P288-B in business deals inked: Duterte assures Japanese businessmen a ‘corruption-free’ PH

Marje Pelayo   •   May 29, 2019   •   8860

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte strikes his signature pose with his long-time partner Cielito Avanceña, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar during the business forum at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, Japan on May 29, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

TOKYO, Japan – Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Wednesday (May 29) reported the strong show of confidence by the Japanese and Filipino business communities resulting in 26 business agreements signed during the visit of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Seven business agreements and 19 Letters of Intent, according to Lopez, have been signed with an estimated investment value of P288-billion and a projected 82,732 job opportunities for Filipinos.

The business deals focus mainly on investment promotion activities; skills training and human resource development; software development; manufacturing; infrastructure; establishment of theme parks and agreements on food business; and health care among others.

“We know that for each job that is created, we uplift the life of one Filipino and his or her family members,” Lopez said.

The Trade Secretary thanked the investors “in helping the Duterte administration and the Filipino people in creating a more inclusive growth and shared prosperity.”

President Duterte lauded Japan’s business leaders for their trust and continued support to the initiatives of his administration.

He specifically encouraged Japanese investors to venture on his government’s flagship agenda – the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program – towards the creation of an inclusive, innovative and integrated economic space.

The President assured the Japanese business leaders of a “competitive and corruption free business climate and a high-skilled and fast-learning workforce.”

“Given all these, your investments are assured of protections and gains, I guarantee that,” he told the business leaders.

This, according to the President, is supported by the highest credit rating that the Philippines has reached so far.

Towards the end of his speech, the President emphasized that his line will always be open to hear complaints in case the Japanese business community encounters corruption when they do business in the country.

“May I just assure you that during my time, I said there will be no corruption, and every Japanese investor in my country, however small or however big, I can assure you that if there’s any complaint regarding hindrances, obstruction, or outright corruption, let me know,” he said.

“I will talk to you. Let me know what your problem is and we will kill that problem. I place honor and my persona that what I guarantee here must be followed,” the President concluded.  

Bounty raised to P6-M for the capture of suspects in Negros Oriental killing

Marje Pelayo   •   August 9, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte raised the cash reward to P6-M for the capture of the leader of the criminals who killed four policemen in Negros Oriental.

The government alleged the leftist New People’s Army (NPA) as the group behind the ambush.

The President said he is willing to shed that amount to anyone, may it be government worker or civilian, who could lead to the capture of the killers.

“Kaya itong NPA, galit ako dito. Kaya gusto kong malaman kung sila na ba (I am mad at these NPAs. I want to know if they really did it),” president Duterte said at the oath-taking ceremony for newly promoted PNP generals at Malacañang Thursday night (August 8).

“Kay kung hindi pa sila, dadagdagan ko pa ng isang milyon (If it’s not them, I’m willing to add one million [pesos)]more). So at this time, it is P6 million. Irrespective police or civilian, kung sinong makatiklo niyan, (to whoever who could capture them)” he added.

President Duterte expressed outrage over the killing and alleged torture of four police officers which local police attributed to the members of the NPA.

Meanwhile, the President said he is ready to provide the PNP with enough intelligence fund to intensify its operations against the proliferation of cocaine.

“Bakit marami ngayon ang cocaine? (What’s behind proliferation of cocaine?) Give me the answer,” he said.

“I’ll give you enough money for intelligence work. Spend it so that you can solve the problem. Magbibigay ako ng (I’ll add to your) intelligence fund. Just enough,” the President concluded. – with reports from Roselie Coz

Duterte visits Iloilo sea mishap victims, relatives receive P50k aid

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 8, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte visited the relatives of the Iloilo-Guimaras sea mishap victims on Wednesday (Aug 7).

Relatives received P50,000 cash assistance from the president when he visited the wake at the Gegato-Abecia Funeral Homes and Crematory in Iloilo City.

READ: Authorities recover two more bodies in Iloilo-Guimaras strait tragedy

Three pump boats capsized in the waters off Iloilo and Guimaras last August 3. The number of casualties reached 31 after two more bodies were recovered on Tuesday (Aug 6).—AAC

DPWH confident Makati to Cubao trip in 5 minutes possible by December

Robie de Guzman   •   August 7, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on Wednesday expressed confidence that it will be able to achieve President Rodrigo Duterte’s target of reducing the travel time from Cubao in Quezon City to Makati City to five minutes by December.

There are only four months left before the president’s deadline which was issued early this year but the DPWH said the shortened travel time will be made possible through a “combination” of infrastructure projects in Metro Manila seen to be completed this year.

When asked which projects will help shorten the drive, Anna Mae Lamentillo, who heads the DPWH’s Build, Build, Build Interagency Committee, admitted there is no singular way to do it.

She added that a bigger announcement will be made on how the target will be achieved.

“There is no singular strategy for this program pero ayaw kong ma-preempt ang (but I don’t want to preempt the) formal announcement for this project. I hope we can wait for the formal announcement on how this will be done,” she told reporters during a Malacañang press briefing.

Some of the projects under the Duterte administration’s infrastructure program are designed to reduce road traffic and travel time especially in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfares, Edsa and C5.

These include the Metro Manila Skyway Project, North Luzon Expressway Harbor Link, C5 South Link, and the NLEx-SLEx Connector Road which are seen to offer access and alternate routes for motorists.

Also being constructed are bridges seen to link business hubs, as well as railway projects that are envisioned to reduce the travel time and ease road congestions.

DPWH Secretary Mark Villar earlier said that some of the projects are expected to be completed within this year

“What we have right now is a master plan that will effectively decongest Edsa and C5 by about 300,000 vehicles in total,” Lamentillo said.

Solving traffic woes in Edsa is one of Duterte’s promises that is yet to be fulfilled. He previously asked Congress to grant him emergency powers to solve the problem but to no avail.

In his fourth State of the Nation Address, Duterte ordered local governments to clear public roads being used for private ends.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has responded to the chief executive’s order by directing mayors to conduct a 60-day operation to clear roads of illegal vendors and structures obstructing sidewalks. (with details form Rosalie Coz)

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