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Ifugao Rep.
Teddy Baguilat on Thursday said President Rodrigo Duterte needs to "drastically" improve his performance in the next few years of his term so that he can deliver on his promise of change.
In a statement, Baguilat gave Duterte an overall grade of four out of 10 in the latter's freshman year as the country's chief executive.
Baguilat, a member of the so-called "Magnificent 7" in the House of Representatives, commended Duterte for some of his achievements so far, including his independent foreign policy, the peace talks, his economic agenda, and infrastructure development.
He said that while Duterte strengthened diplomatic ties with more countries, especially China and Russia, this should not compromise the country's "proven beneficial relationship" with major partners like the United States and the European Union.
Aside from this, Baguilat also lauded Duterte's peace efforts, saying that while it is currently stalled, the pursuit of peace leading to prosperity, especially in Mindanao, remained on the table.
The Duterte administration's economic agenda seeking poverty alleviation and promoting inclusive growth is also commendable, Baguilat said. This, after the government said it would build on the success of the previous administrations for faster growth.
Likewise, the infrastructure development program of the government is laudable, Baguilat said.
He is hoping, however, that its pursuit would not cause undue burden to taxpayers, considering the government's "ambitious" tax reform agenda.
But Baguilat also noted some of the "failures" of the Duterte administration on its first year.
One is that government's "ill-conceived and bloody war on drugs," which took thousands of lives and "made a mockery out of the justice system."
Baguilat also took a swipe at Duterte's apparent disregard for human rights.
He said that while he supports the move to alleviate crime and drugs in the country, there was "a right way of going about the plan."
Baguilat added that the government may have been too preoccupied with the drug issue, which was not a even considered a major concern before the elections.
This caused Duterte to forget many of his campaign promises, such as solving traffic, ending labor contractualization and pursuing real agrarian reform.
“One year of course is not enough to assess an administration’s achievement versus promises. But on 
 the basis of his mantra that change is coming, the change has not been encouraging,” Baguilat said.
On Wednesday, fellow "Magnificent 7" member Albay 
 Rep. Edcel Lagman gave his assessment of Duterte's first year in office, saying that while the President held the nation together, change has yet to come.
Duterte will reach his first year in office on Friday, June 30. — Erwin Colcol/RSJ/KVD, GMA News

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