The 71-year-old Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte was sworn in as the 16th president of the Philippines in a simple ceremony held at Malacañang Palace high noon, Thursday, June 30.
Following the military honors and toned down reception, Duterte met his Cabinet secretaries in a closed door meeting, and laid down to them their laundry tasks to do ASAP.
First, he wanted to set up a 24-hour complaint office, manned by 10 operators and covering the whole country. Duterte wanted the hotline to be 8888, “and they can report to me any complaint and there will be a manager who will re-direct the complaint to the proper office."
He is also eyeing Clark International Airport for domestic flights to decongest passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), tasking Transportation and Communications Secretary Arthur Tugade to study a road network leading to Pampanga.
He also urged his Cabinet members to shun special treatments and travel like ordinary citizens to ease airport congestion as well.
Duterte told the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) that he should not be given any special treatment.
He also stressed his no non-sense stance on illegal drugs and criminals, and now, he directed Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chief Andrea Domingo to cancel "sometime soon" the licenses given to online casinos which have sprouted across the country. "In Davao they're (online casinos) at it but I stopped it on time. And there is no way of collecting taxes there online," said the president.
Disdaining corruption, Duterte said he did not want fixers at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Land Registration Authority (LRA).
He also ordered for government agencies to finish processing documents within three days.
The President also said he did not want to pick a fight with China, and prefers to wait and study first the ruling before taking the next step.
Read Duterte’s inaugural address as delivered at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday. - Lynda C. Corpuz