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DONALD TRUMP'S INAUGURATION ON VIDEO: ALLL YOU NEED TO KNOW


JABUARY 17-WATCH  VIDEO....

ASEAN 2017: RODY HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR UNITY, RULE OF LAW
[RELATED: ASEAN endeavors peace, ‘a better life’]


JANUARY 15 -Without mentioning the South China Sea dispute, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines’ priorities for this year include working for regional peace and stability and pursuing maritime security and cooperation. PPD//Toto Lozano, File
 President Rodrigo Duterte emphasized the need for unity and the importance of rule of law as the Philippines kicked off Sunday its hosting of this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet. Duterte said while the regional bloc has achieved gains in improving people’s lives and promoting development in the last 50 years, it has to continue working together to address the challenges it is facing. “We have established amongst ourselves good neighborliness that allow for secure and stable relations. But we also see in ourselves the very same burning desire to move forward together based on shared values,” the president said during the ASEAN 2017 launch in Davao City Sunday. READ MORE...RELATED, ASEAN endeavors peace, ‘a better life’...

ALSO: Miss U bets wearing the Filipino terno wow crowd in Vigan
[RELATED: Know more about Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina]


JANUARY 16 -Miss Universe bets wearing the Filipino terno wow crowd in Vigan The candidates of the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant were all poised and elegant as they paraded wearing the Filipino terno on Sunday in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Unang Balita reported on Monday. Residents, tourists, and well-wishers applauded as each candidate walked the stretch of the famous Calle Crisologo in the heritage city, GMA News' Lhar Santiago reported. Vigan has been inscribed in the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 1999. The beauty queens wore the terno, a one-piece gown with butterfly sleeves, done by Filipino designers. Among the candidates who participated were Miss Great Britain, Miss Netherlands, Miss Thailand, Miss USA, Miss Guatemala, Miss Venezuela, and Miss Philippines Maxine Medina. READ MORE...RELATED, Know more about Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina...

ALSO: (PHOTOS) Duterte meets with US Ambassador Sung Kim


JANUARY 15 -President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meets with US Ambassador Sung Kim at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on January 15, 2017. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/Presidential Photo | Manila Bulletin
Malacañang released photos on Monday (January 16, 2017) of President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with the US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim held on Sunday (January 15) at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City. During the 45-minute meeting, the United States affirmed its commitment to solid bilateral ties with the Philippines and promised to continue helping the country in maritime security, law enforcement, among others. READ MORE...

ALSO: US, Philippine forces to exchange experts


JANUARY 15 -THIS PHOTO -US, Philippine airmen talks aim to enhance interoperability Reported by By Staff Sgt. Kamaile O. Chan, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs / Published September 02, 2016. CAPTION: Maj. Gen. Conrado V. Parra Jr., the Philippine Air Force vice commander, left, Maj. Gen. Mark Dillon, the Pacific Air Forces vice commander, and Col. Fermin M. Carangan, the Philippine Air Force assistant chief of air staff for operations, participate in briefings during the fifth annual U.S. and Philippine Airman-to-Airman Talks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug. 30, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kamaile O. Chan)
THE United States and Philippine militaries will conduct “subject matter expert exchanges” at Clark Air Base in Pampanga starting today up to January 25, according to the Pacific Air Forces (Pacaf). Upon the invitation of the Philippine government, the US Air Force, US Army and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) service members will also conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Pacaf said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Jobless people to increase slightly in 2017 -World Employment Outlook


JANUARY  16 -According to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 (WESO), the number of unemployed persons globally in 2017 is forecast to stand at just over 201.1 million, with an additional rise of 2.7 million expected in 2018, “as the pace of labor force growth outstrips job creation.” Philstar.com/File The number of jobless people in the world is expected to increase by 3.4 million this year, representing a “modest” rise in global unemployment from 5.7 to 5.8 percent, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported. According to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 (WESO), the number of unemployed persons globally in 2017 is forecast to stand at just over 201.1 million, with an additional rise of 2.7 million expected in 2018, “as the pace of labor force growth outstrips job creation.” In 2016, 197.7 million people were unemployed. Of the 201.1 million jobless in 2017, 16.1 million will come from developing countries, 147 million from emerging countries, and 37.9 million from developed countries. READ MORE...

ALSO: Gov’t posts record P1 trillion in Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 7 months – DOF


A.S.E.A.N. CHAIRMANSHIP COIN – President Duterte (left)unveils the commemorative chairmanship coin of the ASEAN 2017 The Duterte administration has posted a historic first by raising the highest amount of official development assistance (ODA) – P1 trillion – in just seven months in office. “From July 1st to now, the President has raised close to one trillion pesos in ODA. And I’m only counting the amounts from China and Japan, and there’s more ODA that we have received but haven’t counted in from various countries,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said, emphasizing that he was referring to ODA alone, not trade deals. ODA refers to outright grants and loans given by foreign governments to support developing countries by providing low-interest and long-term or concessional funds to finance development efforts. READ MORE...


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EXTRA FEATURE: DONALD TRUMP'S INAUGURATION ON VIDOE

 
URL CLICK HERE  Come the 20th January, President-elect Donald Trump will be officially sworn into office, taking the title President of the United States. Hell is expected to consume America soon after. The day before the vows are taken, as is tradition, a celebratory concert will take place featuring a whole host of celebrity performers. For Obama’s first inauguration concert - "We Are One" - the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, and Beyoncé played: Trump’s line-up is a little lacklustre by comparison. First, rather than delving straight into celebrity performances, there will be the "Voices of the People" parade. Participants include the DC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, King’s Academy Honor Choir, and the Republican Hindu Coalition. Following the introduction, "The Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration" will kickstart, with Trump and his VP Mike Pence making speeches throughout.

Rody highlights need for unity, rule of law during ASEAN 2017 launch


Without mentioning the South China Sea dispute, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines’ priorities for this year include working for regional peace and stability and pursuing maritime security and cooperation. PPD//Toto Lozano, File

MANILA, JANUARY 16, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Alexis Romero January 15, 2017 -

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte emphasized the need for unity and the importance of rule of law as the Philippines kicked off Sunday its hosting of this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet.

Duterte said while the regional bloc has achieved gains in improving people’s lives and promoting development in the last 50 years, it has to continue working together to address the challenges it is facing.

“We have established amongst ourselves good neighborliness that allow for secure and stable relations. But we also see in ourselves the very same burning desire to move forward together based on shared values,” the president said during the ASEAN 2017 launch in Davao City Sunday.

READ MORE...

“We see the very same resolve to work together for a world that recognizes interconnectedness and respects for the sovereign independence. This is one of the important lessons that ASEAN can hold to the Asia-Pacific region and our world,” he added.

“But we too have learned many lessons. One of them is that the unity and cooperation that have defined ASEAN over the last five decades will be crucial to our collective success. We realize that, in truth, there is still a lot of hard work to be done for true transformation that will benefit our peoples in the region.”

PRIORITY PEACE, MARITIME SECURITY

Without mentioning the South China Sea dispute, Duterte said the Philippines’ priorities for this year include working for regional peace and stability and pursuing maritime security and cooperation.

“In our work, we will be guided by the following priorities: We will place our peoples at the core; work for regional peace and stability; pursue maritime security and cooperation; advance inclusive, innovation-led growth; strengthen ASEAN resiliency; and promote ASEAN as a model of regionalism and as a global player,” he said.

“This is a tremendous task but one that is not unachievable.”

Four ASEAN members — Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines — are claimants in the South China Sea maritime dispute. Other claimants are China, which claims virtually the entire resource-rich area, and Taiwan.

Last year, a Hague-based tribunal ruled that China’s expansive claim has no legal basis but Beijing refused to recognize the decision. Officials previously said that the maritime dispute would be one of the priority topics of this year’s ASEAN meet.

Duterte called on ASEAN member states and dialogue partners to adhere to the rule of law.

“In this journey, I call on all ASEAN Member States to rededicate themselves and commit anew to the principles and purposes behind the establishment of our association adherence to the rule of law. Now, more than ever, it is ASEAN’s spirit of community that will enable us to overcome challenges that we face as a region,” the Philippine leader said.

“I also call on ASEAN dialogue partners to renew their dedication to the valued purposes and principles stated in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation — including non-interference — in promoting regional peace and stability through abiding respect for the rule of law,” he added.

“Now, more than ever, it is a time for real change through constructive engagements.”

Duterte said the Philippines, as this year’s ASEAN chair, would remain steadfast in upholding ASEAN ideals and values and work for the realization of regional bloc’s shared aspirations.

“We are committed to the building of a strong and resilient ASEAN Community,” he said.

“We will actively promote and enhance ASEAN interests and well-being through policy initiatives, coordination, consensus and cooperation.”

IMPORTANT! INTEREST OF PEOPLES IN REGION

Duterte, in particular, stressed the importance of prioritizing the interests of the people in the region and providing them opportunities for a better life.

“This is a life that has broken the bonds of dependence and ignorance. This is a life that has given opportunities for self-improvement. This is a life that is provided by a society transformed and reformed. We must continue working on a bigger, more open and rules-based market for business and trade to thrive,” the president said.

“We must forge on with increased people-to-people interaction through commerce, travel and education. We must strive for a region that promotes and maintains peace, security and stability.”

Duterte said such goals can be achieved by strengthening the capacities of micro, small and medium enterprises, promoting and protecting the welfare of migrant workers, and ensuring the social protection for vulnerable sectors.

He said during the Philippines’ chairmanship, attention would be given to sub-regional mechanisms, including the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA). The Philippines will also be the chairman of the sub-regional initiative this year.

“The Philippines will be firm in its advocacy to promote cooperation between and among ASEAN neighbors and engage our dialogue partners to be more dynamic and vibrant stakeholders in the continued development of our region,” Duterte said.

Duterte urged Filipinos to display the bayanihan spirit and “take an active and constructive part” during the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN.

Officials also unveiled the ASEAN commemorative coin and stamp during Sunday’s launch.

The commemorative coin contains 10 stars symbolizing the ASEAN member-states, the regional bloc’s emblem and an illustration of Jose Rizal’s monument.

Meanwhile, the commemorative stamp contains the ASEAN 2017 logo, 10 stars and the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

-------------------------------

RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

ASEAN endeavors peace, ‘a better life’ 6 SHARES Share it! Published January 16, 2017, 12:09 AM by Yas D. Ocampo and Genalyn D. Kabiling


A.S.E.A.N. CHAIRMANSHIP COIN – President Duterte (left)unveils the commemorative chairmanship coin of the 2017 ASEAN summit at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City Sunday. The Philippines is chairman of this year’s meeting of the regional grouping. (Richard Viñas | Manila Bulletin)

Davao City — As the country assumed chairmanship of this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), President Duterte called for closer regional cooperation in giving the people “a better life” and promoting peace and stability in a speech delivered at the SMX Convention Center in Lanang, here.

The President also sounded the call for the adherence of rule of law and respect for sovereign independence while pursuing “constructive engagements” during the summit launch in Davao City.

“Today in Davao City let us renew the solemn pledge to do all we can for the very core of our national and regional interests: our peoples,” the President said.

“For an ASEAN citizen, the ASEAN Community must provide opportunities for a truly better life. This is a life that has broken the bonds of dependence and ignorance. This is a life that has given opportunities for self-improvement. This is a life that is provided by a society transformed and reformed,” he said.

Duterte cited the Filipino trait of the Bayanihan as a major theme of this year’s hosting of the ASEAN 2017.

Speaking as the keynote guest at the kickoff event, said that this was the best time for the Filipino trait to take centerstage, to lead others into the right direction on the occassion of its leading the economic region.

“Now, more than ever, it is our spirit of bayanihan that will help define us as a responsible leader of our region during this crucial time,” Duterte said.

“In this journey, I call on all ASEAN Member States to rededicate ourselves and commit anew to the principles and purposes behind the establishment of our Association – including adherence to the rule of law.”

According to Duterte, it was a common trait among the ASEAN nations to be mindful of the spirit of community espoused in the neighboring nations.

“Now, more than ever, it is ASEAN’s spirit of community that will enable us to overcome challenges that we face as a region,” he said.

Duterte added that his initial visits to member states of the ASEAN have shown how warm the Philippines is being received, even this early in the administration.

“The warmth of the reception and the undeniable connections we encountered speak well of the inroads we have achieved since 1967 when representatives declared the establishment of the Association,” he said.

The President paralleled the achievements of the ASEAN to the “positive changes” that have been achieved in the region in the past 50 years.

“Lives have been improved. The march towards sustainable development and inclusive growth continues to take place. And we have established amongst ourselves good neighbourliness that allow for secure and stable relations,” he said.


GMA NEWS NETWORK

Miss Universe bets wearing the Filipino terno wow crowd in Vigan Published January 16, 2017 10:31am


JANUARY 16 -Miss Universe bets wearing the Filipino terno wow crowd in Vigan

The candidates of the 65th Miss Universe beauty pageant were all poised and elegant as they paraded wearing the Filipino terno on Sunday in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Unang Balita reported on Monday.

Residents, tourists, and well-wishers applauded as each candidate walked the stretch of the famous Calle Crisologo in the heritage city, GMA News' Lhar Santiago reported. Vigan has been inscribed in the World Heritage List by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) since 1999.

The beauty queens wore the terno, a one-piece gown with butterfly sleeves, done by Filipino designers.

Among the candidates who participated were Miss Great Britain, Miss Netherlands, Miss Thailand, Miss USA, Miss Guatemala, Miss Venezuela, and Miss Philippines Maxine Medina.

READ MORE...


Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina

The candidates had a full schedule but enjoyed their stay in Vigan.

At a press conference, they praised Vigan's beauty and were grateful for the warm hospitality shown by Filipinos.

They also enjoyed their encounter with wild animals at the Baluarte Zoo.

Miss Universe President Paula Shugart was happy to have the candidates experience all the activities prepared for them by the Philippines as host country.

"They're doing very well. I thought it's really great. To have them here to compete to be here in the Philippines, I said they're very blessed, very special," Shugart said. —KG, GMA News

VIDEO: MISS UNIVERSE BET ENJOY BEAUTY OF VIGAN

 
UB: Mga kandidata ng Miss Universe, rumampa suot ang Philippine terno sa Calle Crisologo GMA News GMA News Subscribe1,275,813 Add to Share More 2,527 views 9 0 Published on Jan 15, 2017 Unang Balita is the news segment of GMA Network's daily morning program, Unang Hirit. It's anchored by Rhea Santos and Arnold Clavio, and airs on GMA-7 Mondays to Fridays at 5:15 AM (PHL Time). For more videos from Unang Balita, visit http://www.gmanetwork.com/unangbalita.

------------------------------------------

RELATED FROM CNN PHILIPPINES

Know more about Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina By Lara Tan, CNN Philippines Updated 19:10 PM PHT Thu, July 28, 2016 28634


Maxine Medina was crowned as Miss Universe Philippines 2016 on the coronation night of Binibining Pilipinas on Sunday (April 17).

But who is the Philippines' new queen who will represent the country in the next Miss Universe pageant? Here are a few facts about her, and her answer to the Q&A portion that led her to win the coveted title.

Who is Maxine Medina?

The 25-year-old beauty queen, born Maria Mika Maxine Medina, was a freelance interior designer who graduated from De La Salle College of St. Benilde and the Philippine School of Interior Design.

Before making her name in the beauty pageant world, Medina was already a familiar face to Filipinos for her numerous product endorsements, TV commercials, and print and runway modelling gigs.

The 5'8" stunner was a senior member at the Professional Models Association of the Philippines (PMAP).

Her fate in the beauty industry is no surprise as her parents were both models. Her father, Maximo Guillermo Medina, was a former commercial model and a flight attendant, while her mother, Maria Fe Medina, was a former model and a senior bank manager.

Prior to her Binibining Pilipinas 2016 gig, Medina also made it to the list of candidates for Binibining Pilipinas 2012, but was disqualified due to a conflict with her existing endorsement contract.

The Q&A

ABS-CBN executive Cory Vidanes asked Medina, during the pageant's question and answer portion, what advice she will give a 15-year-old girl who wants to quit school despite being able to afford it.

Medina answered, "I would tell the little girl to study hard no matter what their parents would tell them, because having an education is something that… something that… cannot have that anybody else [sic]... But education can make you an even better person."

Minutes after her win

In an interview minutes after her momentous win, Medina shared she was ecstatic of her new title. Her first order of business, however, was food.

"I'm overwhelmed right now, but the only thing I have in my mind right now is I want to eat first because I'm hungry," she said candidly.

The Maxine-Pia connection


 Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach

Binibining Pilipinas 2015 and reigning Miss Universe, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, passed her crown to Medina on Sunday night.

Medina shared the bond between her and Wurtzbach and how it felt like to be crowned by a Miss Universe.

"I didn't expect it because Pia is my friend from way back, around three to four years ago, I didn't expect that Pia will put a crown on me."

Medina is aware of all the pressure that winning the crown and representing the Philippines in the next Miss Universe pageant entails.

"Pressure but for sure I will enjoy it and I will give my best shot for this. I will train more and I will talk to Pia and ask for advice," she said.

Medina will represent the country in the 65th Miss Universe pageant, where she will attempt to win the crown again for the Philippines.

CNN Philippines correspondent Isabella Montano, intern James Amante contributed to this report.


PHILSTAR

(PHOTOS) Duterte meets with US Ambassador Sung Kim 16 SHARES Share it! Published January 16, 2017, 9:12 AM By MB Online


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meets with US Ambassador Sung Kim at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on January 15, 2017. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/Presidential Photo | Manila Bulletin

Malacañang released photos on Monday (January 16, 2017) of President Rodrigo Duterte’s meeting with the US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim held on Sunday (January 15) at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City.

During the 45-minute meeting, the United States affirmed its commitment to solid bilateral ties with the Philippines and promised to continue helping the country in maritime security, law enforcement, among others.


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte meets with US Ambassador Sung Kim at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City on January 15, 2017. SIMEON CELI JR./Presidential Photo | Manila Bulletin

The President’s meeting with the US envoy was held shortly after leading the launch of the country’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Davao City, Abella said. (With reports from Genalyn D. Kabiling)


MANILA TIMES

US, Philippine forces to exchange experts BY FERNAN MARASIGAN, TMT ON JANUARY 16, 2017 TOP STORIES


THIS PHOTO -US, Philippine airmen talks aim to enhance interoperability Reported by By Staff Sgt. Kamaile O. Chan, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs / Published September 02, 2016. CAPTION: Maj. Gen. Conrado V. Parra Jr., the Philippine Air Force vice commander, left, Maj. Gen. Mark Dillon, the Pacific Air Forces vice commander, and Col. Fermin M. Carangan, the Philippine Air Force assistant chief of air staff for operations, participate in briefings during the fifth annual U.S. and Philippine Airman-to-Airman Talks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Aug. 30, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Kamaile O. Chan)

THE United States and Philippine militaries will conduct “subject matter expert exchanges” at Clark Air Base in Pampanga starting today up to January 25, according to the Pacific Air Forces (Pacaf).

Upon the invitation of the Philippine government, the US Air Force, US Army and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) service members will also conduct humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, Pacaf said.

READ MORE...

Security officials have recommended a “reduced” number of joint military exercises between the Philippines and the US since President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of a “military and economic separation” from Washington as part of an “independent foreign policy.”

EAGLE VISION

On its website, Pacaf said the exchanges would focus on capability related to the US Air Force’s ground-based satellite imagery system known as “Eagle Vision.”

The system provides “real-time, mission-critical imagery” acquired from commercially available satellites and is a key component of the US Pacific Command’s foreign humanitarian assistance response.

In addition to improving humanitarian and relief capabilities of both nations, the exchanges will promote increased interoperability between US and Filipino forces and strengthen the military relationship between the two long-time allies, Pacaf said.

Headquartered at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, Pacaf is one of nine US Air Force major commands, and is the air component of US Pacific Command.

Pacaf, which consists of 46,000 members including active duty personnel, Air National Guard, reserves and civilians, is tasked to provide air and space power to “promote US interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.”


PHILSTAR

Jobless people to increase slightly in 2017 By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 16, 2017 - 12:00am 0 3 googleplus0 0


According to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 (WESO), the number of unemployed persons globally in 2017 is forecast to stand at just over 201.1 million, with an additional rise of 2.7 million expected in 2018, “as the pace of labor force growth outstrips job creation.” Philstar.com/File

MANILA, Philippines - The number of jobless people in the world is expected to increase by 3.4 million this year, representing a “modest” rise in global unemployment from 5.7 to 5.8 percent, the International Labor Organization (ILO) reported.

According to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017 (WESO), the number of unemployed persons globally in 2017 is forecast to stand at just over 201.1 million, with an additional rise of 2.7 million expected in 2018, “as the pace of labor force growth outstrips job creation.”

In 2016, 197.7 million people were unemployed.

Of the 201.1 million jobless in 2017, 16.1 million will come from developing countries, 147 million from emerging countries, and 37.9 million from developed countries.

read more...

“We are facing the twin challenge of repairing the damage caused by the global economic and social crisis and creating quality jobs for the tens of millions of new labor market entrants every year,” said ILO director general Guy Ryder.

“Economic growth continues to disappoint and underperform – both in terms of levels and the degree of inclusion. This paints a worrisome picture for the global economy and its ability to generate enough jobs, let alone quality jobs.

“Persistent high levels of vulnerable forms of employment combined with clear lack of progress in job quality – even in countries where aggregate figures are improving – are alarming. We need to ensure that the gains of growth are shared in an inclusive manner,” Ryder added.

The report also shows that vulnerable forms of employment – or the contributing family workers and own account workers – are expected to stay above 42 percent of total employment, accounting for 1.4 billion people worldwide in 2017. 



MANILA BULLETIN

Gov’t posts record P1 trillion in ODA in 7 months – DOF 392 SHARES Share it!
Published January 16, 2017, 12:11 AM by Yas D. Ocampo


A.S.E.A.N. CHAIRMANSHIP COIN – President Duterte (left)unveils the commemorative chairmanship coin of the ASEAN 2017

The Duterte administration has posted a historic first by raising the highest amount of official development assistance (ODA) – P1 trillion – in just seven months in office.

“From July 1st to now, the President has raised close to one trillion pesos in ODA. And I’m only counting the amounts from China and Japan, and there’s more ODA that we have received but haven’t counted in from various countries,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said, emphasizing that he was referring to ODA alone, not trade deals.

ODA refers to outright grants and loans given by foreign governments to support developing countries by providing low-interest and long-term or concessional funds to finance development efforts.

READ MORE...

“Essentially, it’s not just physical infrastructure,” Dominguez said. “We talk of education, we talk of training and other services that will make our workers and our citizens more competitive. It’s not only hard infrastructure but also education, science and technology, among others.”

To date, the ODA from China and Japan totaled to US18 billion, at US$9 billion each. “The ODA from Japan, as announced by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, is one trillion yen, which is equivalent to more or less US$9 billion,” Dominguez said.

For the ODA from China, Dominguez said, the government has already submitted the list of projects to China last November, which include the rehabilitation of the Agus River project that would include irrigation projects in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and a seaport in Cebu, among other infrastructure projects.

“Our team is going to China in the third week of January to discuss how to make progress in the projects that we have submitted to them,” Dominguez said.

For the financial assistance from Japan, the Finance chief said, the administration will start lining up the projects today, January 16, to discuss in more detail the terms from Japan.

The finance chief clarified that the foreign aid from China and Japan countries were not requested but voluntary offers from the two countries.

“I think they (China and Japan) are collaborating to help our country move ahead. I think they see a lot of potential in the Philippine economy, potential for our growth and potential for them to do business here,” Dominguez concluded, adding that the administration will still welcome ODA from other countries as long as the offers match the government’s priorities.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the P1 trillion ODA from China and Japan alone in less than seven months “reflects these countries’ complete trust and confidence in the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.”

“The ODA from China and Japan as well as from other countries will certainly offset the loss of our allotment in the Millennium Fund from the United States following the Obama administration’s unfounded allegations of human rights violations in the course of President Duterte’s war on drugs,” Andanar pointed out.

SUSTAINING ECONOMIC GAINS

“The Philippine is the fastest growing economy in Asia based on our third-quarter performance last year. We expect to build upon this milestone this year and post even better-than-expected growth,” Andanar said.

“We are the chair of the ASEAN this year as it commemorates its 50th year. This and the Miss Universe pageant offer opportunities for the country to put its best foot forward and show the world that we are moving ahead with great strides,” he added.

Andanar said that once the Duterte administration has made significant progress in the war on drugs and corruption, it can focus more and more on economic construction and fighting poverty by attracting more foreign investments as well as ODA and creating more jobs for Filipinos.

A team from the Philippine government is heading to China once more, after President Duterte’s visit in October last year yielded more projects for the country. (With a report from PNA)


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