Presidential Communications Operations Office
Presidential News Desk
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
DURING THE ASIA-PACIFIC HEALTHY ISLANDS CONFERENCE 2018: NETWORKING FOR RESILIENT ISLAND HEALTH SYSTEMS
[Delivered at The Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City |25 July 2018]
Kindly sit down. Thank you for your courtesy.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque; Climate Change Commission Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman; the honorable members of the health from other Asia-Pacific islands countries and other participants who are here with us today; His Excellency Zhao, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen
I have a two-page speech. I can finish this in about — the most is two minutes. [laughter] Then what do we do? And that is why I proposed that I will just read the speech.
I do not really give speeches. I want to dialogue sort of a — with the audience.
It… Speeches more than anybody of you here bores me to death. And so I am… I tend to just deliver extemporaneous, I ignore… But sometimes because maybe of the energy that this staff has also… I kind of want to repay their toil. Maybe this prepared was done this noontime hurriedly. So after my talk or would you rather that I will just read my speech and talk to you individually later.
What seems to be the problem — what ails the country of the Philippines? Just like any other country in the world it is vulnerable to what? Changes. Well, number one is because the carbon footprint they say is just too — too many, too heavy a load for mother Earth to carry.
And so we had this climate change conference; and may I just read it so that you’d know that I’m here and I’m with you.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to stand before you today and witness a new partnership that will be forged among regional players in the health sector.
I acknowledge the joint efforts of the Department of Health, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Climate Change Commission, and our private partners for hosting this cross-country conference, which explores opportunities for networked approaches, common markets and sub-regional procurement for goods, drugs and services.
This is a very important event that will enable countries in the Asia-Pacific to explore practical solutions to solve shared health problems and overcome common challenges in delivering essential medical services to our peoples.
Those of us located in the region, especially to the many island countries like ours, are indeed facing a very complex issue when it comes to healthcare. Our geography has made establishing effective health systems that will be very difficult and costly. This vulnerability has become even more pronounced in times of natural disasters and calamities.
Therefore, if we are to genuinely secure the welfare of our peoples in the region, a comprehensive and networked approach to delivering healthcare—employing the latest tools, innovations, techniques and solutions—must be adopted. We must harmonize our policies and strategies so we can build responsive, effective and resilient health systems that will not only withstand disaster but also assist our neighbors in times of need.
Indeed, the distance between us may be vast but if we work together, we can bridge this gap and build a network of cooperation and collaboration. After all, to what end did we make our advancements in medicine, logistics, science and technology of what use would it be if we cannot use them to help our fellowmen and utilize the resources to enhance our shared humanity.
To the delegates, rest assured that you have my full support as you engage with your counterparts and partners in our region and the rest of the world a much happier place to live in. And together, let us make it happen not just for ourselves, but for the generations to come.
Thank you and before I say my goodbye, we were late in enrolling ourselves in the commission, climate change.
I had my doubts if could we ever compel the other nations especially the big and powerful ones to also obey the commonality of our determination.
True enough, the United States withdrew from the… I don’t know why. I really do not… I have to fathom the reason or even the rationale or rationale of the withdrawal.
Is it because it cannot work hand in hand with other nations or is it because Trump would like to do it alone? He’s my friend.
And well, of course, I have been invited to the United States several times. But you know it’s not because of anybody or any place there. It has something to do with the schedule.
If it could only be a regional flight where I can go fly-in and fly-out in the evening, that would be very easy. But the long haul of 13, 14 hours would kill me.
I… You know I used to be… I used to fly when I was young. Many years. I had about — accumulated something like 670 hours of flying. But for the life of me, I cannot stand long flights anymore.
Even the recovery of a jet lag, it would take me about almost two to three days to — just stretch it out before I can function as a person outside.
And so we would like to see at least my country, that there’s really a — something of a good faith on the part of everybody to do his share of the endeavor.
There has to be an enterprise in the approach, business-like, you honor your word. You do not exceed the limits that we have set for ourselves. And the one thing that I said we cannot really control are those countries who are highly industrialized and powerful enough to impose their own will. That’s the problem.
When they say that, “Come, we join here because it is good for humanity.” And so the Philippines, historically, traditionally would always follow the Western approach of a problem.
Then they begin counting the carbon footprints and they were the first to industrialize planet Earth.
They went to other countries, exploited the natural resources particularly in the Middle East. Lived off by the fat of the land and when they were there already on top suddenly they decide that it is good for humanity to adopt a climate change.
So they are there already high up and for the starters, if you make it a proportional incremental increase in the output of carbons, well, you would say that they have a very great advantage because they started early.
Not even using their resources of its own but the goods of other countries. Lived off with the fat of the land.
So Europe, it’s very easy to say, “Oh well, you follow because there’s — you know the typhoon that hit your country it was caused by this and that. The cooling off, the so much evaporation or precipitation from the oceans.”
We understand that. It’s very simple actually. You do not go to the Pacific, you just boil your water diyan in the kettle and you will see how it evaporates.
But then who is strong enough to enforce? Can we now call upon the other countries to say, “Look you lower down. Maybe it will greatly affect your GDP.”
But if you cannot do that, then do not impose on the other nations, the weaker ones, the percentages of carbon dioxide that one is allowed to swoop in the air. That was my misgiving in my delay to sign.
But you know, I have a God. Do not ever believe in those s*****… [laughter]But my God is the God that I…
We have different images of God by the way. As many people there are here, we have our own image in our mind of what God really looks like.
Me, I think that there’s a universal mind controlling the universe. He need not be named God, but at least there is somebody higher than us, controlling the universe or otherwise with the billions and trillions of planets and stars, we would start to collide with each other.
Now the fact that Mother Earth has reached 4.5 billion years old, it seems that my God watches over us. I don’t know about the God of the others. My God does not need money you know every…
There are two kinds of taxation here in this planet — the taxation of government and the taxation of the Church. And when they begin to ask, “Where’s the money of the people, guys?” And I said, “It’s government’s money, it’s the people’s money.”
Then I asked the same thing, “What happened to the money of the people that’s been given?” In three tranches. That’s my basic objection actually. I thought that we are poor. So the Philippines is not yet in parity with the others. We are pretty hard up and we’re trying to catch up.
And I said, at this time let us be very clear on the limitations imposed on each other. I hope that our representatives in this commission would really work on something that is fair and fundamentally sound for everybody.
Me, I will just go by the developments and I’m sure that one is that we have to stop this thing about exploding missiles and throwing it to the sea and making a practice in the process, you kill so many marine lives there.
And that would be about a fourth of the world’s consumption for five or 10 years. Every time that you explode something that’s terrible in whatever oceans.
So first is, before anything else, there has to be peace in the world. The South Korea Peninsula issue has to be resolved. Then we stop egging Iran to go to war. Because then if that’s what will happen, even about a few hundreds of missiles, nuclear, then there’s no use of talking about climate change.
The nuclear explosion, every time it’s being done, eats or erodes the dignity of earth altogether. And so it behooves upon the leaders of nations who are really there and who can make the change, they can do much. And we appreciate nations who approach the problem with sobriety, understanding and providing the cooler heads, so to speak.
China is doing its job and the other countries. But really, I cannot be too generic in my selection because you know how it is. I’m sure everybody knows what are these things.
And so before anything else, let us decide that we avoid war because that would be disaster. I think it would be the end of planet Earth. And the residue of a nuclear explosions, even if it’s just a limited number of even 100 would greatly change the ecosystem of the world.
It will result in hunger, the consequences of struggling life. And the problem is, if we do not do anything, if nobody listens to the plea of others just to take it, you know, with calm approach, we are the generation at this time that has to take [care of] our children.
It is not yet their time. So it, I said, it behooves upon us to do everything to avoid all of these troubles. I said, for after all, if there’s a nuclear confrontation of what use would be the issue of climate change to us. And that is really a problem.
But I hope that hand in hand with the toil of everybody, the burden of talking to this leader, just to keep the world going, and not to put it on the edge because it is not good for everybody.
We are the parents of a generation that is really expecting of us and it is not yet their time. I don’t know what will happen if we do not do anything. And how can we characterize the life of the next generation would be.
Given the — a one degree increase of the temperature would be disastrous. The resources of the oceans are getting to be constricted and very small. There’s not enough fish really to feed everybody and that’s the biggest resource of all are really our oceans and our seas.
So it is kind of an awakening for everybody to address the problem of security and take care of climate change where you have people there who would be followed by their governments and governments who would honor the agreements entered into, especially if it comes from nations who cannot afford to be extravagant in all or whatever resource, food and everything, fossil fuel and even if it’s an electric cars, there’s the acid that you have to worry about.
So there are things that — that’s really would — squarely would be a burden if at all to the highly developed nations. That we can only say and plead, please do it and remember everybody. Not just your own interest, not your own hubris to solve the problems of…
It’s supposed to be one global village. What affects you, would affect China. What affects China would be a problem also, an issue in Russia, and so on and on and on.
First things first is just to decide to stand down, talk sense, remove the barriers. If it’s a WTO thing, then let it run its course.
We willingly agreed to be members of… I mean you start to do something which is not really good and there’s a retaliation somewhere and you begin a competition that would end not only — it would — it can only end into one thing, this confrontation about the trade and everything.
In the end — at the end of the day, it’s going to be not a competition but a confrontation. So that we should bear in mind. I hope that the commission that will meet and — once a year is not good. It is not enough. Not even twice a year.
Climate change is not a typhoon that visits your country once or twice a year. Climate change is a day-to-day problem and a day-to-day polishing, what ought to be the objectives of this country and for them.
So first, as we have to make a head count; second, is begin to count what are you entitled to under this law and what would be the immediate consequence or result with the withdrawal of one and how would affect the others.
Can you now force or exact obedience from the other countries if the commission or the body itself that would govern try to control the carbon footprints in this planet is in disarray?
So just — it’s my two cents’ worth and that would be the advice that I will give to my representative since he’s going to somewhere.
You know, I tell you what, to date, I have fired something like 16 — three department secretaries, Cabinet members, and 16 undersecretaries. Why? So much travel.
There’s a climate change in Africa and they are there. There’s a climate change in New Zealand and they are there en masse. Then there’s a climate change in Tokyo, they are there.
Every department sends somebody who does not even know the definition of a climate and how it changes. How is the process done to create a problem for the ecosystem and environment?
So all of them. And when I saw the list of 11 travels, climate change conferences all over the world and it has nothing — nothing good has come to my country except the expenses of going out and seeing the cities.
To hell with climate change because whether you like it or not, the typhoon is coming from… The Philippines is the window of the Pacific Ocean. So that is how you b*** s*** with the money. You go.
And I said to this day, I fired a lot. Most of them were my friends who were with me when I was campaigning, and it pains me deeply to see them go.
As I have had yesterday. It makes me sad but you know… Once and for all, we decide. We cannot be going to conventions every now and… I would insist on one representative from the Climate Change Commission, and I will not allow everybody to go out.
You need only one mouth. We are not as rich as France, Great Britain where you can send a delegation. We can only afford to send one and maybe if it is to my liking, I might join her in the trip so that makes two of us, no more… [laughter]
I think there’s a very articulate lady somewhere but she’s outside of the country. They say that you know, there’s a lot of issues against her but there’s the same…
I would want to verily… The… The… Whoever goes there will have to pass by my office and will only talk of what to say and how to make demands. You cannot ask. You cannot be forever requesting.
So this time, you demand. We honor our agreement or we go separate ways. You spoil everything there. Maybe we will spoil everything. By all means you want to end this planet? Fine. Let us do it. And do it in a hurry so that we will not suffer long.
If everybody gets cancer, well, the timetable is after five years all of us will begin to suffer.
And if you cannot bear it, then you go to Switzerland. You sign a document there, you lie down, there’s a waiver, then you are given a button.
If you like to go ahead, just press it. And you do not have to worry about climate change.
Thank you. [applause]
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