President Duterte hopes that the Filipino people will continue to unite to solve the country’s ills as the Philippines joins the rest the world in welcoming 2018.
In his official message for the New Year, Duterte noted the trials the Philippines encountered the past 365 days but expressed hope that the Filipinos remain resilient and united to overcome the challenges the nation faces.
“We are at a time when our resolve is being tested by many trials and difficulties. Corruption, criminality, illegal drugs, and terrorism have impeded our progress in the past year,” Duterte said.
“However, I remain hopeful that our resilience will enable us to overcome and rise above these challenges as one nation,” he added.
Duterte encouraged the people to look back and learn from their experience this 2017 and look forward to what 2018 has in store for everyone with unity, hope and determination.
“As we spend time with our family, friends and loved ones in turning a new page in our nation’s history, let us draw strength from what we have achieved both as individuals and as a community in the past year,” the President said.
“It is my hope that we foster solidarity as we move forward in our pursuit of providing a more comfortable and productive life for all,” he added.
“Let us embrace this coming year’s uncertainty with a glimmer of hope and remain determined in achieving our vision of a better and more prosperous future,” he continued.
This year, President Duterte had his hands full as he tried to juggle his responsibilities. The President continued with his drug war amid criticism, and implemented martial law in Mindanao to address the threat of terrorism in the island.
Duterte also terminated the peace talks with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), citing the rebels’ insincerity to the negotiations apart from declaring them as terrorists.
The President also hosted the 30th and 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summits and the country’s chairmanship was lauded by other foreign leaders.
He also developed his ties with other superpowers, including the United States, Japan, China and Russia.
Duterte also signed landmark laws and executive orders including the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act, and the Nationwide Smoking Ban executive order. (Argyll Cyrus Geducos)