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Rodrigo R. Duterte served as the 16th President of the Philippines from 2016 to 2022. During his term, he implemented various programs and initiatives aimed at improving the country's economy, infrastructure, public safety, and social services. However, his presidency was also marked by controversies and criticisms.


  • The Public-Private Partnerships program infrastructure program was continued and expanded under Duterte administration's Buildd, Build, Build program. Major infrastructure projects were completed, such as the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2, and the Sangley Airport in Cavite.

  • The Universal Health Care law was enacted, which aimed to provide all Filipinos with access to quality health services.

  • The Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, along with other initiatives, contributed to the country's economic growth, with an average GDP growth rate of 6.5% from 2016 to 2019.

  • Duterte implemented the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, which aimed to simplify the tax system and generate additional revenue for the government. The law lowered personal income tax rates, while increasing excise taxes on fuel and sugary beverages, among others.

  • Duterte's foreign policy emphasized closer ties with China and a more independent stance from the United States. He also strengthened the country's relationships with other countries, such as Japan and Russia, and pursued an active role in regional organizations like the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

  • The Bangsamoro Organic Law was enacted during Duterte's term, which created the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The law aimed to address the longstanding conflict in Mindanao and provide the Bangsamoro people with greater self-determination.
  • Another achievement of Duterte's presidency was the recovery of the Balangiga Bells from the United States. The bells, which were taken by American soldiers as war booty during the Philippine-American War, were returned to the Philippines in 2018 after decades of efforts by Philippine officials and activists


  • Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs, which he launched at the start of his presidency, was marked by extrajudicial killings, human rights violations, and accusations of police corruption. Human rights groups estimate that thousands of suspected drug users and dealers were killed during police operations or by vigilantes.

  • Duterte's statements and actions, including his derogatory remarks about women, his controversial statements about the Catholic Church, and his attacks on political opponents and media outlets, drew widespread criticism and raised concerns about freedom of speech and human rights.

  • Duterte's foreign policy, particularly his pivot towards China, was controversial, with some critics questioning the potential implications for the country's national security and sovereignty. Duterte's decision to set aside the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in favor of the Philippines in its maritime dispute with China was also criticized by some.

  • The implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law faced challenges, including questions about its constitutionality and delays in the transition process. There were also concerns raised about the inclusion of certain areas in the BARMM, particularly those with significant non-Muslim populations.

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