Duterte govt made Filipinos optimistic for 2018: Palace Jan 03, 2018 0 54 12345 AGENCIESMANILA Malacaأ±ang on Tuesday credited the optimism of Filipinos on the prospects for 2018 to the"changes" brought by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the hope about the country's prosperity and hope about the new year can be attributed to the"palpable change our people have felt" under the leadership of Duterte.Roque was reacting to the Gallup International's report, which ranked the Philippines as the third happiest country in the world, fifth most optimistic about the country's economic prosperity and seventh most positive about the prospects for 2018."Our economy is one of the fastest growing in the region. The local stock market ended the last trading day of 2017 in an all time-high. Board of Investments-approved investments are record-breaking," he noted.Last November, the Philippine Statistics Authority said that the country's economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter, likely making it the second fastest-growing economy in Asia next to Vietnam and ahead of China. The stock barometer capped off 2017 in the positive territory after setting a new intra-day high of 8,640.04.Roque also cited the liberation of Marawi last October."Our people have, indeed, appreciated these changes as reflected in the survey numbers. The challenge, therefore, is for us in the government to sustain the pace and momentum of our economic growth and bring it to the greatest number of our people," the presidential spokesperson said.Duterte easily won the race to Malacaأ±ang in 2016 on a promise of bringing change to Filipinos.For Roque, the Philippines ranking high in the global happiness index did not come as surprise."We, Filipinos, are known as happy, resilient people. We even manage to smile amid difficulties," he noted.Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar, moreover, said the Gallup International's report reaffirmed the character of Filipinos to show immense capacity for hope and happiness"even in the bleakest and dire moments of our history as a nation.""In the coming months and years of this administration, we are determined to give greater substance and a more solid foundation for our people's happiness through a booming economy, effective governance, enduring peace and justice," he vowed.Filipinos hope for a better 2018 is despite the fact that spate of~extrajudicial killings ” including those of teenagers ” linked with the government's bloody war on drugs, the~Marawi crisis~that killed and displaced thousands, the attacks on constitutional bodies such as the~Office of the Ombudsman~and the~Commission on Human Rights, and the~impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Ma Lourdes Sereno, among others, marred the country last year. POST A COMMENT RELATED ARTICLES Jakarta launches 1st airport train to tackle gridlock Jan 03, 2018 0 48 Two killed and thousands flee in storm-weary Philippines Jan 03, 2018 0 57 Vietnamese fugitive detained in Singapore seeks passage to Germany Jan 03, 2018 0 405 Philippines questions Callamard's appointment as UN watchdog AGENCIES MANILA PHILIPPINE Presidential spokesman Harry Roque on Tuesday questioned why Agnes Callamard was appointed United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings when her expertise was on freedom ..