In his 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated several policies to be implemented and legislations to strengthen for the rest of his term. But where do we draw the line between what’s justifiable and unjustifiable? Is the government’s concern towards a better country in line with how they administer these policies?
As mentioned during SONA, the Weekly Sillimanian (tWS) applaud the government’s concern to eradicate corruption by the swift passage of Doing Business Act, supporting the Bangsamoro Organic Law, and the call to end contractualization of Filipino workers.
Among other things that stood out includes the administration’s involvement in environmental protection through conservation and radical reforms against irresponsible mining. Along with its social responsibility of the implementation of affordable, appropriate and quality-health service through the speedy passage of Health Care Bill.
However, we believe that these can only be achieved if the government takes a look at how several sectors and minorities continue to be affected by the policies that excludes them. Without doubt, if a ‘chilling and relentless’ war on drugs campaign is frontlined, it is believed to stir more conflict, confusion and fear.
We condemn the government’s plan approving the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Bill. Solely on how it remains tone-deaf and irresponsible without looking at the social realities that the impoverished sector experience.
Moreover, we suggest that Duterte takes a look not only at the long term plan he wishes to establish, but also at how it will greatly affect those of our minorities and sectors of today. We respect his plans for a Federal system, but is encouraged to be more cautious and stern regarding the use of power as it is more likely to be abused by corrupt officials.
tWS considers the government’s endeavors to a better country, we can only hope for fair policies and resolutions that includes all of our brothers and sisters despite divisions. The government should be mindful of the effects of their short-term and long-term plans without jeopardizing the lives of the people. After all, from Duterte’s words: “Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives.”