Much-improved peace and order situation not a good news

BURIED again in the inside pages of the country’s major newspapers  with nary a mention in the broadcast media is the news that the Philippine National Police has expressed elation over a latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey which showed greater public appreciation of the much-improved peace and order situation in the country.

PNP chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde said in a statement that the survey is a proof that Filipinos are now appreciating the significant reduction in street crimes as a result of the PNP’s all-out campaign against drugs, criminality and rogues in uniform. However, as they always say in the press: good news is not news.

According to Gen. Albayalde, the PNP is also recognizing the public opinion of greater feeling of quality of their lives that is better compared to a year ago as expressed in the latest SWS survey. “The high rating obtained proves that the continuing peace and order campaign of the government significantly contributed in creating a secure environment where people feel safe to live, work and do business,” the top said.

The SWS survey conducted on March 28-31 showed an improvement in the feeling of the quality in the lives of citizens wherein about two in five Filipinos, or 38 percent of the 1,440 respondents in the survey, said their lives had improved over the past 12 months while only 21 percent said their lives worsened.

Government critics will always lambast such finding. However, I believe that majority of Filipinos fully appreciate the government’s success in fighting criminality specifically drugs and rogue law enforcers despite the recurring presence of these criminals, especially hoodlums in police uniform.

I really believe that the PNP leadership is dead serious in going after scalawags in the organization as proven by the fact that complaints against rogue cops have been fully addressed by concerned units led by the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force headed by Colonel Bong Caramat. Another proof that Filipinos appreciate the government’s concern for them is the victory of all administration senatorial candidates fielded by President Duterte last May 13. There is no question about it.


I’M not only referring to the massive crackdown against drugs, criminality and corruption launched by President Duterte shortly after he won the 2016 presidential race but also the former Davao City mayor’s decision to sign the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act of Republic Act 11310 which provides a cash transfer system for the poorest of the poor.

In signing RA 11310, the President who is known to be  a loving husband, father and grandfather  had achieved what former President Aquino-who is still a bachelor up to this day- had failed to do during the latter’s 6-year administration.  

In signing 4Ps into law last April 7, the President again earned solid points from his millions of poor supporters who also showed their love for Duterte when they gave his 12 senatorial candidates a landslide victory in the May 13 national polls while junking all ‘8 Diretso’ bets from the opposition

Filipinos living below the poverty line-those who have to toil very hard—literally blood, sweat and tears—to earn food on their tables on a daily basis and send their kids to school while trying hard to save money for some other expenses specifically medicine- have all the reason to thank the President for approving the landmark anti-poverty papers which clearly saw dust on the presidential table for reasons known only to Mr. Aquino.

Right now, there is still no official explanation from the Aquino camp regarding his administration’s failure to sign RA 11130 which provides ‘Conditional Cash Transfers’ to qualified poor households for a maximum 7-year period.

It took a simple President known for his acid tongue and unconventional ways—a style which has endeared him to poor Filipino folks but have earned him the wrath of the rich and the Catholic Church—to sign the pro-poor law which is expected to further increase his public trust rating in the future.

Right now, some ‘kasambahays , drivers, security guards and karpenteros’ in our sleepy neighborhood in Antipolo City have been talking about the said law which will also provide help to its beneficiaries well behind the maximum 7-year period provided they still can’t stand on their own as recommended by the Department of Social Welfare and Development headed by the highly-respected retired Gen. Rolly ‘Bote’ Bautista. Sec-Gen. Bautista incidentally did not make any move to defend himself from the tirades of former People’s Tonight columnist Erwin Tulfo. It’s the PEOPLE who came in to defend to high heavens the Scout Ranger from PMA ‘Sandiwa’ Class of 1985.

The law will actually benefit poor farmers, fishermen, homeless families including so-called informal settlers, members of indigenous groups and other Filipinos living in isolated and disadvantaged areas particularly those which lack electricity and road networks.

As I understand, Bautista’s DSWD will review who should qualify for the 4Ps program using the standardized targeting system every three years. Under the law, households that qualify for the program will receive at least P300 per month per child enrolled in a day care and elementary programs for a maximum of 10 months per year; at least P500 per month per child enrolled in junior high school for a maximum of 10 months per year; at least P700 per month per child enrolled in senior high school for a maximum of 10 months per year; and P750 health and nutrition grant per month for a maximum of one-year.

Beneficiaries are also automatically covered by the National Health Insurance Program  and will receive the cash transfers thru DSWD-accredited government banks or through rural, thrift or Cooperative banks or money remittance centers accredited by the Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Way to go Mr. President.