11 May 2017

President Duterte arrives in Cambodia for WEF on ASEAN 2017
Phnom Penh, Cambodia — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived here on Wednesday, May 10 to participate at the World Economic Forum (WEF) for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2017.

The Chief Executive’s plane touched down at the Phnom Penh International Airport at 5:49 p.m. (6:49 p.m. in Manila).

He was accompanied by Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

Also part of the President’s official delegation are National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Ernesto Pernia, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.

Upon arrival, the President was welcomed by H.E. Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, Minister in Attendance and H.E. Sieng Bunvuth, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher Montero, Myca Magnolia Fischer, First Secretary and Consul General; Col. Pablo Lorenzo, outgoing Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache; and Col. Josel Zuniga, incoming Philippine Defense and Armed Forces Attache also welcomed President Duterte.

On Thursday afternoon, Duterte will attend the Opening Plenary: ASEAN at 50 years at The Ballroom, Sokha Hotel.

He will then proceed to the Informal Gathering of World Economic Leaders and to the Multilateral Meeting with the ASEAN Regional Strategy Group.

The Chief Executive will also attend the ASEAN Regional Business Council Special Session on DuterteNomics and ASEAN with business leaders.

The President will go to the Cultural Soiree to be hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia.

President Duterte departed on Wednesday afternoon for his official visits to Cambodia and China and a working visit to Hong Kong aimed at enhancing cooperation and economic ties with those Asian neighbors.

In Phnom Penh, the President will attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN where he will be joining Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc of Vietnam, and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos.

“Together we will be able to highlight accomplishments and developments of the 30th ASEAN Summit in Manila,” the President said in his departure statement.

The forum will be an opportunity for them to engage the larger region in discussing the common vision for Southeast Asia and its people, the President said.
‘Duterte to advance Philippine development goals in China’
In Hong Kong, the President is expected to meet overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as he underscored their contributions to national development.

After his stop in Hong Kong, the President will participate in the Belt and Road Program for International Cooperation in Beijing upon the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

In the forum, the President said they will explore opportunities for supporting infrastructure development, trade and economic cooperation, energy development, financial cooperation, eco-environment initiatives, and people-to-people exchanges.

“I will work to build greater mutual interest and confidence in the region by meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and Mongolian Prime Minister,” he said.

In his meeting with Chinese officials, he said they will review political-security developments, economic, cultural, and people-to-people relations.

The recent exchanges between the Philippines and China and updates on economic cooperation since his State Visit to China in October 2016 will also be discussed, he said.

His meeting with the Mongolian Prime Minister will focus on a review of bilateral relations, particularly on enhancing economic cooperation and high-level exchanges, according to the President.

“I am eager to engage my counterparts to establish stronger ties of amity with other countries in the Asia Pacific. In my engagements, I shall observe and expect full respect for sovereign equality,” the President said.
New appointments
Also, the President said Wednesday in a media interview that he signed the appointment paper of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as the new Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

President Duterte also announced that Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Eduardo Año is set to assume the post as the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). ###PND

Cayetano thanks Duterte, bares plans for DFA
Phnom Penh, Cambodia —Senator Alan Peter Cayteano thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on his nomination as the next Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary as the former disclosed his plans for the Department in a press conference held Wednesday evening, May 10, at the Himawari Hotel Apartment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.

“…(L)ubusan kaming nagpapasalamat sa Panginoon and prayer namin mag-asawa talaga ay si Pangulo ang gamitin kung saan ako makakatulong sa kanyang administrasyon sa bansa,” the incoming DFA Secretary said.

Senator Cayetano clarified that he still needed to go through the Commission on Appointments, and that both houses of Congress are still in session.

“So until that time, I’ll still be serving in the Senate,” Cayetano underscored.

Cayetano downplayed his role as a staunch defender of the President in the Senate citing the President is in good hands with the present Senate.

“So ang trabaho ko magsalita. So it just so happened that I’m one of the public faces… kaya nabibigyan tayo ng credit,” Cayetano pointed out.

Cayetano currently chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and is part of the delegation in numerous presidential foreign visits.

In the same press conference, Cayetano revealed his expectations on his new assignment.

“The DFA from the Secretary down to the most humble employee will not have their own agenda or their own foreign policy but we’ll all work hard together to implement the foreign policy of the Philippines, led by the President, especially ‘yung paulit-ulit sinasabi ng Pangulo na hindi sapat ‘yung welfare and protection ng ating OFWs, kailangan ‘yung comfort and convenience din nila,” he said.

Cayetano then cited the relevance of the Philippines under the Duterte administration where DFA plays an important part.

“We have the best people in the DFA but suddenly we’re relevant around the world. Suddenly, the Philippines, hindi siya isang speck na napakaliit lang na player sa world affairs. ‘Di ba suddenly, tumatawag si President Trump, tumatawag si President Xi Jinping, may imbistasyon sa Kremlin. So the new bridges, the new friends that the President established and then how do we repair kung meron mang problema sa old allies natin… So ‘yun ang magiging mission ng mga taga-DFA ‘no, to follow the policy of the President, but to keep building bridges,” he emphasized.

In this regard, Cayetano wanted to institutionalize briefings in the DFA.

Human Rights Situation

Cayetano likewise mentioned his recent diplomatic mission in Geneva, Switzerland, where he presented the other less known story in the Duterte administration’s campaign against illegal drugs.

“So I’m not saying that we convince them that it’s not so. But we open their eyes and mind and heart that there’s two sides to the story,” Cayetano said.

He further said that he is willing to face the consequences once proven that his presentation about extrajudicial killings in Geneva is wrong.

“I’m willing to resign, to be jailed, to be exiled if mali ‘yung prinesent (present) ko or at the very least if I intentionally misled anyone. Lahat ng prinesent (present) ko is based on fact, based on actual numbers. So remember, dati pa sinasabi na maraming extrajudicial killings. ‘Nong 2012 pa lang, pinuna na ng — the same countries na pumuna sa atin, pinuna nila ang Aquino government for extrajudicial killings,” Cayetano explained citing Administrative Order 35 signed by former President Aquino

Administrative Order No 35 created the inter-agency committee on extra-legal killings, enforced disappearances, torture and other grave violations. The operational guidelines of the EO, signed by then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in her capacity as IAC Chair, defines extrajudicial killings (EJKs).

Relations with China

Meanwhile, he also talked about China stressing the importance of peace and stability in the region.

“Kung meron kang peace and stability sa region, everyone nakikinabang. Nakikinabang Japan, nakikinabang China, nakikinabang US, Canada, tayo . Pag walang peace and stability, ibig sabihin ‘yung tension sa West Philippine Sea ay magulo masyado,” Cayetano elaborated.

In addition, he reiterated the President’s remarks to raise the arbitral ruling in the proper time.

“Give him the option kung kailan niya ilalabas, kailan niya gagamitin. And we will follow the President, “ Cayetano concluded.###Content & Messaging

Filipinos in Hong Kong ‘excited’ to meet President Duterte – Consul General
HONG KONG — Filipinos working in Hong Kong are thrilled to see and meet President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, a top consulate official said.

In an interview with Consul General of the Philippines in Hong Kong Bernardita Catalla, she said thousands of Filipinos working and living in Hong Kong have long been waiting for Duterte to visit the Special Administrative Region.

“Well, a lot of people, a lot of our OFWs are excited. In fact, they have been clamoring for him to visit,” Catalla said.

Duterte departed for Cambodia on Wednesday to attend the World Economic Forum for ASEAN. From Cambodia, the President and his delegation will proceed to Hong Kong for a working visit from May 12 to 13.

Catalla said there are around 210,00 Filipinos in Hong Kong, 194,000 of them are Overseas Filipino Workers mainly domestic workers.

She noted that significant number of Filipinos voted for Duterte during the elections saying that he got 66 percent of the 46,000 Filipinos who cast their votes in Hong Kong last year.

She lamented however that the organizers could not accommodate all those who wanted to see the President on Saturday.

“So those who cannot be accommodated (on the Meeting with the Filipino Community) pasensiya na po because as I said, security is of utmost importance and we are not able to provide a big venue,” she said.

Meanwhile, Catalla shared the consulate’s efforts to improve the skills of Filipinos in Hong Kong by providing them trainings and seminars particularly on health and wellness and financial and foreign language literacy.

“I always tell the Filipinos, our countrymen to prepare for their return to the Philippines, that Hongkong is not their home,” she said.

“We have to go back to the Philippines, they are here temporarily to achieve their goals, their aspirations in life, like sending their children or their siblings to school, finishing school; putting up a small business,” she added.

She likewise encouraged education graduates in Hong Kong to go back to the Philippines and practice their profession there to be able to help their communities.

“We encourage our people to shy away from vices, from debts because that’s one of the issues here; to learn how to save and prepare for the future,” she said.

In a separate interview with Labor Attaché Jalilo Dela Torre, he assured that the Philippine Overseas Employment Office (POLO) is addressing the concerns of Filipinos in Hong Kong especially on issues on recruitment and their employers.

“Habang nandito pa po yung ating konsulado sa Hong Kong, habang nandito yung Philippine Overseas Labor Office, binibigay po namin ang assurance sa ating mga Filipino migrant workers na kami po’y handang tumulong sa kanila sa lahat ng kanilang mga problema, mula sa problema sa kanilang mga amo o kanilang mga employer, o di kaya, problema nila laban sa kanilang Hong Kong agency at saka laban sa kanilang mga Philippine employment agencies,” he said. ### PND

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the Travel Advisory for Palawan Province
Public safety is everyone’s concern. We assure everyone that the government is on top of the situation and authorities, particularly those in the Western Command (WESCOM) which covers the province of Palawan, are on heightened alert to prevent any untoward incidents.

WESCOM, along with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), as well as the Provincial Government of Palawan and the City Government of Puerto Princesa, are in close coordination in enforcing law and order. All units and assets are being utilized to ensure maximum security to deny any terrorist group’s entry and access in the high seas and coastal areas.

We urge everyone’s cooperation, including residents and tourists, to be mindful and immediately report to law enforcement units any questionable individual or activity in the areas.

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On the PH 24th UN ranking in terms of access to infrastructure
We acknowledge The Asia-Pacific Countries with Special Needs Report 2017 of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) showing that the Philippines is ranked 24th out of 41 Asia and the Pacific countries in terms of access to infrastructure.

We recognize the infrastructure backlog left by previous governments, thus, at the beginning of the term of the President, the Duterte administration’s economic managers have already vowed to accelerate infrastructure investments.

Ten months after, we now have an aggressive infrastructure program, which we call Build Build Build, which aims to construct a network of roads, bridges, railways and airports to spur economic growth and lower poverty.

President Duterte: Don’t turn a blind eye on illegal drugs
Phnom Penh, Cambodia — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday, May 11, called on the leaders not to ignore the scourge of illegal drugs on the youth, noting that the younger generation should be empowered to be the best version of themselves.

During the Opening Plenary: ASEAN at 50 Years Young during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN 2017, Duterte said the youth is certainly a key sector that we must invest in.

“The ASEAN Work Plan on Youth 2016-2020 encourages youth entrepreneurship, employment and employability, awareness, volunteerism, and resilience” he said in his remarks at The Ballroom of Sokha Hotel.

The Chief Executive, who is also the chairman of the ASEAN this year, said the plan deserves full support as ASEAN youth are “among the best and most creative, intelligent and innovative in the world.”

“We must empower them to be the best version of themselves,” the President said.

“But we cannot turn a blind eye on the scourge of illegal drugs that threatens our youth and the future of our societies,” he said.

According to Duterte, a committed stand should be taken to dismantle and destroy the illegal drugs trade apparatus.

He further noted that the commitment to realize a drug-free ASEAN community should be reaffirmed.

In the same speech, President Duterte said ASEAN is becoming a significant global player.

“It plays a key role in promoting peace and stability in the region. And it is an emerging economic powerhouse,” he said.

The President, however, noted that while the ASEAN’s achievement is celebrated, it should be recognized as well that more needs to be done for our people.

According to Duterte, among the challenges faced by the ten-member bloc are: integration and connectivity efforts have to be ramped up; technological changes impact on the work force as well as trade and investment, and capital flows; transnational crime threaten to undermine economic progress; and, development gaps threaten to hold us back from achieving the inclusive growth for our peoples.

He said the Philippines as this year’s ASEAN Chair resolves to establish meaningful partnerships for positive change as we engage the larger world.

“The Philippines will do its part. ASEAN Member States will do their part as well. Join us and together let us be partners in an enduring engagement to bring positive change for our world and our region,” he said.

During the opening plenary, the Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Sen, officially declared the opening of the regional forum.

Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, and Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc also delivered their remarks during the session.

The theme for this WEF, which is hosted by Cambodia for the first time, is: “Youth, Technology, and Growth: Securing ASEAN’s Digital and Demographic Dividends.” ###PND

First international launch of Dutertenomics
Phnom Penh, Cambodia —Members of the President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Cabinet presented before the international media the economic and development blueprint of the Philippines, aptly called “DuterteNomics,” on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN 2017 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital on Thursday, May 11.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar who opened the event said, ““Our milestones are ambitious. We will spend 5 to 7% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) every year on infrastructure.”

The Duterte administration plans to invest US$160 billion in the country’s physical infrastructure under the program “Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Plan.

Included in the Build-Build-Build Infrastructure Plan are a 650-km network of new or improved roads from La Union in the north to Camarines Sur in the south, the country’s first subway system running in Metro Manila, rail projects running to the north and south of Manila and the Mindanao Railway.

Other projects include the transformation of Clark Airport into the country’s second premier gateway and the overall upgrading of the country’s entire airport system.

“Dutertenomics underlies our 6-year development plan to achieve high middle income status by the time our President leaves office within a generation. We aim to eliminate poverty and rank among the thirty largest economies in the world,” Andanar said.

This is similarly echoed by Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez who pointed out that the administration of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is not just about drugs, but it is about making business and bringing change and prosperity for all, as envisioned by this presentation, which gathered some of the President’s cabinet officials.

Dutertenomics is a platform with accompanying ways of doing things, added Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, embodied by zero tolerance against corruption under the principle of accountability and transparency in a safe and secure environment. It is creating a scenario of return of investments, Tugade ended.

Joining Secretary Andanar, Secretary Lopez and Secretary Tugade in the Dutertenomics Presentation are Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Secretary Alfonso Cusi of the Department of Energy (DOE), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia, President and CEO Vivencio Dizon of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano.###PCO-Content