Malacañang on Thursday, June 8, welcomed the report saying that the Philippine manufacturing sector now tops ASEAN countries.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, in a press briefing, noted that this feat is attributed to sound economic fundamentals under the Duterte administration.
According to Nikkei ASEAN Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), the country’s manufacturing sector scored 54.3, indicating a solid increase in output for the month of May.
“As a result, the Philippines has ranked first among ASEAN countries in the manufacturing sector, replacing Vietnam as stronger performer in this sector,” Abella said.
“We’d like to attribute this to the strong economic fundamentals also of the Philippines,” he added.
Joining Abella during the press briefing was Irene Santiago, the chairperson of the Government of the Philippines Implementing Panel for the Bangsamoro Peace Accord.
Santiago reported that the Bangsamoro peace process is on track and that the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) has approved the final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law last Tuesday, June 6.
She said they hope that the final draft can be submitted to the President before the middle of June.
Santiago also said that the government, in cooperation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, opened the second peace corridor in Lanao del Sur to rescue trapped civilians and channel relief goods.
Several organizations and groups such as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the Bangsamoro Development Agency, were able to send food, medicines, and other humanitarian aid, she said.
“So the idea of the peace corridor is really a safe passageway to save lives, whether it’s trapped civilians in Marawi City or opening a passageway so that food and other medicines and other assistance can come through,” Santiago said.
For his part, Eastern Mindanao Command deputy commander, Brig. Gen. Gilbert Gapay assured that while martial law continues to be implemented in Mindanao, government’s actions are in accordance with the rule of law and in adherence to human rights.
He said checkpoints and maritime patrols are being conducted in eastern Mindanao, noting that it was during the checkpoint operations where the Maute patriarch, Cayamora Maute and former Marawi City mayor Fajad Umpar Salic were apprehended in separate occasions.
“In some areas, curfews were also imposed and this was in coordination with the various LGUs and we are implementing total gun ban since the permit to carry was suspended by the PNP,” Gapay said.
Aside from security operations, however, Gapay said they are also involved in various humanitarian operations to help those affected by the Marawi crisis.
“Two major relief assistance, operations were conducted utilizing our Navy vessels in these relief goods. Truckloads of relief goods were transported to Marawi to provide assistance to our countrymen there,” he said.
In the same briefing, Dr. Rene Escalante, chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), said President Rodrigo Duterte will lead the 119th Independence Day celebration on June 12.
Escalante said President Duterte will lead the flag-raising and wreath-laying at the Rizal Park in the morning and it will be followed by the Vin d’honneur in Malacañang at noontime.
He said there will be simultaneous flag-raising and wreath-laying events throughout the country on June 12 and those events will be led by different government officials.
To ensure public security and safety, Escalante said the government has crafted a contingency plan to respond to emergencies.
“At gaya ng palaging pinaalala na iba na ang panahon natin ngayon, maging mapagmatyag po tayo at kung may mga nahalata tayong hindi maganda. So nagkalat po ang pulis at mga alagad ng militar, maari pong ipagbigay-alam natin sa kanila,” he said.
The 119th Independence Day celebration has a theme “Kalayaan 2017: Pagbabagong Sama-samang Balikatin”.