MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte wants Filipinos to work with the government in his campaign illegal drugs and criminality in 2017, as he vowed to continue pursuing public order and safety.
"I invite everyone to be our government's partners in our fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption; and in attaining peace and development in our country," said Duterte in his first New Year's message as chief executive.
Duterte also urged the public to help "enliven our business environment." "By attracting more investments and creating more job opportunities for our people-- so that, in the near future, working abroad would only be an option for our kababayans and not a necessity," he added.
Duterte wished Filipinos a "fruitful and meaningful New year," as he he urged the public to "welcome 2017 with renewed determination and a reinvigorated spirit so that we can surmount the challenges ahead."
Earlier, Duterte said he will be working on New Year's Day to speed up rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by Typhoon Nina (Nock-ten). He had said he will be calling meetings in Malacañang.
2016 marked Duterte's rise to power, after winning the May presidential elections. His controversial statements on illegal drugs, human rights, and the United States made headlines around the world. He was also named as among the world's most powerful people by Time Magazine.