DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Get ready for a nocturnal president.
Rodrigo Duterte said he intends to report to work as president of the Philippines at 1 pm and work until midnight, if need be.
During a press conference on Saturday, May 28, he gave a rundown of his planned schedule once he is sworn in as the 16th president.
"10 [am], magising ako, maligo ako, 11, 12 ready na ako. 1 pm didiretso na ako. Even if you want, until 12 [am] ako, good ako until 12 o'clock kung importante lang," he said.
(I will wake up at 10 am, I'll take a bath, 11 am, by noon, I'll be ready. At 1 pm, I will go straight to work. Even, if you want, I'm good until midnight for important matters only.)
Asked if this was one of his "outrageous" statements that media and the public should not believe, he said he was being serious.
"Basta, I'm available 1 to 12," he added.
He gave a peek into what his days as president will look like.
When he gets to Malacañang, his first order of business would be to sign papers and receive visitors.
His nights will be spent reading papers and documents. He intends to read every single document he will sign.
"Unlike others, I do not sign unless I know what I am signing about. I cannot read papers and sign documents when I am in the office because there will be many visitors. The bulk of the documents that you sign for and in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, you take it to your study before signing," he said.
He will also have regular security briefings with his military aide "to know what’s happening to the country."
Because of this schedule, he believes he will only get to rest at 12 am.
Daily flights to Davao temporary
But in the "first few days" of his presidency, he intends to catch the last commercial flight back to Davao City so he can sleep in his own bed which he calls his "comfort zone."
He will then catch another commercial flight back to Manila the next morning.
The daily flights to and fro Davao City would only happen during a "transitional period" so he can adjust to living in Manila, he previously said.
One of the factors in this decision is his youngest daughter Veronica who prefers to stay in Davao City, Duterte's common-law wife Honeylet Avanceña has told Rappler.
Ever since he was mayor, Duterte has become used to working late at night.
It started in his first term as mayor when he would go around Davao City until the wee hours of the morning to check on "lazy" policemen on duty.
He has said he is in his best frame of mind from 6 pm to 10 pm.
Because of this, Davao City Hall employees who directly interact with him for their work have had to adjust. Will his incoming staff in Malacañang adjust as well? – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.