Extend Duterte’s term?

HOTSPOT - Mocha Uson - The Philippine Star

Time flies as fast as President Duterte acts on the problems of our country and the needs of the Filipinos; it has already been one year since he was inaugurated as the 16th President of the Philippines. It is also worth noting that his success in winning the presidency was a result of the overwhelming support from millions of Filipinos around the world; Filipinos who are hungry for a change in our government and our country, Filipinos who are tired of the broken promises from the usual kind of politicians, and Filipinos who truly believe that Duterte’s kind of leadership will bring the Philippines to a new and better era. An era where ordinary and innocent citizens can roam around in public without fear of being a victim of criminals, an era where parents or family members are confident that their loved ones will not be a victim of drugs, and an era where there will be more opportunities for the Filipinos to rise from poverty; and ultimately bring a better tomorrow for the next generation.

Looking at President Duterte’s first year in office, the most noticeable difference we can see is that he is a man who truly cares for the people. Unlike some politicians who present themselves as men or women of the people during elections who – once they get what they need – seem to forget that their main responsibility is to address the need and protect the interest of the people who put them into power in the first place. One of the first things that the President did immediately once he was in office was to make sure that the people feel that the government works for them. He ordered the establishment of one-stop shop for a more convenient and easier service for the overseas Filipino workers. Another significant change which shows that the people are the priority of the government is when the first of our top 10 wish list last year became a reality. We wished for a hotline where we can express our complaints with different government agencies, and from this the 8888 hotline was established. Data from Civil Service Commission will show us that the hotline have already received a total of 147,000 calls with a 94.7% resolution rate. Just these two changes already show the sincerity of the President and his administration to serve the Filipino people, and to bring change not according to their will but to the will and the need of the public. Speaking of the need of the public, other government programs like free medicines, hastening the government aid and housing projects for the Yolanda victims, and government support for farmers and fishermen have been done to cater to the needs of the ordinary Filipinos.

Going to the future of our country, I believe it’s visible that President Duterte is working on our relationship with our neighboring countries which have been a fruitful action because the Philippines will benefit greatly from the President’s visits to countries like Japan, China, Russia, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. One of the accomplishments of the government in these visits was garnering multiple agreements, investment pledges, and business deals which can be used to support government plan like the ‘Build, Build, Build!’ programs. These deals and agreements with other countries can help create more job opportunities for the Filipinos and boost the economy of our country; aside from the fact that the infrastructure projects in the ‘Build, Build, Build!’ program can improve the way of life of the Filipinos.

Lastly, one of the most significant changes is – of course – the war on drugs or as I’d like to call it, the people’s war on drugs. Why? Because, I don’t believe that it is only the problem of the government, it’s the problem of every family who has a loved one addicted to drugs, to the families of those who have been victimized by addicts. It’s not a war that should be fought just by the government but by the entire community who oppose the proliferation of drugs in our streets. This problem involves the entire country and all Filipinos and this is why, I think, President Duterte declared a war on this problem. Looking at the government’s achievement in this are this past year over a million surrendered, multiple drug laboratories raided, and billions worth of drugs confiscated – it’s hard not to wonder why this problem has grown this much. Quoting NCRPO Regional Director, Police Director Oscar Albayalde, I think he gives us an insight as to why the drug problem is this big: “I think kasi noon, medyo hindi nabigyan ng focus yung problema natin sa illegal drugs” (I think it’s because we did not focus that much in our problem with illegal drugs.) I believe this is also one of the main reasons why a lot of Filipinos are still supporting President Duterte even with the relentless attacks from his political enemies: With what they did in their six years in power, it’s evident that he is doing so much more in just his first year in office. If he could do so much in just one year, imagine what he could achieve for the Filipinos in his remaining five years? Especially if the other politicians would stop serving their own interest and start doing their duty to the people.

I believe six years is not enough. I am hoping that he would be extending his term by any means to make sure that our country would be lifted out of the horrible pit the past Presidents have brought us into.

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