When President Duterte came into power, he said reforms will come at a price. War shall be waged against illegal drugs but ‘it will be bloody’.
He vowed to cleanse the bureaucracy but many heads will roll. Corruption will be dealth but those responsible will be made accountable.
Similary, Duterte promised to grow the economy by boosting spending and promoting infrastructure development but such will require tax reforms.
These tax reforms are now being blamed to the rising prices of basic goods led by our staple food.
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At the start of the drugwar, blood literally spilled on the streets. While it shocked many, crime rate dropped.
Streets used to be notorious for harbouring criminals suddenly became safe for the public even at night.
But the drive was opposed. Using issues on human rights, some called for it to stop.
The government followed and crimes went back to the streets. Once more, we are not safe.
Authorities tried to relaunch the drug war but its no longer working, just like an incomplete anti-biotic drug dosage.
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Duterte fired a lot of government officials, many of which were even appointed by him due to alleged corruption.
He continues to get rid of misfits who, aside from wasting resources, are jeopardizing national development.
Sectors who were quick to oppose the drug war were back criticizing Duterte for trying to remove such misfits in public service.
And somehow, the President relents. There is no telling how Duterte can sustain his efforts to eliminate bad eggs in government if he’s already showing signs of weakness.
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The Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN aims to fatten the national coffers so it can fund development projects for infrastructures that generate jobs.
While the tax measure has given the treasury more money, the projects supposed to be financed appear to be motionless. Thus, efforts to generate jobs and address traffic congestion are stalled.
To compound the problem, inflation gets into the picture, rising to its highest level in 10 years. Prices are going up and people are getting hungry. Things can really get bad for Malacanang if the problem gets into the peoples’ stomach.
And so again, there are calls to suspend the tax measure as inflation is being blamed on Train.
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If government follows such calls, then it loses all the major battles it promised to win -- illegal drugs, corruption, poverty.
A successful economic program is Duterte’s last ticket for a grand exit.
Whether Duterte will hold on to it or not depends on the his will to stay a strong leader.
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