Building and Reforming the Country

Dutertenomics is anchored on an unprecedented infrastructure program, where Php 3.6 Trillion has been earmarked from 2018-2020 alone on building new roads, railways and bridges across the country.

President Rodrigo Duterte's flagship program, "The War On Illegal Drugs," has been met with both praise and criticism both from local and international audiences. However, while much of the attention is being drawn by this campaign, the President's economic team has silently put together a solid 10-point socio-economic reform program branded as "Dutertenomics."

Dutertenomics is anchored on an unprecedented infrastructure program, where Php 3.6 Trillion has been earmarked from 2018-2020 alone on building new roads, railways and bridges across the country. In fact, according to Budget Sec. Benjamin Diokno, the construction projects to be brought about by these infrastructure developments is expected to generate roughly around 1 million direct and indirect jobs per year.

Dutertenomics also boasts of a Comprehensive Tax Reform Program. Under the proposals submitted by the Department of Finance, income tax rates would be lowered, meaning higher take-home pay for employees. Under the tax reform program, those who earn P250,000 and below will be tax exempt.

These two critical programs (infrastructure development and improved tax system) being implemented by the Duterte administration are vital in creating a more economically progressive country. It is encouraging that the build and reform initiatives in as far as economic development is concerned is gaining steam.

However, while steps are being taken to ensure that the country's economy will incredibly take-off, most of the national conversation has often been directed and gone back towards the hotly-discussed drug war.

Despite claims that President Duterte has the makings of a dictator, the administration continuously recognizes the peoples' constitutionally-guaranteed right to freedom of expression and assembly, may it be for or against the President. I also believe that our opinions on the President don’t fall on depth ears especially that he seems to be learned on the feedback being provided by the general public may it be for or against him. This is also the reason why he often changes his stances on several issues. But while most of us have already cast our verdict for or against the President, our focus should only be directed towards finding the best way to build and reform the country on all aspects. This should be non-debatable.

I bet the President took a long and hard look on the Peace and Order problem and how it can be solved immediately.  Thus, let us also remind ourselves that the President should not be left alone in the thinking and doing aspect of solving our Peace and Order concerns. I think it is also incumbent upon us to present viable solutions on how to solve the problem collectively. While it is easy to say but difficult to do, we must if we insist on another modus to solve the drug malaise.

Building and reforming the country on all levels is not just a daunting or gargantuan task. To some, it seems impossible. But while it may seem impossible, we must do otherwise. We have no choice if we want a better quality of life.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheLOBBYiST.
About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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