14 May 2017

PRRD, Belt & Road Forum & a New World Order
Beijing, China — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrives in Beijing Saturday, May 13, to attend a landmark event – the Belt and Road Forum (BFR) for International Cooperation.

“It marks the transition and the emergence of a new world order in which there will be multiple power centers…from a unipolar world that is dominated by the US and the West into one in which Asia, particularly China, is emerging as a center of gravity particularly in the fields of economics and trade,” said Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana at a press briefing in the Philippine embassy.

The Belt and Road Forum, also known as the Silk Road Summit, will be attended by more than 60 countries and 29 heads of states.

President Duterte’s participation would be to promote the country’s economic and development interests. “In broad terms, this will be an opportunity for the Philippines to understand more the implications and the projects involved in this Belt and Road Summit, and an opportunity to seek and explore how our country can use this initiative to promote our economic development in a sustainable way.”

Sta. Romana underscored the importance of convergence between the Philippine agenda, which includes the President’s 10-Point Agenda and its economic priorities, and the Belt and Road Initiative.

He stressed that the Belt and Road Initiative is not a treaty or an alliance saying that the Philippines “voluntarily participates.”

Sta. Romana highlighted its importance such as promoting international economic cooperation, promoting globalization, enhancing infrastructure connectivity between East Asia, mainland Asia all the way to Europe.

“We see that there are areas that can promote our economic development, and particularly the connectivity, the idea of infrastructure development as well as development of our investment, of foreign trade, of international economic cooperation,” he said.
On PH-China Relations
Ambassador Sta. Romana lauded the Duterte administration for pursuing a two-track approach in its bilateral relations with China.

“Let’s go back to the issue of the disputes. If you put the disputes in the front or center of bilateral relations, the result is the relation will be frozen because the disputes cannot be solved overnight… The basic approach of the Duterte administration has been to put it on separate track,” Sta. Romana underscored.

He added that “China has responded” in the dual-track approach of the Philippines and “the relationship is driven by cooperation in the fields of economics, commerce, culture, science, education, technology, among others.”

The ambassador cited three areas which saw improvements after the President’s successful state visit to China last October, namely, trade, tourism and infrastructure.

Sta. Romana, however, mentioned that “bridges and railways cannot be built overnight”, therefore, the most immediate improvement can be felt in the “expansion of market.”

The markets of Beijing, for instance, now have Philippine bananas and Philippine pineapples and China has promised to buy over 1 billion dollars worth of tropical fruits from the Philippines.

In tourism, one million Chinese tourists visited the country and they would soon become among the leading sources of Philippine tourism. Philippine consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xiamen, Chongqing have been flooded with visa applications.

All these Sta. Romana attributed to President Duterte’s “sovereign equality, mutual benefit framework.”

“While we pursue cooperation, we must also pursue our national interests,” he emphasized.

This is the same track, Sta. Romana viewed, the Philippines must take on China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative.

“A new world is emerging. There is a rising power in Asia. We proceed on the basis of our national interest… Cooperate on areas where our interests converge,” Sta. Romana concluded. ###PCO-Content

President Duterte arrives in Beijing for Belt and Road Forum
Beijing, China — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte arrived here on Saturday, May 13 to participate at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The Chief Executive’s plane touched down at the Beijing International Airport at 11:16 p.m.

President Duterte is accompanied by Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

Also joining the President are Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, and National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia.

Also part of the official delegation are Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Rep. Wesley Gatchalian, PNP Director Ronald Dela Rosa, and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana.

On Sunday, May 14, the President will have a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Mongolia Jargatulygn Erdenebat at the Drawing II Room of the Grand Hyatt Beijing Hotel.

The President will then join the welcome dinner at the Great Hall of the People.

He will then proceed to the Opera House of the National Center for Performing Arts to watch the Cultural Gala Performance.

On Monday, May 15, the President will go to Yanqi Lake, International Convention Center for the welcoming ceremony.

He will then join the Leaders Roundtable Session 1 at the Ji Xian Hall of the International Convention Center.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, among the topics expected to be discussed include infrastructure connectivity; economic and trade cooperation; industrial investment; energy and resources; financial support; people-to-people exchanges; ecological and environmental protection; and marine cooperation.

This will be followed by the taking of the group photo at the Hanque Square of Yanqi Lake, International Convention Center.

President Duterte will also attend the APERITIF at the Hai Yan Hall of Yanqi Hotel.

He will then join a working lunch at the Hai Yan Hall of Yanqi Hotel. A Session II of the Leader’s Roundtable will follow at the International Convention Center.

Duterte will have an expanded bilateral meeting with Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping.

He will also have a restricted meeting with the Chinese President.

The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, also known as the Silk Road Summit, will be attended by 29 heads of states and over 60 countries.

China is the third of the President’s three-swing visit this month. Prior to his visit to China, President Duterte attended the World Economic Forum on ASEAN in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He also had a working visit to Hong Kong, where he met with the Filipino community.

It will be recalled that President Duterte was in China for a four day state visit in October last year. ###PND

From Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella – On 53% of Filipinos believe PRRD will fulfill most of his promises
The campaign vow of the President to rid society of drugs, criminality and corruption is part of his overarching goal to build a progressive and inclusive nation where Filipinos enjoy a comfortable life.

This remains the focus of his PRRD and his team – and its effects are now being felt by the people.


On Mother’s Day

Today we take time and greet all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

Isang Maligayang Araw ng mga Nanay sa lahat ng mga ina, nanay, mama, mommy sa loob at labas ng Pilipinas. Mabuhay po kayo!

Duterte to Pinoys in Hong Kong: Give me time to fix PH so you can go home
HONG KONG — President Rodrigo Duterte has asked for three to four years to solve graft, corruption and illegal drugs in the country.

Facing an exultant crowd of Filipinos here on Saturday, May 13 President Duterte said he and his Cabinet are doing their “very best” to encourage Filipino professionals working abroad to return home and contribute to national and economic development.

“Give me time. Three to four years… Four years okay talaga tayo,” the President said in his speech as he met with the Filipino community at Regal Airport Hotel.

“As I say, I will not allow my country to go to the dogs. With that kind of situation, mga three to four years pwede na kayong makauwi niyan. Invest in some business,” he added.

He likewise noted the improved relations between the Philippines and China, which has opened doors to various investments expected to generate jobs.

He also expressed optimism about the Belt and Road Initiative, saying that he expects something good to be gained from the two-day forum in Beijing, China.

“This is the strategy of President Xi Jinping for the prosperity of maybe in this region sa the ASEAN community and throughout the world. Mainly because, I think, there…heads of state attending this meeting and I was one of those lucky to be invited. I’m sure that mapapag-usapan namin doon would really be how to improve the economy of the world,” he said.

Should the Philippines maintain its momentum, Duterte said he is seeing the country to “stabilize” in three years time bringing about better lives for Filipinos.

The Chief Executive reiterated the important role of OFWs in eliminating corruption in government, asking them to be assertive should they get into such a predicament.

Meanwhile, in a media interview before proceeding to Beijing, President Duterte said an OFW bank is already “in process.”

“We are acquiring it. We are now preparing the law,” the President assured.

“Gusto ko pati ‘yung marino, separate bureau, or whatever na ano kasi ang gusto nila ganun rin eh. Pinagpapasa-pasa sila kung saan-saan sila pumunta. I want a building all for themselves where they can get — follow the requirements from government. And I told government to go online,” he said.

The President however said it needs to pass through Congress. “It cannot be done by an executive fiat,” he said. ###PND