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Duterte urges development of ‘business islands’ for OFWs

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines should develop “business islands” for investors patterned after Hong Kong and Singapore so that Filipinos will no longer seek jobs abroad, presidential aspirant and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said.

Duterte noted that many islands in the Philippines need to be developed into business hubs to boost the country’s employment rate. The islands can be given to interested businessmen if these suit their business “without really giving up anything in the Philippines.”

“Instead of a factory, I give you an island. Okay, put your business there, obey the laws of the Republic of the Philippines and you can tailor the configurations of whatever you want in that island,” Duterte said in a radio interview with dzRJ.

“By doing this, we create jobs. Filipinos will no longer go abroad to work. If we create jobs here within our borders and within our islands, then they can do business and (improve) the livelihood of the people as well,” he added.

He also said that entrusting Philippine islands to investors does not mean giving up the property of the country since the government can still demand that investors protect the environment.

Duterte believes that “business attracts its own people in their own boundaries,” just like in Hong Kong and Singapore where their citizens need not go abroad to seek jobs.

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In terms of education, Duterte said that all aspects of society, especially the mass media, should help the government concentrate on educating Filipino children.

Educating children involves building character, which can be done by teaching children the values of “work, honesty, cleanliness, self-respect and self-reliance.”

The people should also be innovative.

“If there is still lack of classrooms, we can rely on technology. For example, using big screens in the meantime to teach our children the education that they need,” he added.

Duterte said that he has instilled discipline in Davao City as he has promoted the value of education among the residents there.

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