MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to Israel yielded 21 deals worth a total of $82.9 million, including six related to defense and security.
He witnessed the ceremonial signing of the deals at the King David Hotel on Tuesday.
In a speech to hundreds of Israeli businessmen who attended the event, Duterte said he would find more ways to curb bureaucracy and corruption, and make it easier for investors to set up businesses in the Philippines.
“I tell everybody, if you are into business in the Philippines, there are rules to be followed … I give you my guarantee (that) if anyone of you here would do business in the Philippines and you are given a hard time, especially if you are being milked or extorted… tell me,” he added.
“I will grant you an audience even in the middle of the night and hear you out.”
Duterte said he would not tolerate any corruption in his government, telling the businessmen: “Just remember the official with whom you are transacting. You name him, I will call him and… I will say to you, ‘Slap him. Slap him twice on both cheeks’… He is insulting your character, and for me he puts my country to shame.”