MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte wished the country a happy New Year and called on Filipinos to "foster solidarity" in pursuit of providing more comfortable and productive life for all.
"As we spend time with our family, friends, and loved ones in turning a new page in our nation's history, let us draw strength from what we have achieved both as individuals and as a community in the past year," Duterte said in a statement on Sunday (December 31).
Duterte remained optimistic that the country's pressing issues such as corruption, criminality, illegal drugs and terrorism that "impeded our progress in the past year" would be resolved.
"I remain hopeful that our resilience will enable us to overcome and rise above these challenges as one nation,” said Duterte.
Duterte invited Filipinos to "embrace this coming year's uncertainty with a glimmer of hope."
He also called on the public to be partners with the government in achieving the "vision of a better and more prosperous future."
While the chief executive remained optimistic for 2018, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on Saturday showed almost all Filipinos will also welcome 2018 with hope.
The SWS report said a "record-high" 96 percent of Filipinos are hopeful for 2018, surpassing the 95 percent set in 2002, 2011 and 2016. (PNA)