Duterte Has Become Synonymous
to Drastic Transformation of the Philippines
By Apolinario Villalobos
The change under the administration of Duterte has to be drastic because some that need to be transformed even require a total 360-degree turnaround. The culture of the Filipino is the kind in which “everyone wants to have his own way”, and worst is that some don’t even want to lift a finger as his way of helping, yet, these are the ones who are overly dependent and judgmental. In this regard, the drastic change should start from within us, and the leader must show an equally steely resolve.
Filipinos should not only hope for a change, how drastic it may be, but contribute an effort in its realization. Understandably, hopelessness have stemmed from disappointments brought about by the failure of the past administrations. This time, something can be viewed as basis for the promised change – the transformation of Davao from where Duterte came. When the idea of Duterte running for president was floated to give way to a change, those in Manila were one in being apprehensive, as Davao is much different from Manila, much more, the whole country. As the campaign gained momentum, however, and the trending support was mounting, the feeling has become viral, changed into a supportive one, to give way to the popular clamor.
With Duterte very evidently sure to sit as the new president, there is a general acquiescence for whatever change he would want implemented, especially, those found effective in Davao. Even his choice for the new chief of the Philippine National Police who would bypass three layers of senior officers was accepted, unlike the past appointments that generated complaints and grumblings. The current PNP organization without even, yet, its new chief, has made pronouncements to support all plans of Duterte to prove their worth for the prioritized changes for the said agency, still viewed as drastic, one of which is the decentralization in the administration of benefits as they shall be distributed among the regional centers aside from the upgrade of wage.
Government agencies whose concerns are the “downtrodden” – the long suffering lowest rung of the Philippine society, are promised to be offered to the left wing and expected as one of these is the Department of Social Welfare. The left wing has been invited by Duterte to join him in steering the Philippines toward a new direction. This invitation is seen as a challenge if indeed, it can do something to improve the lot of the impoverished, as it has been too critical of the programs of the past administrations. This drastic change in the system could be seen as an acid test to the sincerity of the left wing in its promise to help the country for the better.
With the coming of the new hands-on president, expected too, is the drastic change in the system of the country’s prisons system, especially, the New Bilibid from where detained drug lords still operate their business. Along with this is the long-clamored cleansing of the barangay level which observers claim, has become the breeding ground for future corrupt government officials, as well as, their being viewed as tools of the sitting corrupt government officials. There is a need that this lowest rung of the government hierarchy should be checked, a tough job for whoever will be appointed as the new secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Finally, his move for a friendly relationship with China as regards the issue on the West Philippine Sea is also viewed as drastic, although, Duterte made it clear that he will maintain the claim of the country over the concerned territory. This is a practical move as since time immemorial, the Filipinos have been cordially dealing with the Chinese culturally and commercially. On the other hand, enforcing our rights militaristically is futile. His move will also indicate that we are not totally relying on the regular joint US-Philippines “Balikatan” military exercise which is America’s manifestation of her support for our defense against any aggression.
Some apprehensive Filipinos, this time, have just to fasten their seat belt for the impact that will be brought about the drastic changes…