As a young family man, one thing I strive for is to give my family a comfortable life. I’m not asking for the world, mind you. I don’t need a mansion with multiple cars in a big garage. Just the type of life where my family’s needs are met the exact moment they need to be met. I believe that it’s the same thing that President Rodrigo Duterte has wanted for Filipinos ever since he started his campaign for the presidency. Rising oil prices, a poor public transportation system, and an outdated tax system were just some of the things he saw that prevented Filipinos from living a life of comfort. Two years into his term and the big question is – has he been able to deliver the promise of a comfortable life?
During his campaign, President Rodrigo Duterte made it clear that he would do everything in his power to give Filipinos a comfortable life.
Peace and order was one of the promises of his campaign. He believed that comfort could be attained by focusing on peace and order first. This included his war on drugs and engaging in peace talks with different rebel factions.
Abolishing corruption was another thing President Duterte had set his sights on. He felt that all the graft and corruption made by countless government officials kept the country from truly developing.
Of course, he also made clear that he understood the plight of the common man. Price increases, a dated transportation system, and high taxes have been keeping Filipinos from having enough to enjoy life. He stressed his commitment to looking out for the poor and the middle class to ensure that they get to enjoy the fruits of their labors.
Were all President Duterte’s promises delivered? To be completely honest, some of them still have a long way to go. But to give credit to where it’s due, there has been progress. Compared to the previous years, the country has become more aggressive in stopping crime and maintaining order. Police are now more vigilant in stopping criminals, from those selling drugs to other petty crimes. Personally, I feel that the crime rate has gone down enough that these days, I do feel more comfortable roaming around my neighborhood looking at my phone than I was four years ago. Yes, it may be a small thing for some but it’s still an improvement from days of old.
The high cost of living was also addressed through the recent Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) program, as middle-class workers now get to enjoy reduced income taxes to help them get more out of their salaries. I can now work on building up my savings with the extra income I get every month. It’s a big, big help to my wife and I.
Our military and police – who for years have been forced to live with meager pay despite their immense sacrifices – are finally being rewarded by the Duterte government. Their monthly wages have seen significant increase – about half for many lower-ranking officers. This factors into my strengthened belief that our men and women in uniform are out there doing their jobs. I feel safer because of that, and I know they’re eternally grateful.
SSS pensioners are also benefitting through an increase of their monthly pension, designed to help further address their needs during their retirement years. I can tell you that when my mother got hers, while we didn’t throw any kind of celebration, I sensed her joy when she spoke about it. How many of us can say we’re still improving the lives of our seniors in these little ways? Life has been tough for so many of us.
Businesses have also experienced big improvement when dealing with various government offices. This is thanks to efforts to eliminate red tape and other avenues of graft and corruption. I have friends who are excited about what the TRAIN 2 can do for them once it rolls out. It’s policies like this that can really serve as great equalizers for us little people, who pay our taxes in full and follow the law. We feel like someone’s finally standing up for us.
Beyond the Islands
Even Filipinos working abroad have felt improvements, particularly through the government’s efforts to protect them from abuse. Kuwait comes to mind. I have two siblings who work overseas, and while they may not face the same difficulties as those working in the Middle East or Hong Kong, I can’t help but feel some confidence that they’re not entirely on their own if things go sour.
The promise of a comfortable life may not happen in an instant, but with time, patience and discipline, it’s something we can definitely attain. President Rodrigo Duterte and his government have taken steps to help achieve this, and for that I am grateful. And for what they haven’t done, I remain critical but hopeful. It’s also up to us to help them make it work. After all, wouldn’t you want your sons and daughters to enjoy the benefits of having a comfortable life? I know I do.
This post was submitted by Alex, an avid reader of Flying Ketchup.