Malacañang on Thursday described as “great” the first four years of President Rodrigo Duterte’s six-year term despite challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque touted the country’s economic performance before the pandemic hit the Philippines early this year.
Roque said the economy grew at an average of 6.5% in the past four years, inflation was under control, interest rates were low and the Philippines had a record credit rating, which is generally seen as favorable, as this would give the country lower borrowing costs.
He also cited Duterte’s enduring popularity, which the Palace official said was an affirmation of the administration’s policies including the controversial war on drugs, a campaign that has gained criticism both here and abroad due to the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.
The Palace has repeatedly said the drug-related killings were not state-initiated nor state-sponsored.
“It’s been a great four years,” Roque said in a televised briefing.
“Mayroon po tayong pagsubok pero dahil mayroon po tayong very sound fundamentals, makakaahon din po tayo dito sa pagsubok ng COVID-19.”
Duterte marked his fourth year in office on June 30, Tuesday. His term will end in June 2022. — Virgil Lopez/RSJ, GMA News