Duterte’s resolution: No more armed conflict

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WITH 2017 just days away, President Rodrigo Duterte seeks “peace on earth and goodwill to all men” as part of his New Year’s resolution, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

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Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters Duterte was hopeful that by next year, there would be no more armed conflict with rebel groups.

“Prospects for 2017, President Duterte’s ultimate dream is for all armed conflict to stop and for the Filipino people to live in peace, safety and security,” he said.

Since Duterte assumed the presidency, there have been “significant achievements” in the war on illegal drugs, the peace process with communist rebels, international partnerships, economic growth, employment and infrastructure, Abella said.

“What are the prospects for 2017? Exposing the drug menace has now led the government to look at it not only as a national security but also now as a public health issue, hence, the building of rehab programs all over the nation,” he said.

In international relations, Duterte’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in 2017 will be a “perfect” opportunity for the country to forge more partnerships with neighboring countries, Abella said.

To fast-track poverty reduction, the National Economic and Development Authority has set a 2017 target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP).

Abella said the government would ramp up public infrastructure spending next year, allotting at least 5 percent of GDP to infrastructure projects until 2022.

He also said the government would fully implement the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to allow women to become “more productive members of the labor force.”

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