SONA 2016 PROMISE TRACKER: Social services

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 fishing.”

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

PROMISE: “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 projects.

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,” Taguiwalo said.

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.

Find out how Duterte fared in other sectors here.


SONA 2017 PROMISE TRACKER: Social services

SONA 2017 promises on social services

SONA 2018 PROMISE TRACKER: Social services

President Rodrigo Duterte’s government marks the first half of his term with the fulfillment of one…

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte gets agriculture budget wrong; undersecretary agrees

The DA got the ninth largest share in the 2017 and 2018 budget.

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at