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Duterte thanks Kuwait, says ‘We’re okay now’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018


President Rodrigo Duterte


MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte was pleased to announce that the Philippines’ is “okay now with Kuwait.”

This, after a controversial rescue mission of distressed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in the Gulf State induced an unwanted episode in the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

The President thanked the Kuwaiti government for signing the labor agreement on the protection of OFWs in their country.

“I’d like to thank officially the Kuwait government for giving us these conditions, which would better place in a more —  maski konting kaligayahan lang naman sa mga OFWs (at least provide a little happiness to OFWs),” the President said during the Philippine Navy’s 120th anniversary on Tuesday, May 22.

Mr. Duterte expressed appreciation to Kuwait for granting several conditions he set for the protection of OFWs which include a day off once a week.

The signing of the agreement prompted the President to order the total lifting of deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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PH-China relations ‘restored to normalcy’ – Duterte

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018


(L-R) Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping | Photo via RTVM

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is confident that bilateral cooperation between the Philippines and China is stronger and deeper with the two-day visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The President admits, however, that the two countries’ diplomatic ties have been affected by the Philippines’ dependency on the United States’ economic and political policies.

President Duterte said Xi’s visit is proof that both leaders have “restored the normalcy” that the Philippines used to have or have had with China.

“We agreed on a renewed bilateral relationship, signed some trade and commerce and for the first time China was buying everything from us. This relation plus of course the commitment of China to help in the industrialization of my country,” Duterte said.

He vows to do his part in maintaining the Philippines’ good relationship with China by strengthening people to people exchange and strengthening friendship.

“One is people to people actually. I’m sure China is very lenient in issuing visas for Filipinos intending to go [to China]. Second is that China is planning to hire Filipinos to work there. China has gone by leaps and bounds and at one time your demographic experts say that we need some land here but some factories, but we do not have enough manpower or expertise. And it has sounded off a plan to employ Filipinos that would greatly enhance our friendship, people to people, our national interest now,” he said.

Some experts agree that Xi’s visit indeed will bring positive results beneficial to the Filipino people.

“The Belt and Road is not the only initiative driving Chinese economic capital in the Philippines. It can be the Duterte-China relations. It could be the interest of Chinese firms to invest in the Philippines,” explained Alvin Camba, a Pre-Doctoral Fellow from the Global Development Policy Center.

“To elevate such bilateral relations, I think we should expect the materialization of some of the MOU’s and agreements that have been signed between the two countries,” said political analyst Li Meiting.

The two countries’ diplomatic ties turned cold when China began its activities in the disputed territory in the West Philippine Sea.

The atmosphere improved when Rodrigo Duterte became the President of the Philippine Republic. Just months after his election, President Duterte visited Beijing and returned home with billion of dollars-worth of investments and development aid. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Victor Cosare)

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Duterte finishes 26th APEC Summit, calls for investments on MSMEs in PH

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

President Duterte in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit | Presidential Communications

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – Contrary to earlier announcements, President Rodrigo Duterte attended the last of the leaders’ meeting in line with the 26th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit which concluded Sunday (November 18).

According to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the President did not tell them what made him change his mind and decide to finish the event instead.

“It’s the decision of the President. Unang-una hindi ko alam yung report na maaga uuwi. Tama lang na nag-stay siya,” Lopez said.

The President, however, skipped the gala dinner, and when asked why, Lopez said “I don’t know. Maybe he’s not feeling well, I’m not sure. I’m not privy to the condition of the President.”

Nevertheless, President Duterte attended the dialogue together with 20 other economic leaders in the APEC Business Advisory Council, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders and the International Monetary Fund.

During the business leaders’ meeting, the President laid on the table, matters that would strengthen the Philippines’ micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs)
“The messages of the president were very clear in terms of making sure, again ang globalization should not really affect the small countries as well as the smaller players in small countries. In other words, we have to make sure that the globalization will really benefit everyone, lalo na yung mga micro SMEs,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, the Philippine government maintained that it will not take sides between the U.S. and China.

It vows to maintain a good working relationship between the two countries despite their ongoing trade war.

“Frankly, we don’t have to side with anyone, but we merit in both arguments, frankly. But we agree that we have to strengthen the WTO, the rule-based system. But the reality there is regional trade groups, but we should also not drop the idea of keeping very strong WTO and rules-based multilateral system,” Lopez explained. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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China’s President Xi to visit PH on Nov. 20-21

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the first meeting of the French-Chinese business council in Beijing, China, January 9, 2018. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool

MANILA, Philippines –China’s President Xi Jinping is set to arrive on Tuesday (November 20) to Wednesday (November 21) for a two-day state visit through a personal invitation from President Rodrigo Duterte.

This is the first time that a Chinese President will step foot on Philippine soil after 13 years since the state visit of former Chinese President Hu Jintao during the time of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005.

The two countries’ diplomatic ties went through rough sails when tensions over territorial claims escalated.

Xi and Duterte’s meetings are expected to rekindle ties and bolster cooperation between the two countries.

“These face-to-face meetings are so important because they promote understanding and goodwill between the leaders and also show a good example to their citizens that you know Philippines and China should cooperate more closely and again, cooperation comes from understanding each other’s position very well,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier announced that the highlight of Xi’s visit will be the Philippines signing in to China’s Belt and Road Initiative – a development strategy that involves massive infrastructure development as well as trade and investments in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the South Pacific.

Xi’s visit will also involve the signing of agreements on financial assistance from China to fund the Duterte administration’s infrastructure projects.

Though China’s offer will bring huge benefits to the Philippines, Secretary Dominguez clarified that the provisions of the Belt and Road Initiative and other deals will still be reviewed before final signing.

“We will certainly review it again, this belt and road agreement,” he assured.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with President Duterte in Davao City last month to facilitate the arrival of the Chinese President. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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