OUTGOING but still highly-popular President Duterte completes tomorrow, February 28, the 68th month of his 72-month administration, which started on June 30, 2016.
With just four months left in his six-year presidency, Duterte and his combo of trusted lieutenants are under heavy pressure to meet the many needs of the Filipino people.
It is certainly unfortunate that the retiring Chief Executive from Davao City in impoverished Mindanao has to address many challenges during the last two years of his regime.
They include the paralyzing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, destructive typhoons, spiralling prices of essential commodities and now the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
It will be recalled that President Duterte imposed a Luzon-wide lockdown in March 2020 to prevent the further spread of the dreaded virus, which originated from Wuhan, China.
And while COVID-19 went wild in the country, typhoons ravaged Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon, killing people and destroying millions of pesos worth of agricultural crops.
A displaced worker said: “Talagang ubos ang pera ni Juan dela Cruz dahil sa mga kalamidad na ito. Hindi lang yan, marami ang nawalan ng trabaho dahil sarado ang maraming negosyo.”
“Walang ginawa ang gobyerno nitong nakaraang dalawang taon kundi ang maglabas ng pera para lang may ibigay na ayuda sa mga nahihirapang kababayan natin,” he added.
The incoming administration may have to work double time if we are to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the more than 110 million Filipinos, notably the poor.
And the successor of President Duterte ought to put in place practical programs and initiate activities aimed at speeding up the recovery of the devastated local economy.