RAIL/DAVAO TRANSIT/CEBU TRANSIT, ETC.
Building roads and other transportation infrastructure aimed at easing traffic in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao City are among the priorities under President Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” program.
The Metro Cebu Expressway and Davao City Bypass projects are expected to start in 2018. The National Economic and Development Authority has approved the budget for the Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1 (Tagum-Davao-Digos Segment) amounting to P35 billion. The transportation department said construction of the 105-kilometer segment of the 830-kilometer railway network will begin in 2018.
26. DECONGEST NAIA/TRANSFER OF GENERAL AVIATION/TAP CLARK AIRPORT
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in May 2017 approved the budget for the expansion of the Clark International Airport worth P2.8 billion. The expansion project will increase the airport’s annual capacity to 8 million passengers from the current 4.2 million.
The government also recently launched the first five markers of the Manila-Clark Railway.
27. ILLEGAL LOGGING/ILLEGAL MINING
The government launched a high-profile campaign against illegal mining during the time of Environment Secretary Lopez, shutting down 23 mines. Lopez’s appointment, however, was rejected by the bicameral Commission on Appointments. She was replaced by former military chief Roy Cimatu, who is now reviewing the appeals of firms whose mining sites were ordered closed.
President Duterte has also created a committee to study the possible implementation of a total log ban in the Philippines.
28. ILLEGAL FISHING
In a bid to eradicate illegal fishing, the Department of Agriculture (DA) launched an annual search for the most outstanding coastal communities in the country.
The DA also launched a name-and-shame campaign against barangays, towns and cities where illegal fishing was prevalent.
29. BREAK UP BIG FISH PENS IN LAGUNA LAKE/TRANSFORM IT INTO AN ECOZONE SHOWCASING ECOTOURISM
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) said it will dismantle thousands of hectares of huge fish pens, many owned by big companies, in Laguna de Bay. The LLDA said it would reduce the maximum size of fish pens from 50 hectares to 25 hectares to make the Laguna de Bay more sustainable for fishermen.
LLDA data show there are about 13,000 to 14,000 hectares of fish pens all over Laguna de Bay, but studies say fish pens in the lake should cover only a total of 9,200 hectares.
30. CLOSURE OF CARMONA SANITARY LANDFILL/ADOPT WASTE-TO-ENERGY PROJECTS AND TECHNOLOGY
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said it is working with the Japanese government on a project using advanced waste-to-energy technologies that comply with global emissions standard, through thermal processes that do not include incinerators. These are located in three pilot sites, in the cities of Quezon, Davao, and Cebu.
31. GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE
Contrary to his previous pronouncements, President Duterte signed in March 2017 the Paris Agreement on Climate Change aimed at slashing greenhouse gases and keeping global temperature increases to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius.
President Duterte was initially against the pact, fearing it would stymie the Philippines’ industrial growth.
32. CREATE PEOPLE'S BROADCASTING CORP AND REPLACE PTV-4
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said his office in on track in terms of Salaam Digital TV and the planning of the Mindanao broadcast hub in Davao. Salaam Digital TV is already test broadcasting on ABS-CBN TV Plus, while groundbreaking of its broadcast hub in Davao will happen within the year. The Philippine Broadcasting Corporation Bill is still in Congress.
33. EO ON FREEDOM OF INFO
President Duterte signed the executive order on Freedom of Information (FOI) on July 23, 2016, two days before he delivered his first State of the Nation Address. According to Assistant Communications Secretary Kris Ablan, Malacañang's Freedom of Information program director, all 22 executive departments, including the Office of the President and the Office of the Vice President, have produced FOI manuals.
There is a 70 percent compliance rate among national government agencies, but only one-fourth of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) and only 4 percent of state universities and colleges (SUCs) have complied with the president's full disclosure order, Ablan said.
34. AO ON TASK FORCE ON MEDIA KILLINGS
President Duterte created in October 2016 a task force under his office that will look into media killings. The task force, is mandated to receive reports on members of the media in danger and make sure they are safe from any form of violence.
Malacañang said in the first six months since of its establishment, the task force handled 24 cases concerning the media.
35. ADDRESS LOW PROSECUTORIAL EFFECTIVENESS AND EFFICIENCY
The Department of Justice, in its 2017 accomplishment report, said that from January to December 2016, 334,100 cases (88.5%) of 377,533 filed criminal complaints were resolved. Of these, 283,831 cases have been filed in court.
The DOJ said this surpasses the target of at least 85% disposition or resolution rate. In the same period, 23,184 convictions were secured, which translates to a 76.7% success rate compared to 71.9% the year before.
The DOJ said it needs at least 1,500 lawyers to fill the gaps in its manpower.
36. ENACT WHISTEBLOWER PROTECTION LAW/STRENGTHEN WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM
The bill seeking protection for whistleblowers remains pending before the House Committee on Justice, according to its principal author, Kabayan Rep. Harry Roque said.
At least 11 other bills in the House of Representatives seeking protection and benefits for whistleblowers and their families are also pending before the justice committee.
37. INCREASE LAWYERS AND SUPPORT STAFF OF PAO
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta said President Duterte fulfilled his promise to increase the number of PAO lawyers and support staff. Acosta told ABS-CBN News that 397 lawyers are expected to be hired this year, with 100 of them taking their oath on July 24, 2017. A second batch of 397 lawyers will also be hired in 2018.
Acosta said the 794 additional lawyers will fill the gap in the PAO’s manpower needs. Currently, PAO employs 1,666 lawyers.
38. DEVELOP NAT'L BROADBAND PLAN/IMPROVE INTERNET SPEED
Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima said his department has a blueprint on the national broadband plan, aimed at delivering internet service to far-flung areas in the country and boosting internet speed. President Duterte approved the national broadband plan in March 2017.
Salalima said the department is now studying which facilities of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines can be utilized for the creation of the national broadband infrastructure.
39. FREE WI-FI IN PUBLIC PLACES
Information and Communications Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima added that the government has started putting up free Wi-Fi access in some public places around the country.
Free Wi-Fi connectivity has been made available in 330 public places across 61 localities nationwide. The target is to establish over 100,000 sites for 10 years, with 13,024 sites in 2017.
40. SEPARATE DEPARTMENT FOR OFWs
President Duterte repeatedly promised to set up a separate department for overseas Filipinos. Currently, there are at least 6 proposed measures in Congress seeking the establishment of such a department.
However, this appears to have been set aside for now, with Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III saying “it’s no longer in line with the thrust of government to come up with a leaner government.”
41. URGE MERALCO/COOPS TO PUT UP ELECTRICITY IN RELOCATION SITES AND DEPRESSED AREAS
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said efforts have raised the number of households with access to electricity to 90.65 percent as of December 2016.
Homes in Luzon and the Visayas are almost fully energized at 95.5 percent and 94 percent respectively, he said.
Government is "doubling efforts" to energize a quarter of households without power in Mindanao, where electrification remains at 74 percent.
42. PRIORITIZE PERMITS FOR POWER DEVT FOR INDUSTRIALIZATION
President Duterte in June 2017 signed an executive order creating an Energy Investment Coordinating Council in order to streamline regulatory procedures affecting energy projects.
43. INTENSIFY SOCIAL PROTECTION FOR ANTI-POVERTY/ CONTINUE 4Ps
The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps, which began during the administration of Gloria Arroyo, was continued by her predecessors Benigno Aquino III and Rodrigo Duterte.
The Duterte government allotted P78.2 billion for the 4Ps program.
44. INTRODUCE RICE SUBSIDIES FOR POOREST FAMILIES
The Department of Social Welfare and Development announced in March 2017 that the government introduced an additional P600 rice subsidy for each 4Ps household beneficiary.
45. INCREASE SPENDING ON BASIC EDUCATION
According to the Philippine Business for Education (PBED), the Duterte administration has increased the budget for education, which is now at roughly 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product, close to the international standard of 6 percent. The Department of Education (DepEd) has also filled the need for additional classrooms and teachers. Data from DepEd said the teacher-student ratio is now at 1:35, said Love Basillote, executive director of PBED.
46. INCREASE SPENDING ON BASIC EDUCATION/INCORPORATE MANDATORY EDUCATION ON EVILS OF DRUGS
Education Secretary Leonor Briones has sought to strengthen the department’s National Drug Education Program (NDEP), which has been under implementation for years.
Under DepEd Memorandum 2000, s. 2016, among the measures established to boost the program is the launching of Barkada Kontra Droga chapters in schools, intensifying anti-drug abuse information campaigns; supporting the activities planned by the designated regional and schools division NDEP coordinators; and involving Parent-Teacher-Community Associations and pupil/student organizations in drug abuse prevention activities.
47. INTENSIFY/EXPAND ALTERNATIVE LEARNING SYSTEMS
Briones said her department prioritizes the expansion of the Alternative Learning System (ALS). She said the 27.7 million learners expected in the school year 2017-2018 already includes projected enrollees for ALS.
Briones also created a position dedicated in handling matters involving the ALS program. The position is held by Assistant Secretary G.H. Ambat.
48. HEALTH INSURANCE FOR ALL
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said her department has strived to enforce the “no balance billing” system for the country’s poorest patients, which provides that no other fees or expenses shall be charged or be paid for by indigent patients over and above the package rates during their confinement period.
While government is working to ease the burden of hospital expenses on all Filipinos, Ubial said about 56 percent of the country’s total health expenditure were still “out-of-pocket expenses.”
49. IMPROVE PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE, OPERATIONAL CAPABILITIES OF GOV'T HEALTH FACILITIES
President Duterte approved the Philippine Facility Development Plan 2017-2022 to support the improvement of health services throughout the country.
Ubial said the Duterte government plans to build 9,604 additional barangay health stations, 2,289 additional rural health units and urban health centers, and 750 additional polyclinics.
The government is also planning to build two “mega hospitals” in Visayas and Mindanao.
The health department rolled out a campaign for health professionals to reach out to the country’s poorest and conduct check-ups. Ubial said, since July 2016, health professionals have checked the health of 19 million Filipinos, 15,300 of whom needed surgery.
50. PROTECT WOMEN'S RIGHTS/PROTECT WOMEN FROM HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES/FULLY IMPLEMENT MAGNA CARTA FOR WOMEN
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) said that as of December 2016, 37,044 or 88.12% of the 42,036 barangays in the country already had Violence Against Women (VAW) desks. This leaves only 4,992 barangays without VAW Desks.
The PCW in 2016 also helped 2,300 women in 16 regions grow their businesses and improve their entrepreneurial skills.