19 deals signed during Duterte’s ‘highly successful’ trip to China — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   April 29, 2019   •   2422

Courtesy : PCOO President Rodrigo Roa Duterte disembarks from the plane upon his arrival in Davao City on Saturday, April 27, 2019, after a productive visit to the People’s Republic of China. With the President is his daughter Veronica.

MANILA, Philippines – The “highly successful” fourth official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to China has yielded 19 signed business agreements on investments, Malacañang announced on Sunday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte’s latest trip to Beijing paved the way for the signing of $12.16 billion estimated worth of business deals which will generate more than 21,000 jobs for Filipinos.

These agreements include investments in energy, infrastructure, tourism, internet connectivity, agriculture, and training of Filipinos working in China, among others.

“As PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) noted, the People’s Republic of China is the largest trading partner and a major source of foreign investments of the Philippines,” Panelo said in a statement.

Duterte assured prospective foreign investors that the Philippine government will create an enabling environment for their investments to prosper.

Duterte and his delegation attended the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing last week. The President also held separate bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Kequiang.

Panelo said the bilateral talks, described as “productive and fruitful,” yielded a one billion Renminbi grant to the Philippines.

The President also affirmed during the bilateral talks the country’s commitment to friendship and understanding with China.

“He expressed the country’s readiness to pursue more high-quality and good impact projects,” Panelo said.

On the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), Duterte reiterated to China his resolve to make it a sea of peace, prosperity and stability, and address the issue through bilateral talks.

He also expounded the need for both countries to exercise restraint and caution to avoid actions that could complicate situations.

READ: Duterte, Xi agree to resolve sea dispute through bilateral talks

Panelo also assured Filipinos that Duterte is chartering an independent foreign policy “to a new height of diplomatic relations with other nations.”

He said this will be solely based on the country’s national security and interest and towards a direction that will contribute to national development and the realization of the aspiration to attain economic progress and comfortable life. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte ‘puzzled’ over FDA advice on Sinovac use for health workers – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was perplexed by the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to use the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on health workers who are frequently exposed to patients with coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Malacañang said Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president has asked FDA Director-General Eric Domingo to explain such recommendation after the agency’s issuance of an emergency use authorization (EUA) to Sinovac.

“Si president po mismo, nagtataka bakit nga ganuon nga ang naging EUA ng FDA at pinatawag po talaga si Dr. Domingo ng huling cabinet meeting… Naiparating ng president ang pagtataka kung bakit may ganitong colatilla,” Roque said.

Domingo explained that the vaccine’s efficacy rate on healthcare workers is 50.4% based on Sinovac’s clinical trials conducted in Brazil, making it not the best vaccine suited for healthcare workers treating coronavirus patients.

The FDA chief, however, stressed that this is only a recommendation and healthcare workers are not prohibited from receiving Sinovac if they chose to.

“Nirerespeto po ni president ang mga opinion ng mga experts kaya let the colatilla remain,” Roque said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte wants to personally welcome China-donated Sinovac vaccines – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants to personally witness the arrival of Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine doses that were donated by the Chinese government out of a debt of gratitude, Malacañang said Wednesday.

“Pilipino tayo, tumatanaw tayo ng utang na loob. Sa ating panahon ng pangangailangan, talaga namang iyong kaibigan nating China ang nagpadala ng unang bakuna sa atin, so hindi mo matatanggal sa Pilipino na tumanaw ng utang na loob,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual briefing.

The Chinese government earlier said it will donate some 600,000 doses of vaccines manufactured by Sinovac.

Helen Yang, Sinovac Biotech general manager, said they are now preparing the vaccines which will be delivered to the country soon after it finally secured an emergency use authorization from the Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration.

“We will try our best whether we can deliver the products in this week or next week. It will be very soon,” she said.

Malacañang earlier said the government may roll out the vaccination program a day after the Sinovac vaccines arrive in the country.

Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech under the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility were supposed to be the first to arrive in the country this month but its delivery was delayed over some issues including the indemnification deal. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Duterte says daughter Sara is not running for president in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his position that he will not support the idea of his eldest daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, joining the presidential race in the 2022 elections despite the much urgings of their supporters.

Duterte made the remark during a situational briefing for the government response to the onslaught of storm ‘Auring’ in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur on Tuesday.

“Inday Sara is not running. I have really put my foot down. Naaawa ako sa anak ko,” he said.

“Ang pulitika dito sa atin, kababuyan,” he added.

The chief executive issued the statement after Surigao del Sur Governor Alexander Pimentel urged him to convince either Mayor Sara or his former aide and now Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to be his successor and continue his administration’s achievements when his term ends in 2022.

This came after Sara Duterte emerged as the top presidential and vice presidential preference for 2022 elections in a survey recently conducted by OCTA Research Team.

The poll showed that the president’s daughter came on top after 22% of the respondents picked her to be country’s next president.

Following Duterte is Sen. Grace Poe with 13%, Sen. Manny Pacquiao and former Sen. Bongbong Marcos with 12% each, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso with 11%.

In the vice presidential race, Duterte also emerged on top after getting 14% of the survey votes. Moreno and Pacquiao got 11% each while Poe scored 10%.

Sara Duterte earlier thanked her supporters for their trust and confidence but reiterated that she is not interested in seeking the country’s highest post.

She also advised her supporters to stop mounting tarpaulins and billboards, as well as staging motorcades and other activities for her supposed 2022 candidacy.

Meanwhile, the president also warned the public against former Senator Antonio Trillanes III, one of his administration’s staunch critics.

“Be careful of trillanes, magbantay kayo. He will sell you to the devil. ‘Pag yan ang nakaupo. Patay, walang hiya yan. Sa totoo lang,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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