By VERLIE Q. RETULIN, CYRA BORLANGAN, MARK FERNANDEZ Jul 21, 2017 2:21 PM
President Rodrigo Duterte emphasized the government’s desire to strengthen the delivery of social services and reduce the vulnerabilities of the people during his first State of the Nation Address.
To ensure food security, he instructed the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide rice subsidies among the poor. Moreover, he also said a nationwide soil analysis should be conducted to determine the areas most suitable for rice farming.
In terms of housing, he pledged that there will be no demolitions without relocations. He also directed the concerned regulatory agencies to hasten the issuance of permits for power development.
He promised to increase spending on basic education and intensify the programs under the Alternative Learning System.
He also said he will provide universal health insurance for all Filipinos.
Did the President deliver well on his promises?
On conducting a nationwide soil analysis
PROMISE: “We shall also conduct a nationwide soil analysis to determine areas most
suitable for rice farming to optimize production with the use of effective soil
rehabilitation and fertilization.
Soil testing is needed to fulfill the National Color Coded Agricultural
Guide Map project of the Department of Agriculture (DA). President Duterte led
the launching of the NACCAG on March 2, 2017 in Malacanang. The said map is
“derived from combining factors affecting agri-fishery production such as soil
properties, water availability, climate topography and at the regional level,
economics and demography.” The NACCAG aims to help the farmers “enable farmers
and fishermen to obtain interactive data on things related to farming and
Prior to that, Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Manny Piñol said in a
facebook post (July 2, 2016) that he discovered that the soil analysis data DA
was using were gathered 40 years ago. He then ordered the Adaptation and
Mitigation Initiative in Agriculture (AMIA) and Bureau of Soil and Water
Management (BSWM) to submit an estimated budget requirement within 45 days to
conduct the national soil testing.
“In the end, I told the AMIA
presenter and BSWM officials to submit to me an estimated budget requirement
for the conduct of a national soil testing so that President Rody Duterte’s
order for DA to come up with a Color Coded Agriculture Guide Map would be
realized during the first 100 days of his term.”
On increasing the spending on basic education
“We are planning to
increase spending on basic education…”
The Department of Education received the highest budget allocation among
all executive departments from the Department of Budget Management with P543.2
billion, marking a 25 percent increase from 2016. DepED says that 21.2 million
students nationwide will benefit from this budget.
On ALS Programs
PROMISE: “We will also intensify and
expand Alternative Learning System programs.”
As much as 16.59 million
Filipinos now have better opportunity for employment and livelihood as the
Department of Education (DepEd) is working double-time to revive and expand the
coverage of the Alternative Learning System (ALS). The figure, which translates
to 39.03 percent or two-fifths of the entire labor force, is based on the
Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) data on working Filipinos who have not
completed basic education as of April 2016.
On the issuance of required permits for power development
PROMISE: “I have directed the
concerned regulatory agencies to prioritize the issuance of required permits
for power development.”
On June 28, 2017, Duterte
signed Executive Order 30, creating the Energy Investment Coordinating Council.
The EICC is tasked to establish a simplified approval process and harmonize the
relevant rules and regulations of all government agencies involved in obtaining
permits and regulatory approvals, to expedite the development and
implementation of Energy Projects National Significance (EPNS) and other energy
On the “No demolitions without relocations” policy
PROMISE: “There will be no
demolitions without relocations… Government will expropriate. I will make use
of the expropriation powers.”
Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor chairman Terry Ridon
reiterated this policy in April 2017, saying PCUP gives the final clearance for
all the demolitions, particularly for infra projects.
On providing rice subsidies to poor families
PROMISE: “The beneficiaries of 4Ps shall be made to become independent and
self-reliant after they have graduated from the program. I have decided to
direct the DSWD to provide the rice subsidies to the poorest of the families.
In a press release, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy
Taguiwalo said they have already begun releasing the rice subsidies to 4Ps
members. “We trust that the beneficiaries of the fund will use the money to buy
rice for their families because this is the main purpose of the subsidy,”
On providing universal health insurance to all
PROMISE: “The government will also
provide universal health insurance for all Filipinos benefits.”
Sen. Loren Legarda said
part of the 2017 national budget will be allocated to the remaining 8.0 percent
that were not covered by the national health insurance program.
Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, said the additional P3
billion was allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation
(PhilHealth) to ensure coverage for all Filipinos.