16th President of the Philippines – Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte

16th President of the Philippines – Rodrigo Duterte, will today take over the leadership of the Republic of the Philippines. Hope and fear accompany this change. What is to be expected?

I start with two remarks: The title picture is from “The Inquirer“. I chose it, because it shows all the facets of hoe and fear that come with Duterte.  Second: Silent Gardens does not comment politics. So I just put the political program in a list, but no comments.

Rodrigo Duterte

Click on above picture to enlarge. All the tasks of the new president are represented as symbols.

Rodrigo Duterte is 71 years old. During 22 years or 7 terms he had served as mayor of Davao City.  He has also served as vice-mayor and as congressman for the city.

Rodrigo Duterte’s big bucket list

Political reorganization

  • Decentralize parts of government
  • Create 4 or 5 “confederated states” with regional autonomy

Crime, corruption, and drugs

Suppress crime, spread of drugs, corruption within 3 to 6 months

  • Increase police salaries to P75,000 to P100,000 within 3 years
  • Raise crime and drugs to the level of a national security threat
  • Modernize crime-fighting strategies, like putting CCTVs in major thoroughfares
  • Bring back the death penalty for drug trafficking, kidnapping, rape, robbery, homicide
  • Pass the Freedom of Information Act
  • Lift Bank Secrecy Law for public officials and pass Anti-Dummy Law
  • Monitor front-line government offices using real-time video and audio surveillance
  • Bring back special criminal courts to speed up resolution of serious crime cases

Economic development

Spread economic growth throughout the country and decongest Metro Manila

  • Call a constitutional convention, within first year of term, to study the shift to a federal form of government
  • Limit requirements for business permits to 5 signatures and impose a 30 to 60-day processing time
  • Maintain Conditional Cash Transfer program but with a livelihood component that will give loans to the poor for small and medium enterprises
  • Establish tourism, agricultural, and industrial hubs in the countryside to create jobs
  • Introduce P1 billion “small capital fund” for every region outside Metro Manila where farmers and other poor workers can borrow from to put up businesses

Agriculture and fisheries

  • Provide free irrigation and subsidized fertilizer and seeds for farmers
  • Reduce the cost of food by getting rid of unscrupulous middlemen and loan sharks
  • Build food terminals in the countryside with cold storage facilities
  • Build Mindanao Railway system

OFWs and other workers

  • No income tax for workers earning P20,000 and below
  • Phase out contractualization


  • Double salaries of teachers by the end of their term
  • Build adequate classrooms, double classroom shifts


  • Require all hospitals to have a facility for very poor patients with government paying for the health services using PhilHealth reserve funds, sin tax revenues, and Department of Health budget
  • Create specialized hospitals (heart, lung, kidney) in Visayas and Mindanao

Disasters and climate change

  • Create a single, permanent Emergency Response Department in charge of disaster preparedness, relief, and rehabilitation

Metro Manila transportation

  • Add more carriages to train lines
  • Build fast train linking airports and seaports to Metro Manila
  • Develop Clark Airport and Batangas seaport to ease traffic congestion

This list is very long and very ambitious. In a small and compact country This “six years program” seems to be feasible. But in such a large country composed of 7107 islands the challenge is really an overhelming act of defiance. Above list shows no particular priority except the second point on crime, corruption and drugs. On June 30, 2019, at Duterte’s mid-term, I’ll review this list.

Good luck Mr. President – good luck Philippines!




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