Good job, President Rodrigo Duterte
In my recent article titled Entering the Solid North, I shared an overview of what happened during our vacation. One of the highlights of every vacation is of course the travel.
In this article, I will share how our trip went, what I observed, and what makes me, a critic of this administration, commend the Duterte administration.
When I heard that Rodrigo Duterte was running for the presidency, I was skeptical about the things he can do since I am not that familiar with his type of leadership, his achievements, and his records. This is my perception not until the campaign for the 2016 election started. He’s a populist type of leader, very different from other candidates who are following the elitist image of other leaders. In short, he portrays a makamasa branding of politics. He’s easily understood by ordinary people and see him as one of them. When I saw him talk and act, I was convinced that he’s the Filipino needs, and I was one of the reasons why my parents voted for him; I was the one who persuaded them to vote for Duterte.
However, after years of supporting him, I became one of the critics of his administration. I criticize some of his policies, the way he governs, and the way he silences the media and critics.
April 29, the day of our scheduled preparation for our vacation in Pangasinan. We packed the things that we think are good for our 5-6 days stay there. It was a hectic and stressful day; from the anxious feeling from thinking about what will you bring, to the chaotic environment of your house due to the cabinet hauling of different stuff.
The night came and we were already prepared. I booked a Grab and after 10 minutes it arrived at our place. This is my first time trying a booking app and it went smoothly. Thank God!
After two years of not traveling to the north, I am kind of excited to see if there are changes on the route we will transverse. I often hear the news that several infrastructure projects are already available for public usage. After two years of limited travel, I want to see the improvements they always flex.
At the intersection near our area, I saw a mini (?) skyway that, if finished, will help in decongesting the heavy traffic on the main highway. I don’t know if this is a project of the national government, but I am aware that this is a project of our local government. I am just not quite sure if the national collaborated with our city to build that skyway. But okay, let's consider that it was included in the Build Build Build program of the Duterte administration.
Several minutes later, we passed on a tollway which I think made our travel faster. I never saw this one before so I think this was built and finished during the two-year period of strict lockdowns. However, this highway is a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) system and is not totally financed by the government. In the BOT system, roads are built by private enterprises with a limited franchise. When the franchise expires, ownership is transferred to the government. So, I think when a private enterprise owns the road, they can ask for toll fees.
For about an hour, we reached the bus terminal from Pasay. We paid 700+ pesos for the Grab, which is pretty understandable because of the convenience it gave to us.
We rode the bus at around 1 am and left the terminal at 1:30.
For me, riding the bus and traveling for 6-8 hours is one of the exciting parts of this vacation, especially since we're not able to experience this for the last two years because of the pandemic.
While on the bus, my favorite thing to do is look outside the window, plug in my earphones, and pretend that I am in a music video hahaha. I also enjoy watching the scenery of the city here in Manila.
While enjoying the luxurious lights and tall and aesthetic buildings of the city, I noticed that it was almost an hour but we are still here in a skyway. As far as I can remember, we don't cross on this highway when going to the North Luzon Expressway. I guess this is an infrastructure built under the Duterte administration?
The way it was constructed above the city buildings makes me amazed at how engineers and architects can build these large roads passing through different obstacles. Big pp and big brain!
Crossing that skyway saves us a lot of time, avoiding the heavy traffic of EDSA. Good job to the Build Build Build program of President Rodrigo Duterte.
However, despite the infrastructure boom around Metro Manila, the highways, roads, and public transportation in the province we passed by still had no improvements.
I hope that the next administration will prioritize improving the infrastructure in the rural area. Better roads, irrigation systems, and other things might help the people in those areas to live decently. I also believe that improving their infrastructure and economy will help them to be content and not migrate here to Manila.
One of my observations is why Metro Manila is overpopulated is because the people in the provinces go here to find high-paying jobs. If the government will develop the rural areas, investors will invest there, and more jobs will be created.
I commend President Rodrigo Duterte for his administration's Build Build Build program. We can't deny that it helped in decongesting the heavy traffic in Metro Manila. However, I still hold him accountable for the wrong things he has done especially his war on drugs and poor pandemic response.
This is how you became a good citizen of this country. Support the good and call out the bad they do. Your loyalty must be to the Philippines and Filipinos.
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Reading this makes me proud of our very own Tatay Digs of Davao 💚. Indeed, he set the bars high and praying that the next administration would follow his steps.