MANILA -- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte vowed to protect the welfare of children through government’s continuing efforts to eradicate corruption, criminality, illegal drugs, and terrorism.

President Duterte made his pledge during the conferment ceremony of the 2016 Presidential Award for Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities (PACFMC) at the Rizal Hall in Malacañan Palace on Tuesday, December 12.

“I will always do everything to protect the next generation,” the President said before a crowd of youth and local government officials.

“We will continue our unrelenting efforts to purge corruption, criminality, illegal drugs and terrorism. As we protect our children from these menaces, we will also prepare them for the crucial task of building on our past gains,” he added.

"As I encourage our youth to dream big and aspire for greatness, not just for themselves but for the entire nation, I also challenge my fellow adults to allow our youth to play a role in shaping a future that our children deserve to inherit," he further said.

The Chief Executive stressed anew that he was ready to sacrifice his presidency, honor and life only to fulfill his mandate “to preserve the nation as one”.

“It will not be during my time that there will be a fissure or a breakage. I will not allow it. And even if I have, I said, to lose the presidency, to lose the office, the honor and prestige, and die in the process --- willingly for my country, wala tayong question diyan (there’s no question about it),” he said.

To show his resolve to curb graft and corruption in government, Duterte mentioned the dismissal of all the commissioners of the Presidential Commission for the Urban Poor (PCUP) due to alleged unnecessary trips abroad and poor performance.

“Today I fired the whole of the Commission of the Urban Poor. One is because it’s a collegial body and I have heard that they never had had any hearing except for one or two,” he said.

He explained that he had no personal issue against PCUP chairman Terry Ridon but he had to fire him also because of his supposed numerous trips abroad.

“You had too much, too soon. He was appointed September and he traveled about seven times. And to think that the office is an urban poor agency, I simply cannot… I cannot understand why you have to be there at every powwow in the international scene. We cannot afford it,” the President said.

He then reminded all government officials that they have to get permit from the Office of the President before taking a trip abroad.

During the event, the President led the awarding of PACFMC to five local government units (LGUs) that have shown promotion and protection of children's rights. Each of the five LGUs received a trophy and PHP500,000 worth of check.

The five LGUs that received the award were Carmona, Cavite (1st-3rd Class Municipality category); Salay, Misamis Oriental (4th-6th Class Municipality category); Tagaytay City, Cavite (Component City category); Santiago City, Isabela (Independent Component City category); and Davao City (Highly-Urbanized City category). (PND)

2017 Philippine News Agency



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