MANILA — The Palace on Saturday, Dec. 23, attributed President Rodrigo Duterte’s very good satisfaction ratings during the last quarter of 2017 to his administration’s pro-poor initiatives.
Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) Fourth Quarter 2017 survey showed that the President’s gross satisfaction rating rose to 71 percent in December from 67 percent last September.
In a radio interview aired over Radyo Pilipinas, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said the President’s “very good” satisfaction rating can be credited to the government’s thrust to push for a more inclusive economic growth.
“This government is really the most pro-poor government,” he stressed.
The Secretary particularly lauded the administration’s economic team and the members of Congress for working towards the enactment of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act (TRAIN).
He said majority of Filipinos stand to benefit from the tax measure, which he also described as “pro-poor.”
“Ito po ay malaking tulong sa ating mga kababayan sapagkat nubenta’y nuebe porsyento na mga kababayan natin ay bababa ‘yung kanilang income tax or tuluyang mawawala. More than 80 percent na mga kababayan natin ay kumikita ng P250,000 pababa kada taon so, which means that wala silang babayarang income tax sa susunod na taon,” Andanar said.
Furthermore, the Presidential Communications Chief noted that the additional revenues to be collected through the TRAIN Act would be used to fund the government’s priority projects on education, social welfare, and infrastructure.
Among these programs are the provision of free tuition in all state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the country, conditional cash transfers, and big-ticket infrastructure projects under the “Build, Build, Build” campaign.
“[D]ahil dito sa TRAIN or Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion ay tataas din po ang koleksyon ng ating bayan, ng ating gobyerno na nangangahulugan na mayroon ho tayong pondong pagkukunan… doon sa mga malalaking infrastructure projects ng gobyerno,” Andanar cited.
“So kung marami hong proyekto na na-implement na ngayong 2018 – kasi 2018 po talaga ‘yung target na ma-implement eh – ay babaha ho ng trabaho. ‘Pag may trabaho ‘yung tao, gagastos ‘yung tao, iikot ang ekonomiya,” he added.
The Secretary also explained how the law has made possible the simplification of the country’s tax system. He said the TRAIN Act simplified taxes for small and micro-entrepreneurs, and also lowered estate taxes to a fixed rate of six percent.
Palace optimistic on gov’t ceasefire with Reds
Meanwhile, the Palace also expressed its optimism regarding the government’s declaration of a unilateral ceasefire with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).
Andanar said the President’s decision to suspend military operations against communist rebels would enable the country’s soldiers to spend time with their families during the holiday season.
“So ang mahalaga ho ay nag-declare ng unilateral ceasefire ang ating gobyerno para makauwi ang mga sundalo sa kanilang mga pamilya. At sumunod ‘yung CPP-NPA-NDF na nag-declare ng kanilang unilateral ceasefire,” he said.
“So, at least for this Christmas ay masaya po ang ating mga sundalo at masaya din po ang kanilang armed group na New People’s Army,” Andanar added.