It’s really hard to imagine what life is on the ground here in the Philippines. Just today I went off to buy some groceries and normally I spend about two ‘PO Cards’ for milk, diapers, noodles, canned goods and stuff. However, now I’d need to add an extra 300 out of my wallet to buy them all.

This doesn’t come to me as a surprise as I’ve heard about this from the news. Though before back in 2014 to 2015. I do get to hear stories about this. However, it’s just that far-reaching circumstances of imposing unnecessary taxes has affected every ordinary Juan in the streets today.

If you are so privilege or receiving money from relatives outside the country. Or whether most of them were die-hard Duterte fans. It’s really really hard to ignore the reality of what is happening right now in the Philippines.

Life in the Philippines were even worst under Duterte

In restrospect, back in 2016 at height of Duterte’s fanfare ‘Change is Coming’. I was one in the many crowds of Plaza Independencia during Duterte’s campaign rally here in Cebu. I was one who gleefully cheered for his bid for the Presidency. To me, it would have been such a great honor that another President would yet hail from the humble islands of the Visayas.

“..Syempre proud gyud kay bisaya gud..” (I said to myself)

However, all turned sour when the President continues to make headlines as he’s making many many mistakes after another. I’ve seen him turning a blind eye from the poor and shaking hands with convicted plunderers and oligarchs. I used to think that he was going to be crime-busting probinsyano mayor-president untainted by the greasy glitzy Manila politicians. But I was completely wrong.

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And now just to elaborate how life is under Duterte. If you’ve been living on a tight budget and has many bills to pay and mouths to feed to. You’d surely appreciate the sudden and abrupt national economic changes taking its toll on the lowly citizens including those working their asses off for more than 10 hours a day. Just so they’d earn barely enough for their families.

Regardless if you are an existing Duterte supporter or a former Duterte supporter. Don’t lie. Life is becoming more and more terrible by mid-haft of 2018 and until now. If you go ride a tricycle. I normally spend 10 pesos per person and now I’d spend twice that. According to the tricycle driver. Prices of fuel had gone up due to Duterte’s TRAIN law. He said that this isn’t doing us anything at all. Most of the money coming out from the government’s coffers goes straight to his crony corrupt politicians anyways. Things are getting worst.

Philippines more and more corrupt under Duterte

According to Transparency International we fell two points from 2017 to 2018 (34 – 36). That is only within just one-year of Duterte’s supposedly iron-fist rule. That is one that’s really hard to ignore. Data speaks clearly. All the taxes that’s been added on our daily purchases goes straight to these corrupt politicians.

We’ve seen many plunderers exonerated and freed by our own courts only find them endorsed by Duterte’s daughter. These are men charged with the serious offense of embezzling billions of tax-payer money with well documented evidences and credible testimonies from witnesses whom were even sanctioned by the same court who acquitted them.

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We talk beyond party lines here and I’ve always wanted to make it clear. The real reason why we must be cautious as Duterte is harping his pro-martial law sweet talk and GMA’s cooking ‘Cha-Cha’ for her bid as the next Prime Minister. Most Filipinos aren’t too well aware of these threats just as I am back in the day I got swooned in to this rather amusing, straightforward trapo politician like Duterte. barrel

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Pork Barrel bigger, meatier and fattier for Duterte’s crocodiles

If we look back several years ago when the Supreme Court ruled to question the legality of issuing pork-barrels to the members of the Congress. It was about 200 Million pesos for each Senator and then 70 Million for each congressmen.

Now, under the new budget proposed by the House of Representatives.  Each senators will have a whooping 23 Billion pesos of lump sum each and then the congressmen will be blessed with 160 Million pesos of money to spend on any projects they can think of.

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Of course. Despite the huge leaps of pork-barrel for each members of the Congress. Many of them couldn’t even sufficiently justify how and where to spend these large amount of money and who will mostly be benefiting from it? Instead, they’d harp about economic repercussion should we delay the budget deliberations etc etc.

Duterte might need more high-interest loans to keep his crocodiles in the Congress well fed

So reader. I must be thoroughly honest. I’m seriously worried. The way things are going, it seems that we’re heading in a very very wrong direction here and if we continue this way.  And as Duterte wants to borrow more and more high-interest loans from China yet allowing corruption to fester and suck up government spending on these projects. We’d ended up selling not just the West Philippine Sea for that matter but for the entire country to the Chinese.

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Be warned and be aware. The Venezuelan’s suffered so much due to populist and socialist style politicians who loves to sweet-talk but can’t do nothing for the benefit of their countrymen.

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