Pres. Duterte highlights vision during business forum

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

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

President Duterte renewed his commitment to eliminate narcotics, noting that something must be done to protect the country's youth from the dangers of drugs.

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

The President also underscored the fact that the public must actively help defeat graft and corruption in government.

He advised ordinary people not to give in to the demands of unscrupulous government personnel, especially overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who fall prey to unscrupulous airport personnel.

Reiterating his zero tolerance for corruption, President Duterte said there are no contracts reaching his desk, such as those for major infrastructure.

Reviews of contracts for big government projects usually result in anomalies, he said.

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

"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 the death penalty deters criminals from committing heinous offenses.

He said the number of crimes have increased since the government lifted capital punishment in the country, contrary to the arguments of anti-death penalty advocates.

Meanwhile, the President was 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 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 the 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. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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