Jun 23, 2017

Yesterday, June 22, one of the more controversial universities during this administration held a briefing on the past year of Duterte’s presidency. The briefing took place in Ateneo Graduate School of Business in Rockwell and covered everything that’s transgressed under this controversial leadership. A room full of professionals converged at Change Has Come: A briefing on the 1st year of Duterte’s Government.  The good, the bad, they discussed it with a scrutinising but fair mind. Away from the shallow and impulsive opinions and fake news from social media.

Thanks to the consideration of one of the professors who attended the briefing, we now have access to some of the insights shared in this summit. Ironically enough, this was shared through a facebook post.

Too long, don’t want to read? Here’s the quick and easy break down.

The Good

Contrary to what you’d expect, the briefing actually came up with plenty of good things from this administration.

  • The incoming BSP governor is actually qualified.
  • Government departments more actively advocating their target beneficiaries.
  • The idea of independent foreign policy is being entertained.
  • The economy is in good shape and still growing. This administration is actually following up on the momentum set by its predecessor. Spending on infrastructure will profit us in the long term. Agriculture might focus more on crops more beneficial to tillers than rice.
  • We’re not as divided as mainstream media portrays us to be. Filipino’s aren’t supporting a Chinese takeover,  There is no support for a China pivot. And, people can and do approve of both the Aquino and the Duterte government.

“It is also very surprising that 45% of Filipinos do not finish high school, according to SWS. This explains a lot about the level of critical thought one encounters outside,” the professor adds.

The Bad

“There are dangers to the government,” Agustin reminds. Though it may not be as bad as sensationalism has made it out to be, there are still some things from this administration to keep a watchful eye on.

  • Marawi and Martial Law. Need we say more? Apart from the obvious dangers of the chaos going in the province, the president is also worrisomely overexposed to the public considering this background conflict. The government also needs to clarify with and reassure its citizens over the need for Martial law
  • We’re still not sure about the president’s health.
  • Neither are we sure about the  supreme court justices and ombudsman he’ll be appointing.
  • Corruption and abuses of power. It’s spilled from the past administration onto this one and has made congress a numbers game instead of “actual consideration on the merits of possible legislation.”
  • The hate. Agustin references one of the speakers of the briefing in his explanation. “…from, Professor La Vina, the problem of the country lies mostly in the vitriol being thrown around by all parties. It is the hate that is most damaging to the image and to the perception people have of their own nation. Coupling that with the information about educational attainment, and we have ignorance and hate, a dangerous combination, being used as a weapon. It’s time to change that.

Overall, there are things to celebrate as much as things that we still need to improve. Regardless, no one person is perfect, much less an entire government. The best we could do is to keep working towards progress. As for the way we treat each other nowadays, here’s Professor Agustin’s parting words for you.

“As citizens, we need to remain vigilant, but also realize that there is no need to respond with hate to hate. It is information, education, and understanding that needs to be spread.”

TAGS: Ateneo Duterte president duterte