Duterte: Lower income taxes, better train system, free Wi-Fi

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — In what was expected to be a half-an-hour speech, President Rodrigo Duterte's maiden state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday ran for more than one hour and a half — but it was peppered with promised solutions to some of the public's age-old, daily common problems.

On Metro Manila's perennial flooding woes, Duterte said pumping stations that would suck out water on the streets would be put up in strategic areas of the metropolis.

Related: Metro Manila traffic to improve in next 100 days – Palace

For the suffering commuters, especially of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, the President said the number of trains would be increased from 16 to 20. Speed limit would also be hiked from 40 kph to 60 kph.

Given the lack of road and the booming volume of vehicles, Duterte planned to work with local government units in mapping up secondary routes so that motorists could avoid clogged thoroughfares like Edsa.

Duterte also enumerated a number of new train systems across the country — to the delight of the audience: Davao Transit System, the Cebu Transit System, the North and South Luzon Railways and the Panay Railways project.

"We shall pursue inter-island linkage projects," he also said.

Related: Slow PH Internet hurts businesses

Another well-received statement of the President was about the development of a National Broadband Plan which aimed to improve Internet speed in the country.

The audience applauded when Duterte announced that soon, there would be free Wi-Fi access in selected public places like parks, plazas, train stations, airports and sea ports.

But perhaps the promise on tax reform was the best music to the ears of employees and workers.

Related: Income tax reform to benefit poor, middle-class the most

Duterte said personal income taxes would be lowered — along with corporate taxes.

Currently, a person earning a monthly income of P20,000 or P240,000 a year is being taxed 25%. Studies and experts have said that this would not be realistic nowadays, considering inflation and that the tax brackets were crafted almost 20 years ago.

In line with government transparency, he said the bank secrecy law would also be relaxed. Last Saturday, Duterte signed an executive order of the freedom of information (FOI) for the Executive branch.

Finally, for couples scratching heads on how to raise so many children, Duterte said the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law would be implemented in full force — especially for the poor, so that they would "have freedom of informed choice on the number and spacing of children they can adequately care and provide for, eventually making them more productive members of the labor force."