SINGAPORE, The Philippines took home a total of US$185.7 million worth of investments during President Duterte's visit here for the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit Saturday.
Six Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and four Letters of Intent (LOIs) were signed between the two countries during Duterte's meeting with the Singaporean business delegation Saturday afternoon.The agreements are expected to generate around 1,920 jobs.
Duterte, in his speech during the event, said he will ensure that there will be law and order, and that there will be no corruption so businessmen will become more interested in investing in the Philippines.
I assure you now that you will have an ease in doing business in the Philippines, Duterte said.
Duterte, however, reminded the entrepreneurs to pay the right amount of tax and there will be no problem about them doing business in the Philippines.
All you have to do is to pay the tax. The right tax. If you just pay, that ends up everything, he said.
Duterte also reminded them to ensure that all necessary requirements are fulfilled, and even environmental laws are followed, and they will have no problem with the government.
You just take care of the laws. There are sets of laws to follow. If it is followed, then we're okay. We can talk about business and I welcome you. I assure you and I'll give you the protection that you need, he said.
My powers are limited but I can change the rules down there if I really want to, especially if it involves wrongdoing. That is the only thing you need to hear from me � that you are protected, that you can bring out your profits, that there will be law and order in your place, he added.
The President, however, warned them that while they may not face any more problems with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), the businessmen may encounter problems when dealing with the local government.
The President then assured them that if they encounter problem with the local government, he is willing to assist them.
You will encounter problems in the local government, sometimes in the permit. Sometimes in the land conversion which you'd like maybe to develop from a forest to an agricultural land, to an industrial area, he said.
I will establish a line that is very simple to follow and if you have any misgivings, just call me. Especially, if it's about corruption. I will give you time to talk to me at any instance. You can call my aide or any Cabinet member or the secretary of Finance, he added.
He also said that he will instruct Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to formulate a simpler, easier procedure so foreign investors can go and start the business.
That I can assure you now and for as long as I am there. For as long as I am there, there will be no corruption, he said.
Duterte said in a jest that the foreign businessman can either call him if there is trouble or they can deal with the other person themselves.
Any unnecessary disturbance, molestation, or trouble that is caused on you, I give you the right to kill him. Shoot him, stab him, push him out of the window, and I will take care of your pardon, he said in a jest.
Duterte also said that his interest now as President is not to plead business, but rather encourage businesses to flourish so Filipinos' lives can improve as well.
Source: NAM News Network