There is a lot of talk in the Philippines about the “Duterte Effect”. What is the Duterte Effect?
Well, what people mean when they utter that phrase is that because of our new President, and how tough he is perceived to be, people kind of “fall in line” without need to be arrested or whatever, just to avoid the wrath of the new President.
As an example, in the days leading up to the oath taking of Rodrigo Duterte, a lot of criminals, especially drug dealers and manufactures were actually going to Police Stations across the country and turning themselves in, rather than being killed after Duterte took power. I am kind of used to this kind of effect here in Davao, people here tend to try to be on their best behavior and avoid committing any crimes, just because they fear what will happen if the (then) Mayor finds out.
Well, I experienced the Duterte effect myself earlier this week.
Over two weeks ago, I made an online purchase from an eCommerce site in Manila. Their procedures for payment were rather quirky, although normal for here in the Philippines. You had to go to the bank physically and deposit the money into their bank account, then scan the deposit receipt and email it to them. After receiving the email with the receipt they would ship you your purchase.
So, over two weeks ago, I did this, and placed a small order, only about $10 in all. I emailed them with a copy of my receipt. It was shortly after sending that email that I started having my heart problems. On Monday this week, I remembered about the order, and was wondering where it was, because it was long overdue. So, I emailed the company and told them that I wanted to find out where my order was. I also said that I wanted them to “ship it to me here in Davao City” immediately. That was at like 6am in the morning when I emailed them. I got a reply from the company before 7am, which is very rare!
They told me that they were very sorry and that they would ship it to me as soon as the shipping company was open! I received the package in 24 hours.
The thing is, when they responded to my email, they indicated that they were worried about the poor service “because you are in Davao”. In other words, they were worried that the President might get mad at them, or do something to them because I was in Davao and they did not treat me well. I showed this to several friends, and everybody got a good laugh out of it.
So, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank President Duterte for making eCommerce better in the Philippines, especially for those of us in Davao City! Ha ha.. I never even considered that being in Davao City would lead to better customer service under the new Administration!