MANILA — Almost 200 new government officials took their oath of office on Monday before President Rodrigo Duterte, who reminded them that public office is a public trust.

During the oath-taking ceremony at Malacañan Palace, Duterte expressed confidence that the new officials would perform their duties to the best of their abilities and fight corruption in their respective offices.

“I am confident that as you take your oath, you will also espouse our collective hopes and dreams and advance this administration’s programs and initiatives to realize a prosperous future for all Filipinos,” said Duterte in his speech.

“Let us be reminded that public office is a public trust and for the nth time as echoed by the rest of the humanity of Filipinos, that public office is a public trust,” he added.

Despite the many “daunting challenges” that lies ahead, Duterte is hoping the new government officials would “lead by example” and inspire colleagues to embody values befitting of a civil servant such as honesty, humility, and simplicity.

Duterte also appealed to them to use their resources wisely, develop policies and social programs conscientiously, and treat everyone equally regardless of ethnicity, status, religious belief and political affiliation since the public expected so much from them.

“With competent civil servants at the reins of our government offices, I am confident that we will maintain the program of government that you all desire and the public morale to the highest of expectations from our people,” Duterte said.

He also hoped that they “leave behind a legacy of real and tangible change” as part of their mandate to serve the people.

“Let us look forward to the future with optimism as we do our best in building a more secure, equitable, prosperous future for all Filipinos,” he added.