15 Days of Duterte
It has been two weeks since President Rodrigo Duterte started his 6-year presidential term in the Philippines. We’ve witnessed quick and constant social and economic progress as little as two days after he gave his inaugural speech last June 30. One example are photos of an unusually clean and clear Divisoria (a very busy shopping place in Recto, Manila) and Baclaran Market that have gone viral on social media.
Also read: Rodrigo Duterte as a leader
While numerous evidences are tossed everywhere for everyone to see, is Duterte’s promise of a better Philippines in 6 months really possible? Is change really coming? Let’s round up some of the most notable acts of the Duterte administration in its first 15 days.
1. Effective Contra illegal drug operations
(Photo credit: The Straits Times)
Duterte’s main goal of eliminating illegal drugs in the country has been showing rapid progression during his first few days in Malacañang. It is evident with thousands of drug users and pushers surrendering for rehabilitation program right after “Oplan Tokhang” or Operation Tokhang was launched on July 1. Tokhang is a combination of the Visayan words toktok or knock-knock, and hangyo or request. This is a police operation wherein local government units and barangay officials visit the houses of drug users and pushers, and then try to convince them to surrender for rehabilitation, as explained in an Inquirer report. Not only that, the implementation of a new curriculum that aims to strengthen drug education in the Philippines is on-going.
Despite the death threats he has received, the President doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. He also fearlessly name-dropped top police officials who were said to be “protectors” of illegal drug trade.
2. The Philippines will now have its own emergency hotline 911
(Photo credit: Business Mirror)
Duterte is planning to implement Davao City’s emergency response system nationwide through hotline numbers 911 and 8888. Utilizing word-class security technology, the Philippines will now have faster access to the government’s emergency response resources. The project is currently in progress; it may even be ready to serve the Filipino people once they make it official in August this year. He has done it as the Mayor of Davao City, and he will surely accomplish it as the Philippine President as well.
3. Curfew, Karaoke and Liquor Ban implementations
(Photo credit: Trending News Portal)
These measures are fully effective nationwide right now. Unescorted minors will not be allowed to go out of their homes at night. The same goes for late night karaoke and liquor sessions which will be prohibited to ensure public order and safety.
4. Tanim-bala has been officially ended
(Photo credit: change.org)
“Kayong nasa NAIA, pag may tanim pa d’yan, lahat kayo alis (You at NAIA, if there is still bullet-planting, you’re all out).”
All it took was this firm statement from Duterte for Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) personnel to mind their actions regarding the tanim-bala or bullet-planting issue. He insisted that there will be no more charges filed against passengers found with bullets in their luggage, unless there is a firearm seized from them.
5. Solutions to traffic are now on their way
(Photo credit: Inquirer)
Duterte had his mind fixed in finding effective and, if possible, permanent solutions to the Philippines’ traffic woes long before the 2016 elections. For airports, Duterte wants to utilize Clark International Airport in Pampanga as an alternative airport, and then build a fast train to deliver goods and commuters to Metro Manila. He is also planning to buy 30 or 50 more train carriages to ease the long waiting lines in Metro Line Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) and Light Rail Transit 1 & 2 (LRT 1 & 2) platforms. And if that will not at least lessen the problems in traffic jams, Duterte wants to put up a new train line that will run along the Pasig River.
6. Free WiFi services in major transport hubs
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the leading telecommunications companies, Globe will provide free WiFi service in all MRT 3 stations this July. Commuters can enjoy free WiFi for 30 minutes a day. According to Joel Agustin, Globe’s Senior Vice President for Program Governance, they want to give commuters a reliable connection to the internet which could help them catch up with emails, stay up-to-date with current happenings and other communication requirements. Also, you can now load your beep™ cards in all Globe stores and stalls. No more long waiting lines for MRT or LRT tickets! Soon you will be able to use your beep™ cards not only in trains, but also in buses.
In addition to that, Duterte and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) have tapped PLDT, the country’s largest phone carrier, to provide free WiFi in 21 transport hubs including NAIA Terminals 1,2,3 and 4, LRT1, LRT2, MRT 3 and other local airports within 100 days.
7. Executive Orders on Freedom Of Information and a Task Force for Media Killings are being implemented
(Photo credit: @MartinAndamar via Twitter)
The people’s right to information on matters of public concern has been constitutionally recognized in the country, as seen in the 1973 version of the Philippine Constitution (Article IV, Sec. 6) and the 1987 Philippine Constitution (Article II, Sec. 28 and Article III, Sec. 7). A law that enforces these rights, called the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, will help the media and ordinary citizens to gain easier access to public documents and records. This will, in turn, make it easier for public officials to be held accountable for their actions.
He has also commissioned the Presidential Communications Office and the Office of the Executive Secretary to draft an Administrative Order (A.O.) that will create a presidential task force on media killings with the intent of ending media violence and killing.
Duterte aims to implement these orders as early as possible.
Sources: I love Pagadian; FHM; Manila Coconuts; Rappler; Philippines Now; Rappler; Philstar Oplan Tokhang; Philippine Online Chronicles; Buzzflare; Rappler, Manila Bulletin, Philstar Media Killing Admin Order