News Release

Stronger ties with Asia’s economic powers to shield Philippines from uncertainties, says President Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the meeting with the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on May 30, 2019. JOSEPH RAZON/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

TOKYO, Japan—President Rodrigo Duterte said Thursday he believes forging stronger economic relations with Asia’s major economic powers would make the Philippines economically stable in the midst of economic uncertainties.

In a speech during his meeting here with the Filipino community, President Duterte said there is waning US global influence.

Currently, both the US and China imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on their exports which already disrupted trade and rattled financial markets.

“Kaya kailangan natin ang — at least — at the very least, mawala na lahat kasi ang America is really… Wala ang America it’s — hindi — hindi na, it can’t sustain. Kaya ayaw na rin ng gulo,” he told the OFWs here.

“So kung hindi lang tayo iwanan ng Japan, (South) Korea, pati China, okay tayo.”

China has promised the Philippines a lot but those were affected by the trade war the President said.

In the middle of global economic woes, he advised Filipinos in Japan to become productive in their host country.

“Kaya kung ako sa inyo is you help Japan. Truly, ‘yung in good faith. Sweat it out kasi unang-una they’re kind to us and they provide us with so many things,” he said.

He spelled out projects donated by Japan in the Philippines, citing Davao City’s airport, which was constructed through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

“Japan is a good country. It has — at saka ang mga workers natin dito hindi binabastos. You are really treated here as human being.”

In the domestic front, the President reported that the government’s economic policies have started to bear fruit.

He boasted the country’s credit rating upgrade, which he said, is now in the BBB+ category.

“Ibig sabihin, we are just one step ahead. Nagtabla na tayo sa America pati sa Japan, AAA,” the President explained.

Economic activities in areas outside Metro Manila are becoming more robust as evidenced by increased bank savings, he noted.

In Davao City in particular, experts are seeing a rising middle class. Real property prices in the city is also now at par with the prices in Metro Manila.

“So ‘yan ang indicator mo na gumagana. Kami naman dito, hindi man ako technician, tinitingnan ko lang ‘yung consumption ng electricity, energy, napakataas na,” he said.

“So in about five years’ time, kung masunod lang sana ng presidente ang ginagawa ko, medyo tuloy-tuloy.”

And as he completes his three remaining years in office, President Duterte advised Filipinos to choose the right leader who could continue what he has started.

The President also mentioned the campaign against the proliferation of illegal drugs, which according to him, is now waning as a result of government’s relentless campaign.

The fight against corruption, as well as crime, will also continue to fulfill his 2016 campaign pledge.

The President, who is in a four-day visit here, will address today, May 31, Nikkei’s 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia.

After that, he will meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a bilateral meeting before returning to the Philippines. PND