By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – The Philippines is heading in the right direction toward achieving its goal of sustaining its growth momentum, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has said.
In a vlog uploaded on his official Facebook page on Saturday, Marcos said the PHP708 billion in investment pledges secured during his five-day working visit to Japan from Feb. 8-12 is an indication that his administration is on the “right track.”
“Alam naman natin, mga negosyante ito. Ito ay hindi nadadaan sa mga pakiusap, kundi kung may makita sila na may potential, na magkakaroon sila ng magandang operation dito sa Pilipinas (We all know that they are businessmen. They could not be pleased just by mere appeals. They need to see the Philippines’ potential for good operation [of businesses]), Marcos said.
“Sa kanilang pagpirma ng mga LOI (letters of intent), pinapakita nila na tama naman ang pagpapatakbo ng ating ekonomiya, tama naman ang tinutunguhan natin (With the signing of LOIs, it proves that we are on the right track in managing our economy, that we are heading in the right direction),” he added.
Around 35 LOIs and agreements have been signed between the governments of the Philippines and Japan, as well as different business companies from both nations, to deepen their partnerships in various sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure development, energy, transportation, healthcare, renewable energy and business expansion.
The investment pledges from Japanese business leaders are expected to generate around 24,000 jobs for Filipinos.
Marcos expressed optimism that the latest development would make the Philippine economy more robust.
He said his foreign travels are aimed at fulfilling his administration’s desire for a “new Philippines.”
“Itong ginagawa nating pagbibisita sa iba’t ibang bansa gaya ng Japan para manghikayat ng mga investment ay malaking bahagi ng ating roadmap kumbaga tungo sa isang bagong Pilipinas (Our overseas trips, including Japan, to encourage more investments is a big part of our roadmap toward a new Philippines),” Marcos said. “Ang mga ugnayan at pagsasamahang kinakailangan sa ating mga mithiin ay lalo pang aarugain. Hindi lang ang pagbangon, kung hindi ang kaunlaran, iyan ang bagong Pilipinas (We will nurture our connections and partnerships we need to achieve our goals. A new Philippines shows not just our recovery but also development).”
Malacañang announced on Friday that Marcos’ foreign trips have so far generated a total of 116 investment projects worth PHP3.48 trillion (USD62.926 billion), based on a report from the Department of Trade and Industry.
Marcos said his administration welcomes and is open to “new and modern” ways of boosting the Philippine economy.
He also reiterated that he would strengthen the public-private partnership (PPP) under his watch, as he acknowledged its crucial role in revitalizing the economy.
“Kailangan natin ang tulong ng bawat sektor ng lipunan. Isa sa pinakamalaking bahagi ng lipunan ay ang pribadong sektor (We need the help of every sector in the society. The biggest part of the society is the private sector),” Marcos said.
“Ang lahat ng ito ay posible lamang basta maganda ang samahan ng public at private sector. Ang public-private partnership o PPP ay mas lalo pa nating paiigtingin (All of our goals can only be attained, if the public and private sector have good relations. We will continue to strengthen public-private partnership or PPP),” he added.
Marcos said his administration also seeks to woo more investments in the manufacturing industry.
This, as he said the Philippines is ready to become a “manufacturing country.”
“Maraming trabaho ang ating makikuha diyan. At kapag itong manufacturing ay sumikat ay makakapag-export pa tayo. Malaking bagay iyan dahil kailangang paramihin natin ang ating negosyo sa iba’t ibang bansa (We can generate more jobs there. And if the manufacturing operations in the country become successful, we can also export. That’s a big help because we can expand our operations to other countries),” Marcos said.
“Kung ang Pilipinas ang nage-export ay hindi na natin kailangang mag-import. ‘Yung perang yun ay maiiwan dito sa Pilipinas para naman matulungan ulit ang ekonomiya (If the Philippines can export, we no longer need to import. We can use the money we are spending for importation to help grow our economy),” he added.
The Board of Investments (BOI) has remained bullish on hitting its PHP1-trillion investment approvals target for 2023, given the “aggressive but strategic” promotion initiatives being conducted globally with no less than Marcos as the “country’s top salesman.”
Lanie Dormiendo, director for International Investments Promotion Service of the BOI, said the current administration is making the manufacturing sector “innovative and sustainable” to entice more foreign investors and make the Philippines as a “prime investment destination.” (PNA)