Paolo “Pulong” Zimmerman Duterte was born on March 24, 1975, in Davao City. He is the eldest child of the former Davao City Mayor and now Philippine President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, and Elizabeth Zimmerman. His sister Sara is the incumbent Mayor of Davao City while his brother Sebastian is the Vice Mayor.
Duterte finished his primary and secondary education at the Philippine Women’s College (PWC) of Davao in 1991. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Banking and Finance at the University of Mindanao in 2001. He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Administration in 2009 at the University of Southeastern Philippines. His Doctorate’s Degree in Public Administration was completed in 2015 at the Lyceum-Northwestern University.
In pursuit of his dream of becoming a pilot, he obtained his Airplane Private Pilot Licence at Mactan Aviation Technology Center Inc. Pilot School in 2018. He is currently working on his Commercial and Multi-Engine Pilot License and Helicopter Pilot Training at CheynAir Aviation.
Pulong is married to January Navares, incumbent Barangay Chairman of Catalunan Grande in District 1 Davao City. He has 5 children namely Omar Vincent, Rodrigo II, Isabelle Lovelie, Sabina, and Paolo II, and 2 grandchildren Rodrigo III and Arturo Vincent.
Pulong entered the political arena in 2007 where he served as Barangay Chairman of the Catalunan Grande in Davao City until 2013. He was also elected as the President of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in 2008 which earned him a seat in the Davao City Council as ABC Sectoral Representative. He went on to serve as the National Vice President for Mindanao of the Liga ng Mga Barangay from 2011 to 2013.
In 2013, Pulong ran unopposed and eventually elected as the Vice Mayor of Davao City. During his first term, he established the Pulong Pulong ni Pulong (PPP) program to encouraged barangay officials to be more involved in delivering the needs of their constituents. As a former Barangay Chairman, PPP became his platform in resolving issues in the barangay level and giving the barangay officials opportunity to voice out their concerns and lobby for critical projects needed in their respective barangays.
In 2016, Pulong served his second term as Vice Mayor. As much as he wanted to complete his term, he resigned on December 25, 2017, citing the resignation was made out of “delicadeza”.
In October 2018, Pulong, accompanied by his sister Inday Sara and brother-in-law Manases Carpio, filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for a congressional seat of the first district of Davao City. He got the post following the landslide victory in the 2019 Philippine Mid-Term Elections.
In July 2019, he agreed to serve as Deputy Speaker for Political Affairs under the leadership of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano of Taguig City, of the 18th Congress of the Philippines.
In his first 365 days, Pulong pushed for the passage of 63 House Bills and House Resolutions — of which, 33 House Bills and 7 House Resolutions he authored. Of the said legislations, 6 were enacted into law, 17 approved by the House and transmitted to the Senate, and 29 still pending with the respective committees.