The Duterte administration enters its sixth month in duty. The past five months have been a combination of good news and bad news. In my previous article about the 100 days of Digong, I mentioned that the President was hands-on with his approach towards achieving peace and order. However, I observe polarization and lack of cohesion in the Executive Branch. While the drug problem is alarming, there are equally problematic issues in our nation that require his attention.
Some political analysts observed that President Duterte’s selection process of Cabinet members is similar to that of the previous administrations. The current line-up speaks for the President. They are aligned with his objectives, and they implement his direct orders. It seems, however, that some Cabinet members don’t clean up house, so to speak. The Cabinet members must effectively manage their own responsibilities in their respective departments. We cannot deny that while there are performers in the Cabinet, there are also under-performers. If this is really a government of change, then we cannot accept mediocrity.
Before the last session break, I expressed my intent in assessing the performance of the Executive branch. If the Oversight Committee were still functioning at this time, I would propose to review the Cabinet members’ performances. I do not think they will achieve a passing grade. These are challenging times, especially as the country prepares for the domestic effects of international and global developments. There is little room for error.
We understand that the President’s appointees have their respective learning curves. I think that the six months of their term is enough for them to adjust and familiarize themselves with their respective roles. The honeymoon stage is over; it is time to do real work and deliver actual results.
The 2017 National Budget, called the “budget for change,” was approved on its third reading at the House of Representatives last Monday. This time, we hope that the budget would be used effectively by each government agency. We want to see an improved absorbing capacity of these agencies. If this administration is really for change, then the Executive branch cannot underperform. Like what I said before, any failure on the part of the Cabinet is a poor reflection of the President’s administrative capacity as Chief Executive.
Digong also received a lot of criticism locally and abroad for his actuations. We’d like to see a president whose speech and behavior reflect both his position as Head of the State, and be representative of the manner and actuations of the Filipino people. We should not suffer the consequences of our President’s unfavorable actions.