MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte reduced the country's crime rate to an "incredibly low figure" and "dismantled" the local illegal drug industry, just two of a number of accomplishments in the first half of his presidency, according to Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.
In a statement meant to mark Duterte's 3rd year in power, Panelo also highlighted the voluntary surrender and rehabilitation of more than 1 million drug personalities as an "incomparable feat" by the President.
The spokesperson praised Duterte for "initiating strategies and measures to thwart the local communist rebellion from spreading and crushing attempts of terrorism originating from different parts of the globe."
While Duterte prioritized the improvement of peace and order in the country, he also signed long-pending bills in the legislative branch and executive measures such as free tuition in state universities, free irrigation to farmers, free Internet access in public places, institutionalization of feeding programs for public school students, free medicines, and financial support to indigent patients, Panelo said.
Panelo also lauded the government's repatriation of thousands of OFWs affected by amnesty programs implemented by several countries.
"For the returning OFWs, they were provided with training and livelihood assistance for their reintegration. An Overseas Filipino Bank was also established to provide efficient remittance services, low service rates and profitable offers to OFWs," Panelo said.
Panelo said the President "made the Philippines one of the strongest economies and growth leaders in the region," claiming the President's Build Build Build Program as result.
The spokesperson commended Duterte's foreign policy, which he described as "removing our country’s subservience to the West."
"Notable effects of which are the return of the historic Balangiga bells from the United States and the reshipment of trash back to Canada, while improving our relations with all other countries, such as Russia, China and those belonging in the Southeast Asian region," Panelo said.
He assured that after 3 years as President, Duterte will continue to execute his presidential duties until his last day in office.