Duterte reads ‘Economics for Dummies’ book to brush up on the subject

Published May 6, 2018, 4:50 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

For President Duterte who loathed economics subject in school, the book “Economics for Dummies” has become a staple in the presidential collection.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, in his speech during the 51st Asian Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City on May 5, 2018, recognizes the vital role of ADB in the growth and development of the Philippines. ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The President recently admitted reading the popular book to brush up on his knowledge about economics when he assumed the country’s highest government position.

Duterte found the book an easy read especially since he obtained poor grades in economics and accounting during high school and college.

“Alam mo kung ano na nung Presidente ako, saan ako nagbasa talaga ng economics? [Do you know where I learned economics when I became President?] It’s a very easy reading and if you happen to buy one, buy it for your children. ‘Yung economics for the dumb, may libro ‘yan. ‘Yung simple lang talaga [There’s a book on that. It’s simple],” the President said before an assembly of school principals in Davao City last Friday.

“So I read then after reading the basics again, eh kasi ‘pag maalala ko bumagsak pa ako ng economics na ‘yan. Wala man akong hilig diyan sa negosyo at saka ‘yung fill in that statistics, tsaka ‘yung legal accounting [Because I remember I flunked my economics subject. I really don’t like business, statistics and legal accounting],” he added.

The President, a former mayor of Davao City, said this was part of the reason he has left to his competent economic managers to handle matters related to the domestic economy.

He also said no government contracts also reach his desk, adding he trusts his Cabinet members to handle these transactions. “I would just listen, I never direct,” he said.

With the economics and business aspects handled by his economic team, Duterte said he remains focused on other priorities such fighting corruption and illegal drugs.

He said he has also pursued peace initiatives with Muslim and communist insurgents.

“Now the only thing bothering us now is terrorism. Terrorism is — they are using Islam in a very corrupt manner,” he said.

Duterte studied political science at the Lyceum of the Philippines University before earning a law degree from San Beda College in 1972.