With a little over a month left before the bowing out of office, President Rodrigo Duterte thanked his supporters for believing in his capabilities and aspirations for the Philippines.,Duterte went off script in the latter part of his speech on Wednesday afternoon at the Puregold Sari-Sari Store convention in Pasay City to convey his “thank you” message.,“For those who believed in me, helped me, supported me all these years — those who understood my aspirations for the country and brought me to the presidency — I would like to express my gratitude to you,” he said in a mix of English and vernacular.,“Thank you very much,” the President added.,Duterte also said in jest that he was “quite behaved” amid concerns that he would use profanity in his speech.,“It’s here, ‘Mr. President, we are live on television.’ They fear that I will use curse words,” the Chief Executive said, drawing laughter from the crowd.,“I assure you, I am quite behaved nowadays,” said Duterte.,The popular Chief Executive will step down from Malacañang on 30 June and will likely be remembered for his tough-on-crime agenda and ambitious infrastructure program.,Presumptive President-elect Bongbong Marcos Jr. is expected to succeed him after getting over 31 million votes in the recently-concluded elections, making him the first presidential candidate who got the majority support after the Edsa Revolution.,During his speech, Duterte recognized the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the economy.,“With the countless jobs that SMEs produce for the country’s growing labor force, they aid in our aim to utilize our people’s talents and in our fight to reduce hunger and poverty,” he said.,The President also recognized that SMEs were “vulnerable” to external shocks such as financial crises and disasters, as shown during the Covid-19 pandemic.,He assured the public that he remains committed to support SMEs within the remaining weeks of his term.,With reports from MJ BLANCAFLOR
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