Photo: President Rodrigo Duterte takes a selfie with a member of the audience (Photo: PCOO)
The consistently popular Duterte administration baffles many given the intense mainstream media scrutiny imposed on him.
The short answer is that the reforms are felt by the BCD class, which comprises about 70% of the Filipino populace.
For one, tax reforms allowed almost 90% of all pinoys an exemption from income taxes. These includes majority of government employees. What this does is unleash their income to spend in the economy. Ask anyone whether its better to have cash on hand than in the bank and the answer is too obvious.
This additional cash in the economy was revealed in the spike in rice prices late 2018 is the effect of a sudden surge in purchasing power where agriculture, particularly rice production and delayed importation was unable to keep up with increased demand, thereby causing prices to rise.
Another set of reforms benefitting this class is transport reforms. Improved light rail maintenance, the reactivation of old railway systems, P2P buses and modern electric jeeps, upgraded airports and seaport terminals, new commuter bus systems in key cities helps ease the anxiety of commuters, most of which belong in this class.
Has the seemingly targeted, timed implementation of these systems has lowered the resistance of transport groups? Seems like it.
Apart from these, social reforms such as universal health care, free state college tuition are matters that this class appreciates, as it shows a desire to address anxieties over the major set of daily family expenses this class is exposed to: high healthcare and education costs.
Of all the reforms achieved, the ones directly felt by this class are most appreciated, like the fast and efficient frontline services like drivers license and passport renewal.
The opposition, however, persists in their focus on issues that barely register with this class, like the South China sea issue, perceived corruption in the Bureau of Corrections, among others. All of these are long standing issues happening even under their watch.
Take the Good Time Conduct Allowance and metro manila traffic issues for instance. These are all inherited problems from an era where the opposition was in power and did little to fix. For them to hammer away on such issues only exposes their complicity- it was a problem that persisted under them, what makes the people think they can solve it?
The results show that the majority segment and benefit from such reforms, many of which do not make the same dramatic headlines as useless senate inquiries. It seems that the #comfortablelifeforall is a message well taken.
These reforms explain why when trust and satisfaction surveys are taken, this BCD segment speaks and continues to speak in favor of government.