Duterte on Philippine development: It's futile to simply mimic the West
President Rodrigo Duterte underscored on Saturday the need for the Philippines to find its own way how to progress instead of just copying from the West.
In a speech during the 51st annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Mandaluyong City, Duterte cited how the Manila-based lending agency has been helping the Philippines on its programs and projects that could uplift the lives of the Filipinos.
He thanked the ADB for its assistance, citing that as of 2017, it is the country's third largest source of official development assistance, amounting to $2.6 billion for loans and grants.
"Since I took office, we have shifted our foreign policy to reflect our developmental priorities. This has borne much of the fruit. The Filipino future is much brighter because of this," he said.
"Asia’s development experience shows us that it is futile to simply mimic the West. We have to find our own way through the challenges of the age. We will focus on policies that befit the Asian mind. We will focus on the so many things and challenges that are unique in our time," Duterte added.
The Duterte administration has vowed not to accept foreign aid, which have conditions, particularly on the aspect of human rights.
Last year, the Philippines did not sign an agreement with European Union as it viewed that there were conditions behind the assistance.
In the same speech, Duterte cited that the country's progress could only be the result of strong institutions of leadership and governance.
"Our institutions are threatened not only by terrorism but also by drug syndicates and corrupt public servants. We will be unyielding but to me personally, I would be harsh on all fronts," he said.
Duterte said he will continue the campaign against illegal drugs "within the limits that the law allows."
"And, of course, as always and has been, the fight will be relentless. It’s a fair warning," he added.
The Duterte administration has been criticized locally and internationally for the extrajudicial killings of individuals allegedly involved in illegal drugs. Celerina Monte/DMS