Palace Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
May 30, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with the delegation of the Government of the Philippines and his long-time partner, Madame Cielito ‘Honeylet’ Avanceña, met with the members of the Filipino community at the Palace Hotel in Tokyo, Japan.

This was the third visit of the Chief Executive to Japan and his second time meeting with the Filipino community in the country since he assumed office as the President of the Philippines.

In his speech, President Duterte lauded his economic managers for their efforts in stabilizing the Philippines’ economy. Recently, the country received the BBB+ credit rating from the Standard and Poor’s Global Ratings (S&P) for the year 2019. To date, this credit rating is the highest in the Philippine history, and is only a notch below the credit rating of A.

“We are now in the category BBB+. Ibig sabihin, we are just one step ahead, tabla na tayo sa America pati sa Japan,” he said.

The President also reiterated anew his firm resolve against graft and corruption in the government, adding that he even fired some of his appointed officials because of their involvement in corrupt activities. He said that the country would never progress as long as there is graft and corruption in the government.

“Corruption talaga ang ayaw ko at marami na akong kaibigan na pinatalsik sa Cabinet members but who were with me in the 1988 campaign when I was running for Mayor for the first time… Ang sinasabi ko talaga sa lahat, ‘wag talaga ‘yang korapsyon. Hindi ko masikmura ‘yan,” he stressed.

Madame Avanceña on the other hand, commended the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) for their sacrifices, hard work, and professionalism, as she narrated her story as a former worker in the United States of America (USA) for four years and how she used to sleep in a garage converted into a bedroom.

“Nagtrabaho po ako sa America. Alam ko po ang pakiramdam ng paghihirap ng isang OFW,” she recalled.

Among the guests present in the gathering were representatives of the Filipino community from the greater Tokyo metropolitan area and all the way from different prefectures in Japan. According to Philippine Ambassador to Japan Jose C. Laurel V, there are about 300,000 Filipinos living in Japan. They are employed in various fields such as engineering, entertainment, and banking, among others.

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