Rodrigo Duterte is the new strong man of the Philippines and he is walking the talk. Duterte who was voted in due to his pledge to develop marginalized and develop rural areas has been criticized by his crack down on drug lords and offenders.
Rodrigo Duterte who was sworn in as president on June 30 2016, apparently has not allowed himself to be swayed by sentiments or “factors” in his quest to better the lot of his people which I believe our very own president Buhari can borrow a leaf from.
Just recently he got the two biggest telecoms companies PLDT and Globe telecoms to reduce their interconnection rates ensuring that his people would be charged less for class while here in Nigeria the regulator is attempting to ensure increase in data prices.
Rodrigo Duterte has also recently signed in his budget for 2017 and “”[The budget] includes the sizeable increase in allocation of infrastructure project, free education for state universities and colleges, universal healthcare, rice allowance for the poor, free irrigation subsistence, allowance for prisoners, pension for war veterans, and centenarians”
The budget will see tuition in state colleges and irrigation for farmers free. Next year, the education department’s budget will rise over 32% percent to 544 billion pesos, making it the biggest allocation. The social welfare department’s budget will rise 15.8% to 128.3 billion pesos.
Comparing this budget to President Buhari’s first budget which was mired in controversy due to being padded, we can assert that Rodrigo Duterte is focused on education and alleviating farmers. Meaning Buhari should put his money where his mouth is and focus primarily on education and agriculture as these two will ensure that Nigeria’s future is secured. Having our educational system revamped is a matter of urgency and ensuring farmers produce more than enough for the nation should be our government’s priority, with emphasis laid on storage and distribution.
This is not to say that Duterte is without baggage. His confession albeit termed a joke by his media aides of being complicit in murder has tainted his administration and his hard crack down on the drug business has claimed casualties with the media stating that most are collateral damage.
What appeals is the determination of a man to better the lot of his people, which appears to be in sharp contrast with the situation we find ourselves. Buhari might have meant all he promised during the campaign period but his failures so far have been a lack of will, an economy being run further more into recession, a lack of compassion to the “cries and hurts” of his people and an abysmal fight against corruption. We hear corruption is fighting back, but so far there has been no single conviction against any corrupt individual, and the president is surrounded by men of suspicious characters with the toga of corruption apparently wrapped around them.
Rodrigo Duterte has his faults and only time will tell if he will succeed or not, but he has certainly started on a strong note whereas our President appears to be struggling to get on his feet.