Duterte highlights vision during business forum, 10 Feb. 2017

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte attended the Manila Times 5th Business Forum here on Friday, February 10, and articulated his vision of sustained and inclusive growth by ensuring peaceful and orderly business environment.

In his message before participants of Manila Times’ business forum, the President reiterated his campaign pledge of fighting illegal drugs, corruption and criminality.

The President renewed his commitment to eliminate illegal narcotics, noting that something must be done to protect the country’s youth from the danger of drugs.

He also vowed to fight corruption and red tape, adding that he wants simple permits be processed within three days and applications under department secretaries be processed in one month.

Duterte also underscored the fact that the public must actively help to defeat graft and corruption in government. He likewise advised ordinary people not to give in to the demands of unscrupulous government personnel, especially the OFWs who fall prey to unscrupulous airport personnel.

Reiterating his zero tolerance for corruption, Duterte said there are no contracts reaching his desk like major infrastructure. Reviews of contracts for big government projects usually result to anomalies, he said.

He also vowed to combat crime and mentioned the ongoing debate on the reimposition of the death penalty.

“So criminality has to go. Basta ako, kung anong binibigay ninyo sa tao, isasauli ko talaga,” he said.

The President also cited a report stating that the imposition of death penalty served as deterrent to criminals from committing heinous offenses. He said the number of crimes increased when the government lifted capital punishment in the country contrary to the arguments of anti-death penalty advocates.

The President was also accorded the Man of the Year 2016 award by Manila Times Chairman Emeritus Dr. Dante Francis Ang during Friday’s event, in recognition of his dedication to carry out reforms in the country.

The award was conferred to the President Duterte for being the leader of the masses who broke the mold of traditional politics and rose to power to set a new direction for the Philippines to attain a corruption-free country, an independent foreign policy and a nation free from the drug menace.

This year’s business forum, dubbed “The Philippine Economic Outlook 2017: Peace Toward Sustainable Prosperity,” tackled the economic prospects of the country in the midst of significant policy changes under the Duterte administration.

Among the speakers in the forum held at Marco Polo Hotel were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, ADB country director Richard Bolt, and SM Investment Corp. senior Vice President Corazon Guidote.###PND