No smooth sailing for Duterte even as he enters second half of presidency with strong mandate, high popularity

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is into the second half of his presidency with approval ratings hitting a new high, and his political coalition won a landslide victory in this year's mid-term elections. PHOTO: AFP
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MANILA - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is halfway through his six-year term.

Mr Duterte managed to pluck some low-hanging fruits: tax reforms meant to beef up the government's purse; a law creating an autonomous Muslim region; free public college education; free irrigation; universal healthcare; a 1,000-peso (S$26) pension hike for senior citizens; and, easing restrictions on rice imports.

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