MANILA, Philippines — Australian businessman Peter Wallace commended President Rodrigo Duterte for accomplishing some of his campaign promises such as stamping out drug menace and eradicating corruption during his 100 days in office.
Speaking at a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, October 5, Wallace praised the government for the “remarkable change” happening in the country since Duterte took office on June 30.
“I’ve been studying this man for quite some time. I’ve known him for quite some time. This is a man who genuinely cares for this country and genuinely cares for its people. And what I particularly like, he cares for what really matters like in the provinces where we have the poorest of the poor and the people suffering the most,” said Wallace, founder of the Wallace Business Forum.
Wallace is a known businessman who has lived in the country for four decades. He has been granted Philippine citizenship considering his contributions to local business community and his various socio-civic advocacies.
Wallace particularly hailed Duterte’s signing of an executive order for the implementation of the Freedom of Information, which he said should have been done a long time ago. He likewise expressed support for Duterte’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III and the 10-point economic agenda.
Wallace also defended the President’s “radical” style of ruling the country giving his two cents in the way Duterte is being portrayed in the media.
He noted that some social ills such as drugs and criminality have prompted the President to use offensive language.
“He’s angry and he’s frustrated and he takes this out by swearing, which is not terribly abnormal in the society that he is mixed in. But it is difficult for particularly foreigners to understand,” he said.
“And what happens unfortunately is too often what he says is taken literally rather than interpreting what he actually meant. Because if you do that, you find that most of the swearing is just top of the head type of stuff, that doesn’t have any real importance to it, that isn’t the real intent. It’s underlying that behind that really matters. And what’s underlying behind that is that he wants change and he wants to get things done,” he added.
Wallace likewise believes the President is not severing ties with the United States despite his recent pronouncement of establishing economic ties with Russia and China.
“He’s trying I think to establish that the Philippines is a truly independent country. It is no longer a colony of the US. It is no longer subservient in any way to the US. It wants its independence and in a fairly dramatic way that he’s trying to put that across, right? Now, it’s an unusual way,” he said.
For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President’s statement might not necessarily mean breaking up of alliances with other countries.
“He is not closing. He is broadening,” Secretary Abella said adding that there was still no move to end ties with US.
On the matter of the extrajudicial killings, Wallace said that this does not affect business at all.
“I don’t see it affecting business particularly. There’s no question that there has been concern raised by some of the foreign business community over these but nobody, nobody is withdrawing. No companies are going out but business is not affected directly,” he said.
Wallace also believes that Congress needs to stop hearings and focus on granting the President emergency powers to address the worsening traffic problem.
Source: Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)
— UNTV News and Rescue
Duterte eyes new agency on disaster resiliency
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants the passage of Disaster Agency Bill before the end of the year.
Under the proposal, the government will establish a new agency which will be called Department of Disaster Resiliency which will replace the current National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
The bill is currently being drafted although there are other proposals in disaster management that are still pending in Congress.
It can be recalled that in the previous State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President, he recommended the creation of an Enhance Disaster Resiliency and Response Department. – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
China breaks into top 20 innovative economies
Global Innovation Index 2018 (Image grabbed from Reuters video)
China broke into the top 20 most-innovative economies in the annual Global Innovation Index (GII) ranking published on Tuesday by Cornell University and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Switzerland retained its top place this year, followed by the Netherlands and Sweden. China climbed to 17th from 22nd place last year, according to the ranking.
The United States slid from 4th in 2017 to 6th, though in absolute terms, it remained the top contributor to key innovation inputs and outputs.
The United States came second after China in the volume of researchers, patents, and scientific and technical publications, according to the ranking.
WIPO Director General Francis Gurry said that China’s rapid rise heralded “the arrival of multipolar innovation,” reflecting “a strategic direction set from the top leadership to developing world-class capacity in innovation and to moving the structural basis of the economy to more knowledge-intensive industries that rely on innovation to maintain competitive advantage.”
Switzerland, Luxembourg, and China ranked top three in terms of translating investments in education and research and development expenditures into high-quality innovation outputs, according to the ranking.
A survey of “top science and technology clusters” around the world put the areas around Tokyo-Yokohama and Shenzhen-Hong Kong atop the list, while the United States had the greatest number of hotspots with 26.
The top 10 innovative economies also include Britain, Singapore, Finland, Denmark, Germany, and Ireland.
GII ranked 126 economies based on 80 indicators, ranging from intellectual property filing rates to mobile-application creation, education spending and scientific and technical publications. -Reuters
Duterte Cabinet approves P3.757-T 2019 proposed nat’l budget
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will submit to Congress on July 23 the proposed 2019 cash-based national budget to coincide with his third State of the Nation Address (SONA).
According to Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, the President approved the proposed budget during the 27th Cabinet meeting in Malacañang on Monday night (July 9).
The proposed budget for next year is 3.757 trillion pesos which is 10 billion pesos lower than last year’s budget.
Under cash-based appropriations, agencies will be forced to spend their respective budgets within the fiscal year or else would lose them.
In the past, the obligations-based budget allowed distributions within a two-year period.
Agencies will also no longer submit projects to the department of budget and management that are not yet implementation-ready.
The biggest proposed allocations are for personnel services, maintenance expenditures, capital outlays and allotments for local government units.
Meanwhile, there are no details yet if the proposal already includes the fund for the plebiscite on the shift to the federal government next year.
However, the government is confident that the Congress can allot supplemental budget for this, if necessary.
“What we expect, the referendum will coincide with the 2019 national elections so it will be included in the budget of 2019 national elections if it will really push through,” Roque said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue