27 June 2017

Duterte admin’s first year investment milestones
The strong commitment of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to promote inclusive economic growth in the country is slowly yielding positive results, a Cabinet official said on Tuesday, June 27.

Speaking before members of the media during a press briefing at Malacañan Palace, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez enumerated some of his agency’s achievements as part of the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) briefings, spearheaded by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella.

Highlighting several milestones in the first year of the Duterte administration, Lopez cited that the number of business companies and organizations coming into the country rose by five percent to 273 from 261 during the period of July to December of 2016.

“Notable delegations came from Canada, China, Japan, and even Russia,” he said, adding that the business delegations are in the areas of ship building, food processing, banking, and manufacturing.

In terms of investments, the Cabinet official said the Board of Investments recorded a 25 percent jump in the number of investments from January to May this year, compared to the same period in 2016.

At the same time, Foreign Direct Investments also grew by 11 percent to P1 billion in the first two months of 2017.

“We’ve gotten the number that business confidence continues to remain very high. We are hitting the number of 43 percent coming from what used to be 34 to 39 percent in previous period,” Lopez said.

He said the consumer confidence index, which used to be a negative number some years back, has reached 9.7 percent.

Lopez also underscored the productive state visits of President Duterte which resulted in the establishment of goodwill with different leaders and agreements in food security, trade and industry, tourism, agriculture, and business-to-business, among others.

For micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs), Lopez noted that his agency has established 271 Negosyo Centers from July last year to June 2017.

He said the agency has conducted 64 Kapatid Mentor ME programs or its program of training and mentoring of MSMEs nationwide.

“So that’s the main thrust of the Duterte administration, it’s how can we elevate the life of many of those at the bottom of the pyramid and how can we really make prosperity and give prosperity for all. So, that’s the reason why in many of the activities, we’ve been promoting investments as well,” he said.

Investments still up amid Marawi siege

Lopez assured the public that the ongoing conflict in Marawi city does not have an adverse impact on the economic activity.

“But we’re pleasantly surprised that… On the business, hindi po tayo affected because ‘yung sa mga negosyante, they really look into the longer term potential of a country and the fundamentals,” he said.

“So very bullish ang mga investors locating here. Not to mention the market access if they locate here, the ASEAN, and even our GSP and GSP Plus in US and EU,” he added.

During the same press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Abella reported that the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and Indonesia’s Financial Services Authority have signed a Letter of Intent on June 4 allowing qualified domestic banks in the Philippines to freely do business in Indonesia, and vice versa.

Meanwhile, the Palace official was firm in reiterating the government’s stand not to heed the Maute group’s demand for a negotiation.

“Government’s policy not to negotiate with terrorists remains,” he said.

Abella also assured that President Duterte is on top of the situation and is aware of what’s happening despite being out of the public eye.

“Being out of the public eye that is when he is able to really do office work. He signs papers, he reads, he consults. He’s actually very busy,” the Palace official noted.###PND

China donates P15 million for Marawi rehabilitation

Staying true to its bilateral relations with the Philippines, the government of the People’s Republic of China donated P15 million for the relief operations and rehabilitation of the besieged City of Marawi.

Chinese Ambassador, H.E. Zhao Jianhua presented to President Rodrigo Duterte, the P15 million check donation that will significantly augment the resources of the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) — two government arms currently spearheading various health and welfare operations in Marawi, including medical consultations, evacuation and logistical support.

The said donation from China to the Philippines is an example of the flourishing partnership between the two countries and their shared commitment towards sustainable peace in the region.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are tirelessly conducting rigid military operations in the Southern part of Mindanao to bring ISIS sympathizers before the law or else completely eradicate the extremist groups that have spawned therein.

While the government does not tolerate terrorists, it looks upon its citizens with regard, staunchly rebuilding Marawi City and bringing those affected to the path of healing.

As of June 26, DSWD had already spent about P85.53 million worth of assistance to the affected families, which included provisions like food packs, hygiene and dignity kits, kitchen utensils and tents among others.

Meanwhile, P52.03 million was accounted for DOH-provided health services, including medical check-ups, immunizations, medicines, mental and psychosocial services as well as food and water.

As of the latest government data, 82,767 families or 403,052 persons from Marawi have been displaced, including residents from 20 Lanao del Sur municipalities and 2 Lanao del Norte municipalities affected by the crisis.###PCO-Davao

President Duterte vows lasting peace in Mindanao
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, June 27 stressed anew his promise to the Filipinos that he would secure lasting peace in Mindanao.

“To our brothers and sisters who have been affected by the violence and conflict in Mindanao, I assure you that the government is committed to securing just and lasting peace in the island,” President Duterte said in his speech before an audience of Muslim Filipinos as he graced the Eid’l Fitr celebration held at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace.

The Chief Executive said the military and police remain hard at work to ending the crisis with dispatch, especially in Marawi City.

At the same time, Duterte said the government will continue to support Muslim Filipino scholars like Omar O. Sacar and Abdul Aziz A. Banisil to help improve the capabilities of the country’s youth.

Sacar and Banisil are now studying at the Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University in Indonesia.

Duterte hoped that the two will become part of the next generation of leaders who will help develop and advance their localities towards greater prosperity and progress.

Amid the continuing conflict in Marawi, Duterte said the entire nation stands beside the Muslim Filipino community.

“We will be with you as you rebuild your homes and localities, and as you realize your dreams of a better life,” he said.

Also in his address, the President expressed his sentiments over the misguided goals of the Maute group, which he said are against Filipino values and are only geared towards destroying lives and communities.

“Ang masakit sa akin, na pumasok a fractured ideology na hindi naman malaman sila mismo kung ano ang ginagawa. All that they want is to kill and destroy. Paano tayo mabubuhay niyan?” he said.

The President called for national unity as he extended his greetings of peace for the Eid’l Fitr celebration.

“So let us unite to achieve our common goals. With our solidarity and faith in each other, let us make Mindanao and the Philippines a land of order, stability, harmony and prosperity,” he said.###PND