BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN/ADRIAN P. NEMES III
From a scale of one to 10, the five years performance of Rodrigo Duterte as president got a rating of 8 from Negros Occidental officials.
Giving him a performance rating of 8, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said, “It’s really indeed difficult, especially on the economy, and what has pandemic brought about”.
Lacson recalled that 2019 was a good year for the economy. “Unfortunately, pandemic came in, which actually affected all countries worldwide. Because of that, I would give the president an 8.”
Cadiz City Mayor Salvador Escalante, secretary of the United Negros Alliance, who admitted that he did not vote for Duterte in the 2016 elections, gave him a performance rating of 7.5 to 8, except for the national policies, such as the West Philippine Sea issue.
Escalante acknowledged Duterte for securing free Covid-19 vaccines for Filipinos, and lauded him for giving local government units a 13th-month Internal Revenue Allotment at the onset of the pandemic.
He also noted that LGUs, especially the poor municipalities, received projects from the national government, unlike before.
But Escalante said he cannot compare Duterte to his predecessors since these are abnormal times because of the pandemic.
While the economy is not good, Escalante said Negros Occidental is doing good, in terms of agriculture.
Former Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Benitez rated Duterte an 8, stressing that his administration accomplished much, including the Universal Health Care Program and Tertiary Free Education that he had sponsored in the House of Representatives and were passed by Congress into laws.
Those landmark achievements have benefitted Filipinos, Benitez added.
Progressive groups Sanlakas, Bukluran ng Mambubukid sa Pilipinas, and Freedom from Debt Coalition, however, denounced Duterte for his failure to comply with its campaign promises in 2016.
Sanlakas local coordinator Jun Ano said they are also disappointed by Duterte’s failure to stop the illegal labor practice of contractualization, and the unresolved killings and continued red-tagging among progressive group leaders.
The Communist Party of the Philippines said in a statement it issued that Duterte delivered war, instead of the peace that he had promised during his first State of the Nation Address in 2016.
About 1,000 members of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan also staged a protest rally at the Bacolod Fountain of Justice yesterday in line with the final SONA of Duterte.
The protesters marched along the main streets of Bacolod and expressed their discontent in the present administration.
In a statement, Bayan Negros said they will oppose any move that would see Duterte remain in Malacañang beyond 2022.*