Duterte Legacy: A quick look back at Duterte's 6 years

A comfortable life for all.

President Duterte (Malacañang photo)

This was what President Duterte vowed to give every Filipino when he took his oath as the country's 16th President in 2016. His presidency was anchored on ending illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption in three to six months.

Six years after making that promise, let us look at how he did in achieving that promise.

According to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, President Duterte's legacy "will not only be talked about in the years ahead but will also be felt by the generations to come."

Medialdea likewise touted the administration's achievements such as infrastructure, accessible healthcare, free college education, free irrigation, reforms in government services, and nearly eradicating communist insurgency and extremism.

Drug war

As of March 31, 2022, his infamous drug war led to the dismantling of 1,130 drug dens and clandestine laboratories, clearing 24,766 of the 42,045 barangays, and arresting 14,888 high-value targets, including 527 government employees.

The administration's drug campaign has seized P76.17 billion worth of shabu and rescued 4,307 minors aged four to 17 from the illegal drug trade. Meanwhile, 6,241 people were killed in the 233,356 anti-illegal drug operations conducted from July 1, 2016, to March 31, 2022.

Build, Build, Build

One of the Duterte Administration's landmark programs is the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, which is envisioned to increase the economy's productive capacity, create jobs, increase incomes, and strengthen the investment climate leading to sustained, inclusive growth.

The Binondo – Intramuros Bridge (Photo courtesy of DPWH)

As of December 2021, a total of 233 airport projects and 484 seaport projects were completed. There are now 1,200 kilometers of railways in the country, including extension projects and the ongoing construction of the country's first subway system.

A total of 34,291 kilometers of roads were completed as of December 2021, and 5,950 bridges were completed as of May 2021. The program saw the improved mobility of Metro Manila's main thoroughfare. In particular, the EDSA Busway reduced travel time between Pasay and Monumento from two to three hours to just 40 to 50 minutes.

Significant laws

The Duterte administration saw the passage of some significant laws, including:

  • Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law
  • Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) Act
  • Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Modernization Act
  • The controversial Anti-Terrorism Law
  • Bangsamoro Organic Law, which created the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)
  • Free Tertiary Education Act, which gave 2.46 million students access to a free college education for Academic Year 2021-2022
  • Universal Health Care Act
  • Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act
  • The 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law
  • Telecommuting Act, which allowed employees to work outside their workplace
  • Universally Accessible, Cheaper, and Quality Medicines Act, which reduced the price of medicine for top burden diseases by up to 93 percent

Security, Justice, Peace

President Duterte increased the salaries of the military and uniformed personnel and strengthened the country's defense by adding 24 new military assets, including frigates, air support, aircraft, and helicopters.

File photo of President Duterte inspecting the decommissioned firearms from the former combatants of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front during their decommissioning at the Old Provincial Capitol Compound in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on September 7, 2019. (Malacañang photo)

Despite his rocky relationship with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), Duterte's programs to reach out to rebels resulted in 23,097 surrendering to the government as of December 31, 2021.

According to the Inter-Cabinet Cluster Mechanism for Normalization (ICCMN), there were now 19,345 Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants decommissioned and processed for general intake under Phase 1 to 3 of the Program for Normalization in the Bangsamoro. This is a staggering growth from the baseline of 145 decommissioned combatants ins 2016.

The country's crime rate has dropped by 73.76 percent in the past five years. Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said last month that index crimes in the Philippines fell to 34,552 in 2021 from 131,699 in 2016.

One of the events that rocked Duterte's administration was the five-month war against ISIS-inspired terrorists that left Marawi City in ruins in 2017. Since the war ended in October 2017, the government worked to bring the war-torn city back to its former glory. About 72 percent of the rehabilitation projects and recovery efforts have been accomplished as of May.

Housing Secretary Eduardo del Rosario, who heads the government-led Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), said 56 agencies had finished 164 projects worth P17 billion. Meanwhile, 35 other rehabilitation and recovery projects worth P3.92 billion are ongoing.

Participatory Governance

President Duterte sought to extend the validity of the Philippine passport to 10 years and the driver's license to five years.

Meanwhile, the Duterte administration's Freedom of Information (FOI) program has received 105,302 requests across 553 government agencies as of March 2022.

The President's campaign against corruption in government led to the dismissal of 200 government personnel. He also created the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Anti-Red Tape Authority, which cut short easy transactions with the government to just three days.

Aside from these, the Duterte Administration saw the rehabilitation of Boracay, wherein 83 percent of the establishments are now compliant with the 12-meter road easement rule, and 81 percent are compliant with the 25 + 5-meter beach easement limit as of June 2021.

Economic Development

Under Duterte, P75 billion worth of Coco Levy Funds returned to coconut farmers, while an annual P10-billion fund for allocated to over 674,000 rice farmers. As of March 2021, some 834,000 hectares of rice plantations nationwide are now yielding more rice, while 1,033,778 farmers have benefited from the Free Irrigation Act since December 15, 2021.

Duterte saw the implementation of tax reform programs, including the TRAIN Law, which enabled the government to raise P305 billion in incremental revenues during the first three years of the implementation. According to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), 99 percent of wage earners no longer pay income tax under the TRAIN Law.

The CREATE Act lowered corporate income tax for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other businesses from 30 percent to 20 percent. It also provided P1 trillion worth of tax relief in the next 10 years.

A total of P9.64 billion loans under the P3 lending program have been provided to 238,737 micro and small businesses since 2017.

Recently, President Duterte signed the amendments to the Public Service Act and the Foreign Investments Act to spur economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Human Development and Poverty Reduction

With the Free Higher Education Program, 1,623,642 students were given free tuition from 2020 to 2021. There were also 2,012,618 Alternative Learning System (ALS) completers from 2017 to 2020. There will be 10.582 million Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) graduates from 2016 to 2021.

There are 11,531 "Free Wi-Fi For All" active sites nationwide as of December 15, 2021.

Recently, the President signed into law Republic Act No. 11650, which establishes inclusive learning centers in all school districts to provide learners with disabilities with accessible and appropriate public education and related services according to their needs to develop their full potential as self-sufficient participative members of society.

A total of 109,035,343 Filipinos were immediately made eligible for universal health care, while P258 billion claims were disbursed. Around 3.3 million Filipinos were assisted through the Malasakit Centers.

Meanwhile, more than P643.2 billion were given to 4.26 million Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries from 2016 to November 2021. In 2018, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said 6 million Filipinos were lifted out of poverty. A total of 1,030,886 housing units for the poor were turned over from July 2016 to November 2021.

Pandemic response

To address the Covid-19 pandemic, President Duterte passed the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act and Bayanihan To Recover As One Act. These are the most extensive social protection program in the country's history.

President Duterte meets key members of the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on April 11, 2022. (Malacañang Photo)

As of August 2021, around 9,000 temporary treatment and monitoring facilities were constructed, while there are 813 Covid-19 facilities built as of December 6, 2021.

The country's number of public health workers increased by 10.2 percent to 60,142 from 2016 to 2020.

In assisting workers affected by the pandemic, some 7.588 million displaced workers were assisted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). A total of 911,867 pandemic-affected overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were repatriated as of February 1, 2022. Some 6.833 million OFWs were also assisted through the one-stop service center for OFWs as of November 2021.

In March this year, Malacañang issued an executive order on the Ten-Point Agenda on Economic Recovery from Covid-19, aiming to keep the country more resilient under the New Normal. The Ten-Point Agenda keeps the existing Alert Levels System while easing restrictions on domestic and international travel, public transport capacity, and allowing face-to-face classes, among others.