MANILA, Philippines — Several congressmen gave President Rodrigo Duterte high scores for his performance in his first year in office.
Ako-Bicol party list Rep. Rodel Batocabe gave him an 8.7 mark for improving the peace and order situation in towns and cities.
1-Edukasyon party list Rep. Salvador Belaro gave him 8 for the administration’s policy direction and focus on the Philippine development plan.
And although House minority leader Cong. Danilo Suarez did not give the president an equally high mark, he said he recognizes the chief executive’s achievements on the drug war.
“I’ll give him a 6,” said Suarez.
“Na-cap niya yung (he capped the) growth [of drug users]. Huminto iyong pagtaas ng bilang ng gumagamit (The rise in the number of drug users stopped). And in this one year, the fact that he managed to put a cap on it is already a monumental achievement — but the big drug lords are still there,” he added.
On the other hand, University of the Philippines political science assistant professor Jean Franco praised Duterte’ s economic team, saying this is one the highlights of the President’s first year in office.
“He appointed a good economic team, which is good for the economy because it will definitely be continuing what the previous administration has started with regard to economic policies,” she said.
However, Franco criticized the performance of the President’s Cabinet for their lack of coordination, and added that some undeserving individuals were also appointed to position.
“I think it is the Cabinet that lacks direction. They have to be more coordinative and they have to speak with one voice.
“Sabi the best the brightest ang miyembro ng Cabinet, at nakita naman natin na may mga not so bright and not so best, and iyong nagiging katatawanan nalang iyong iba diba? Eh may pinanghahawakan silang pusisyon,” said Franco.
Translation: (They said members of the Cabinet are the best and the brightest but there are those who are not so bright and not so best, while some have even become a laughing stock, right? But they have a position to uphold.)
When asked who she thinks is among those who are less deserving of the post, Franco said, “The Secretary of Justice, di ba (right?) Eh napaka importante noon eh (That position is so important).”
And while the President prioritized his campaign promise to combat illegal drugs, Franco said he made a mistake when he placed a deadline to this promise.
“Iyong (the) war on drugs will also tell you na (that) it is a complex problem and I think the president sort of underestimated the severity of the problem when he gave himself a deadline during the campaign, and you now see him extending the deadline.
Public administration professor Edna Co, on the other hand, said it is still early to conclude that the President cannot fulfill all what he has promised.
“Hindi pa kasi tapos iyong semester, kumbaga sa eskwela. Hindi pa tapos iyong panahon para sabihin na hindi niya ito absolutely natupad kasi mahaba pa ang panahon na lalakbayin eh,” she said.
Translation: (Like in school, the semester is not yet over, so to speak. The period to be able to say that he absolutely did not fulfill his promises is not yet over because it’s still a long journey ahead.)
“So I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt na kaya niya talaga magawa ang kanyang ipinangako ( that he can carry out his promises). At itong (and this) year one, partial palang (only); bahagi palang (it’s just a part),” Co added.
Both political experts are recommending to President Duterte the strengthening of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) so that he can push forward better the legislative agenda of his administration. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue