President Rodrigo Duterte, now at the midway mark of his six-year term, will deliver his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 22 having made good on many of his promises last year, but also carrying with him some big misses.
Among the 50 vows he made in last year’s SONA that VERA Files tracked, he was successful in holding up many of those pertaining to social services, his peace agenda, and foreign relations.
In the past year, Duterte signed into law a measure giving Filipinos access to universal healthcare, and another creating the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. Duterte also held up his vow to protect overseas Filipino workers — in at least one country — when he forged an agreement with Kuwait to ensure better working conditions for his countrymen.
The president has also gotten the ball rolling for more than half of his promises, which, while not yet achieved, are all in various stages of progress.
At least two major bodies of water and at least five tourist destinations are now undergoing rehabilitation under Duterte’s orders, following the initial success of his clean-up campaign at Boracay Island. He has also followed through on his promise to rid public offices of corrupt officials, firing at least 11 government officials just this past year.
The war on drugs also continued to be a priority, the President saying in his last SONA it will be as “relentless and chilling… as on the day it began.”
However, the promises Duterte failed to uphold – while less than a fifth of last year’s promises – are among his biggest. While the president did good in his vow to have warmer ties with China, forging almost 50 agreements the past year, he was unsuccessful in his promise that it would not mean a weaker stance in the South China Sea territorial disputes.
Duterte also failed coconut farmers when he vetoed a bill on coco levy funds that he himself certified as urgent last year.
Before Duterte delivers his fourth SONA on Monday, find out how he fared with the rest of his promises in the past year.