Critics of the administration perceive that major developments happening around the country are a sign of a creeping dictatorship in government. They refer to the Martial Law extension in Mindanao and the passage of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) that both breezed through Congress with nary a hitch.
They also cite DU30’s directives to ban open pit mining, open sectors of the economy to foreigners, expedite the entry of a third player in the local telecom industry, modernize public transportation by phasing out old jeepneys come 2018 and prepare the groundwork to federalize the Philippines.
Nobody can blame critics for their expressed reservation for they were not used to seeing things transpire so fast in this country. In fact, no Filipino has seen progress move forward at this kind of pace. When before, government programs were met with street protests even before implementation, nowadays activists cannot keep up with the rate controversial policies are implemented.
But it is precisely that kind of stalemate that DU30 wanted to avoid. Things moved slowly in the country because past administrations were wary of public perception. Presidents with high approval ratings failed to utilize their political capital to effect real change in society.
On the other hand, the checks and balances that are notorious for delaying projects were used as a refuge by a lazy president to cover his incompetence and lack of political will. His men justified his failures by saying that the president’s hands were tied by bureaucratic red tape.
Despite the scare tactics applied by the opposition on the people regarding DU30’s governance, the general public doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, the latest SWS survey gave DU30 a “very good” score of +58, indicating that the Filipinos highly approve of his tough approach on crime and in dealing with the nation’s problems.
Filipinos have awakened to the treachery applied to them by the immediate past leader, a self-acclaimed champion of due process but who actually thrived on democracy’s loopholes and weaknesses. What the people yearn is a leader who gets things done despite opposition from vested interest groups.
After only 1½ year in office, DU30 has many things to show for in infrastructure and social services which was made possible with the eradication of corruption. He showed that government coffers can go a long way provided these are spent judiciously without wastage. The Philippines is a rich nation after all.
Things are bound to improve further with the passage of the first tranche of TRAIN. For so long have we wondered why things work perfectly in other countries, not realizing that citizens there pay higher taxes. Assured that their taxes won’t go into the pockets of politicians, Filipinos are now willing to pay more.
Indeed, the Philippines is now changing for the better.