SMX Convention Center, SM Lanang Premiere, Davao City
February 2, 2017

“One of the best working entities here in the city, yung water [district],” said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the 38th anniversary of the Philippine Association of Water Districts (PAWD) at the SMX Convention Center in SM Lanang Premiere, Davao City.

The President expressed the need for a centralized body of government responsible for water distribution and announced, “We will establish a central water agency… It’s coming under my term.”

He also discussed graft and corruption on a national level in the government, saying, “Filipinos never had a respite on graft and corruption… It does not exempt any organization.”

The President warned that government workers who take advantage of their position and who do not work to earn their keep must be cleansed as well. “You are short-changing the government… That cannot happen. That’s why nandiyan ang 888,” he said.

He also named government agencies such as the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as being rife with corruption.

“There will be a cleansing purge inside the [Camp] Crame and the NBI. Marami sa inyo ang malinis pa. Ang problema it is a virulent thing…” the President stressed.

He discussed the shutting down of several mining operations by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Gina Lopez. “I support her. There was never a time where I called her to slow down even a little bit,” he added.

The President tackled the administration’s war against illegal drugs and martial law. “I don’t need any martial law. Frankly, I don’t need extra powers… It’s not the right thing to do at this moment,” he emphasized.

He also discussed the fight against radicals and terrorist groups in the country, saying that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) leader Isnilon Hapilon has also been appointed as leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) terrorist cell in the Philippines.

The PAWD is a non-profit organization that advocates and implements policies, standards and programs to ensure effective and sustainable water district operations nationwide. The convention was attended by around 2,000 officials and key employees by the PAWD and water districts from all over the country.

*  *  *