A responsive public service, easier and efficient business transactions with the government, free higher education, better healthcare programs, institutionalized social safety net programs for the poor, and high-impact infrastructure projects—these are among the top priorities of the Duterte administration. The numbers on these pages tell us what the government has achieved so far and what we can expect in the next few years.
DIVIDEND COLLECTION FROM GOCCS
GOCCs are required by law to return at least half of their net earnings to the national government in the form of dividends. In 2018, the total amount collected from the 56 GOCCs was Php51.24 billion. Available data from the Department of Finance shows great improvement as the government was able to collect Php61.3 billion from 53 GOCCs from January to July 9, 2019.
The top eight GOCCs contributed Php30.598 billion to the 2018 figure, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total. Meanwhile, the top eight GOCCs accounted for Php38.598 billion in 2019, equivalent to nearly 63 percent of the total.
BANKING & FINANCE
The Philippines ranked fourth in the world and first in Asia in the 2018 Global Microscope report of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for having a conducive environment for financial inclusion. This means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs.
The Philippine financial system sustained its growth momentum despite lingering global market uncertainties. Filipinos enjoyed easy and greater access to finance, such as the following:
PESONet or the Philippine Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) System and Operations Network. This is a batch credit payment scheme, which can be considered as an electronic alternative to the paper-based check system. In May 2019, PESONet transactions reached Php99.17 billion, an increase of 87.95 percent from Php52.76 billion in November 2017.
InstaPay. This is a real-time, low-value EFT credit push payment scheme for transactions up to Php50,000. It is designed to facilitate small value payments in transactions such as the purchase of retail goods, and payment for toll fees and tickets. InstaPay transactions exponentially grew by 96,000 percent, from Php19.12 million in April 2018 to Php18.37 billion in May 2019.
QUALITY EDUCATION & TRAINING
Education remains a top priority of the Duterte administration. Last year, the Department of Education (DepEd) received one of the highest budget allocations amounting to Php531.56 billion. State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) received Php68.34 billion, while the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) received Php52.44 billion.
More Filipinos now have access to quality education with the enactment in 2017 of the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or RA No. 10931, which institutionalizes Free Higher Education (FHE), Tertiary Education Subsidy (TES), Student Loan Program (SLP), and Free Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
The government provided cash grants to medical students who want to earn a medical degree. 1,688 students with a medical degree program for academic year 2018-2019 were able to enroll for free in the eight participating state universities and colleges. In turn, the beneficiaries have committed to share their learnings and acquired skills in service of the country.
FOOD SECURITY & AGRARIAN REFORM
Man-made and natural events posed challenges to agricultural production. In 2018, the agriculture and fishery sector sustained Php37.2 billion worth of damages. Granting all this, the sector sustained an uptrend in agricultural production since 2016.
As part of the agrarian reform program, the government distributed 5.33 million hectares of agrarian land to landless farmers. From July 2016 to June 2019, 120,889 hectares of land were turned over to agrarian reform beneficiaries nationwide under the Land Acquisition and Distribution Program.
To help the poor acquire a house of their own, Pag-IBIG reduced the loan interest rate for minimum wage earners from 4.5 percent to 3 percent—the lowest in the market since May 2017.
2019 NATIONAL BUDGET
Php3.66 trillion was the allotted National Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. The largest shares of the 2019 budget were allocated to social and economic services. The infrastructure and education sectors received the biggest allocation.
The government intensified its traffic management operations to decongest urban centers. The Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (i-ACT) ensured unity of command, control, and coordination in effective traffic management, impounded colorum, and apprehended out-of-line vehicles in Metro Manila. At the same time, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) implemented the No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy, issued tickets on illegally parked vehicles, traffic violations, towed illegally parked vehicles, and removed illegal vendors along roads and streets in Metro Manila.
MOBILITY & CONNECTIVITY
The Build, Build, Build program paved the way for high-impact projects to propel the development of emerging economic hubs outside Metro Manila and decongest the urban centers. These economic hubs provide more and better jobs, robust economic activities, and improved services. — NERLYN LAMASON