EDITORIAL - 100 days of Duterte
(The Philippine Star) - October 7, 2016 - 12:00am

The first 100 days of the Duterte administration can be measured against the 10-point socio-economic agenda that the President outlined at the start of his term. To refresh the people’s memory, the President committed to pursue the following:

• Maintain the macroeconomic policies started in the previous administration, which the President has publicly acknowledged to be sound. So far this has been done, notably in trade, fiscal and monetary policies.

• Improve tax collection and pursue progressive tax reforms. Congress is currently working on this.

• Boost competitiveness and make doing business easier. National competitiveness slipped in the latest international survey as other countries received better ratings. The President has ordered red tape cut in all agencies; compliance with this directive has yet to be assessed.

• Raise infrastructure spending to five percent of GDP, with public-private partnerships playing a significant role. This is still being worked out in the next national budget.

• Promote rural development and enterprise by boosting agriculture and tourism.

•Address problems in land titling and management and ensure security of land tenure to promote investments.

• Invest in health and education for human capital development, and match training with skills required by the nation.

• Encourage innovation and creativity by supporting science, technology and the creative arts.

• Enhance social protection programs such as the conditional cash transfer.

• Fully implement the Reproductive Health Law.

Most of these policies are being pursued, although all initiatives have been eclipsed by the war on drugs and the President’s fights with various personalities and foreign governments.

On the eve of his first 100 days, a nationwide survey conducted by Social Weather Stations Inc. showed the President enjoying “very good” satisfaction ratings across all social classes. This guarantees that the bloody drug war will be sustained. But the President should also not overlook his other promises and policy pronouncements. Keeping the public safe is a worthy priority, but there are many other urgent issues that must be addressed. The next 100 days should show more improvements in these areas.

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