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Dutertenomics makes wave


Take away the so-called vicious noise against President Duterte which throws at him allegations against gross human rights violations and his alleged tendency toward dictatorship, then objectively what the nation has is a better place to live.
The economy is up and the consensus is that it will retain its place among the fastest growing nations in the world.
Also recently, a global survey ranked the Philippines as “the best country to invest in” based on views of expatriates in the country.
Latest surveys also showed that the leadership retains a strong mandate, thus precluding any political instability, which is the bane of investors.
Rody also showed his capability to pursue his goals under his term to the end a mark of political will unseen in his predecessor.
Rody last Tuesday reiterated his promise to finish his campaign against illegal drugs until his final day as President regardless of investigations initiated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and other human rights groups.
He said in a speech that he made a solemn promise to the nation to eradicate the drugs problem and that it was not his business to do the bidding of rights groups who bug world leaders who don’t measure up to liberal democracy standards as part of their fund-raising effort.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in an address to the United Nations (UN) urged rights groups not to weaponize human rights as part of the campaign to weaken Rody’s hold on the presidency.
“So the war against drugs will continue with or without the ICC, with or without the human rights (groups), with or without the politicians. It will last until the last day of my term as President,” he added.
Starting during Rody’s term as Davao City Mayor spanning nearly 30 years, rights groups have accused Rody of human rights violations but produced nothing to prove their charges.
Mostly, the allegations of Rody are based on his toxic statements which his politcial critics say proves alleged foul intent but which the President repeatedly denies.
His administration has defended the government’s war on drugs, saying it is a lawful and legitimate police operation that cannot be characterized as an attack against the civilian population in reference to the ICC crimes against humanity hurled against Rody.
The drug war is not even the emerging legacy policy of Rody as objective observers are looking more at the economic transformation the country is undergoing through what is becoming a byword, Dutertenomics.
The ambitious ‘Build, Build, Build’ program envisioned to extinguish the Philippines’ reputation as “sick man of Asia” could serve as one of the defining legacies of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, a Forbes report said.
The report said the Philippines is experiencing an infrastructure boom never seen since the time of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Instead of the drug war, infrastructure could very well be one of the Filipino President’s defining legacies, according to the report.
The 8.4 trillion a year “Build, Build, Build” project, the government targets the construction of four energy facilities, ten water resource projects or irrigation systems, five flood control facilities, and programs aimed to address the needs of the urban population.
According to the 2017 World Economic Forum’s competitiveness report, the Philippines ranked 97th in the world in terms of infrastructure. In a separate report by the United Nations, the Philippines ranked 5th in Southeast Asia in terms of access to physical infrastructure.
For the next five years, the Philippines will be banking on the infrastructure investments from China and Japan and TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) as source of funds for the ambitious Build, Build, Build program.
The challenge remains raising revenues to match the cost of the target projects which in turn are expected to maintain a seven to eight percent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth goal for 2018-22.
Department of Finance (DoF) data show that for 2018, total revenues is targeted to account for 16 percent of GDP and gradually increase to 16.4 percent, 16.8 percent, 17 percent and 17.1 percent for 2019-22, respectively.
These growth rates have included the effect of the tax reform program.
Under the approved first package of tax reform, total revenues were set at P2.806 trillion for 2018, up from the P2.387 trillion emerging figures for 2017. For 2019 until 2022, the figures are P3.160 trillion, P3.553 trillion, P3.956 trillion, and P4.414 trillion, respectively.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the revenue targets support the current administration’s development objectives particularly on higher investments on infrastructure and social protection programs.
“We will ensure that all the revenues collected and monies disbursed will be for the benefit of our people,” he said.
The dramatic paradox is that a President who confesses to have little appreciation with economics is getting noticed for unprecedented progress.


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