Duterte’s New Year Resolution: ‘Peace on earth, goodwill to all’

WITH only five days before 2016 ends, President Rodrigo Duterte seeks “peace on earth and goodwill to all men” in 2017, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“He (Duterte) wants peace on earth, goodwill to all men,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters, when asked about the New Year’s resolution of the President.

Abella said Duterte had already prepared plans to sustain peace and development in the country, as well as to maintain the good ties with other allied countries.

Since Duterte assumed the presidency, Abella noted that there had already been "significant achievements" in the war on illegal drugs, ongoing peace process with the communist rebels, international partnerships, economic growth, aspect of employment, and infrastructure.

Abella said that in order to retain the progress the Duterte administration had been able to achieve, it aimed at continuing to push for rehabilitation programs nationwide because the drug menace is not only a national security threat but also a public health issue.

He also said that Duterte was hopeful that by next year, there will no longer be armed conflict so the public will feel secure and safe in the country.

The government is now talking to the communist group to come up with an agreement that will end the problems in beleaguered Mindanao.

“President Duterte’s ultimate dream is for all armed conflict to stop and for the Filipino people to live in peace, safety and security,” Abella said.

In terms of international relations, Abella said Duterte’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit next year would be a “perfect” opportunity for the country to forge more partnerships with its neighboring countries.

Abella said that in order to fast track poverty reduction program, the National Economic and Development Authority was setting a growth rate in 2017 between 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in the gross domestic product (GPD).

He added that the government is ramping up public infrastructure spending next year, allotting at least five percent of the GDP to go to the infrastructure projects until 2022.

Considering that one-third of labor market remains vulnerable to external shocks, Abella said the administration would find ways to improve local infrastructure and the agriculture sector.

Abella said it would also beef up linkages with academe, technical education institutions and industries to equip students with competencies essential to have a competitive work environment.

The presidential spokesperson also said the government will fully implement the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to make women as more productive members of the labor force. (Sunnex)
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