President Rodrigo Duterte is set to deliver his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) today at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. It is the president’s chance to address pertinent issues facing the country, and share with the people his assessment and plans for improving the country’s state of affairs.
But unlike the previous speeches delivered by past presidents, Duterte aims to approach this year’s event a bit differently. With the pre-SONA public forum series titled “Tatak ng Pagbabago” recently held over the month of July, the president’s cabinet members have already given a summary of the administration’s accomplishments as well as their plans for the rest of their term.
Much of the pre-SONA forums dwelled on how the economy has grown much faster and how government revenues and infrastructure spending have improved considerably under the Duterte administration compared to past government administrations.
The infographic on this page affirms those claims though one could also see that the improvements were gradual and steady, building on gains made by the past administrations of former Presidents Gloria Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.
But in some respects, particularly inflation and the current account balance, it’s also apparent that recent trends have deteriorated rather than improved. Of course, the administration’s economic managers have explained that all these are temporary. They are also a consequence of the administration’s more aggressive push for infrastructure spending, they added.
However, in addition to comparing with the past, the infographic also contrasts the administration recent economic performance with its own targets, as set in the six-year Philippine Development Plan from 2017 to 2022.
The results show that many of the targets have yet to be met by the Duterte administration. It’s a sign that while improvements are apparent, they may not yet be enough to make a big difference.
Pauline Macaraeg is Entrepreneur PH's data journalist. Follow her on Twitter @paulinemacaraeg