Close to six years ago, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte came to power with an ambitious agenda: to lift the country by fighting corruption and poverty and eliminating the country's drug traffic problem.

Nowadays, the Filipino people are tallying up his policy record's good, bad and ugly sides.

The good side of Duterte's policy record is the rise in the per capita gross domestic product (GDP), a measure of the average citizen's share of the country's annual output.

In 2019, the year before the pandemic, the Philippines' per capita GDP reached an all-time high of $3,664.76, according to the World Bank. That's more than double the average of $1,627.98 for 1960 to 2016.

Per capita GDP statistics should be interpreted with extreme caution. Currency fluctuations and population growth can distort them. The Philippines' per capita GDP has been helped by a secular decline in population growth. And it's the continuation of an old trend that began during the Aquino administration, which restored macroeconomic stability to the country.

The Philippines' per capita GDP is 26% of the world's average, meaning that Filipinos are still poor.

The bad side of Duterte's policy record is the country's indebtedness, which was at 11.73 trillion Philippine pesos ($230 billion) in 2021, up 20% from 2020's 9.8 trillion Philippine pesos, according to the Philippines Bureau of Treasury. That's thanks to double-digit domestic and external borrowing growth.

Rising debt levels could make it more complicated and more expensive for the country to borrow down the road and, if debt growth goes unchecked, it could lead to a full-blown financial crisis.

The bad side of Duterte's policy is also about the country's opening up to Chinese labor back in 2018, following Duterte's warming up of relations with China, and allegedly, an agreement between China and the Philippines to relax visa restrictions.

A total of 3.12 million Chinese citizens entered the Philippines from January 2016 to May 2018, as 2.6 million Filipinos sought jobs overseas.

The ugly side of Duterte's policy record is the rising corruption and the decline of democracy.

The Philippines is the 115th least corrupt nation out of 180 countries, according to the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. That's 16 notches below the 2018 ranking and 20 down from 2015 before Duterte became president.

The Philippines slid down one notch in the Economist Intelligence Unit's (EIU) Democracy Index for 2020 to 55th place.

That's on top of two notches it slid in 2018 and one in 2019.

Rising corruption means that Duterte's anti-corruption rhetoric that helped him win office was rhetoric. His death squads and attacks on the media have compromised the country's democratic institutions without assisting the Philippines in fighting corruption.

The ugly side of Duterte's policy record extends to his foreign policy flip-flops regarding the Philippines' efforts to defend its territories against China.

Duterte's foreign policy flip-flops began after the Philippines won an Arbitral Tribunal ruling that found China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea. The order was a significant victory for the Philippines, which filed the proceedings, and the U.S., which wants the South China Sea to be open.

Initially, the ruling brought the two allies closer.

But soon after came the first flip-flop, with Duterte changing his mind, siding with China in the dispute and seeking a "divorce" from the U.S.

Then, a few months later came the second flip-flop, when Duterte told the world that he didn't want to abandon the U.S. military alliance.

And, eventually, the third flip-flop when he called China a "friend" in the South China Sea dispute, reiterating the position that the Philippines should seek a "divorce" from the U.S.

Duterte's flip-flops have left foreign policy experts scratching their heads as they try to figure out the logic behind these sweeping policy changes. Duterte's flip-flops didn't contain China's South China Sea aggression. Instead, they encouraged it, as evidenced by Beijing's repeated challenges to the Philippines' sovereignty.