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From "Aquinomics" To "Digonomics"

By: Cielito F. Habito, PhD
Like every other year, 2016 was marked by both good news and bad. Brexit (or the British vote to leave the European Union) and the surprise election of Donald Trump to the US presidency probably topped the global news of widest interest. An important success was the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change—a boon for the Philippines, being among the most vulnerable to climate change. The country also saw a big win against China in the favorable decision on the West Philippine Sea issue of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) based in The Hague.
But surely topping our news was the election of Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency—welcome news to the minority who voted for him, but probably not for the majority who didn’t. For one thing, it has ended up reducing the significance of our PCA victory, now that he has taken a friendly, even subservient, stance toward our erstwhile tormentors. It also paved the way for other developments unwelcome to most: the Marcos burial, needless tirades against the United States, the European Union and even the United Nations, and worrisome extrajudicial killings in the name of the government’s war on drugs.
On the upside, Mr. Duterte brought about certain positive changes most Filipinos welcome. In a move his predecessor promised at the outset but sat on for six years, he mandated freedom of information for all government offices in his second executive order, providing for full public disclosure of all government records involving public interest. One of his first orders also directed all department secretaries and agency heads to reduce requirements and processing time for various applications. In October, he institutionalized the 8888 Citizens’ Complaint Hotline, allowing citizens to report inefficiencies and corruption in government. The largely supportive Congress promptly passed his proposed national budget 11 percent higher than last year’s, incorporating popular but debatable provisions for free tertiary education and free irrigation. The budget also starts to make good on the vow to raise allocations for infrastructure, programmed to reach 7 percent of GDP in six years, from under 3 percent in the past administration.
Read the full article at http://opinion.inquirer.net/100522/from-aquinomics-to-digonomics