The work so far

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - HotSpot - - News - By AJ Bajo

Other cab­i­net mem­bers per­form too

The Duterte Ad­min­is­tra­tion has ticked off a num­ber of items in its to-do list half­way through from when it first got down to do busi­ness. These are among the many that has tran­spired thus far.

The De­part­ment of Bud­get and Man­age­ment al­lo­cated P816.2 bil­lion of the 2019 bud­get to the gov­ern­ment’s in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram, ‘Build, Build,

Build,’ an amount equiv­a­lent to 4.2 per­cent of the coun­try’s lo­cal out­put or the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP).

Train Ex­press

As a result of the Tax Re­form for Ac­cel­er­a­tion and In­clu­sion (TRAIN) law, the De­part­ment of Fi­nance (DoF) re­ported that some P111.7 bil­lion in per­sonal in­come tax have been col­lected as of end-May this year.

The DoF also said TRAIN rev­enues amounted to P68.4 bil­lion or 8.1 per­cent higher than the full-year tar­get of P63.3 bil­lion. The TRAIN law is the first pack­age of the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion’s Com­pre­hen­sive Tax Re­form Pro­gram.

In terms of strength­en­ing for­eign re­la­tions, the ad­min­is­tra­tion took steps to strengthen bi­lat­eral ties with Is­rael, Jor­dan, In­done­sia, Sin­ga­pore, Pa­pua New Guinea, China, Ja­pan and Thai­land, among oth­ers.

The key agency for the BBB, the De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DoTr), has made sig­nif­i­cant strides in nu­mer­ous avi­a­tion, mar­itime, road trans­port and rail­way projects un­der the in­fra­struc­ture buildup pro­gram. It has, for in­stance, bro­ken ground for the Metro Manila Sub­way Project and the LRT Cavite Ex­ten­sion, among many other projects. It has also signed the con­tract for the de­sign and con­struc­tion of Area A of the Uni­fied Grand Cen­tral Sta­tion which marks the in­ter­sec­tion for the LRT-1, MRT-3, MRT-7 and the sub­way.

Mean­while, the De­part­ment of Trade and In­dus­try (DTI) achieved new levels of ef­fi­ciency in help­ing mi­cro, small and medium en­ter­prises. It has re­leased loans amount­ing to P3.10 bil­lion to 83,088 MSME ben­e­fi­cia­ries un­der its mi­cro­fi­nanc­ing pro­gram in just over two years since the pro­gram was es­tab­lished in 2017 with a bud­get of P1 bil­lion.

The agency is also con­fi­dent it will hit its tar­get of P1 tril­lion worth of in­vest­ment pledges this year. In­vest­ment pledges rose 27.4 per­cent to P304.4 bil­lion in the Jan­uary-to-June pe­riod in 2019.

En­ergy re­silience

To al­low the De­part­ment of En­ergy (DoE) to bet­ter ful­fill its man­date of en­sur­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity, Pres­i­dent Duterte in April also signed Repub­lic Act No. 11285, or the Act In­sti­tu­tion­al­iz­ing En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency and Con­ser­va­tion, En­hanc­ing the Ef­fi­cient Use of En­ergy and Grant­ing In­cen­tives to En­ergy Ef­fi­ciency and Con­ser­va­tion Projects.

On May, the DoE broke ground for First Gen Corp.’s liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas re­ceiv­ing ter­mi­nal de­signed to help en­sure en­ergy se­cu­rity.

Pres­i­dent Durterte also signed Repub­lic Act No 11223, or the Uni­ver­sal Health Care act this year that en­rolls Filipinos into the na­tional health in­sur­ance pro­gram.

At the same time, the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion saw a rise in the num­ber of school­child­ren this year. From 27.018 mil­lion kinder­garten to Grade 12 stu­dents in 2018, the DepEd saw 27.216 chil­dren en­ter school grounds in 2019. Ad­di­tion­ally, it projects 735,000 stu­dents to en­roll in its Al­ter­na­tive Learn­ing Sys­tem for out-of-school youths and adults.

The De­part­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy thus far has de­vel­oped two mi­crosatel­lites, Di­wata 1 and 2, which will be used for earth ob­ser­va­tion for ap­pli­ca­tion in dis­as­ter and risk man­age­ment, agri­cul­ture, for­est mon­i­tor­ing, re­source as­sess­ment and mar­itime.

As widely heard, the De­part­ment of Tourism also un­der­took the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Bo­ra­cay Is­land. In line with ini­tia­tives, tourist ar­rivals in the coun­try reached 3.489 mil­lion in the first five months this year, up 9.76 per­cent from last year’s 3.178 mil­lion.

AN artist’s per­spec­tive of Metro Manila Sub­way ter­mi­nal.

N =; Sec­re­tary Al­fonso Cusi.

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