Thursday, July 28, 2016

Duterte: economic restrictions 
needed to lure investors. jobs 

TAGBILARAN CITY, July 26 (PIA)--President Rodrigo Duterte's administration hints economic restrictions to attract more investments as he lays out the country's job generation policy, insisting local government units to keep up and open its doors to more investments. 

In his maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered before the joint session of the senate and the members of the house of representative during the opening of the 17th Congress, Duterte, points out investments for development telegraphed his bias for negotiations over the usual hard stance against rallying critics, that being better policy to calm investors.

Instead of barricades and shields for the riot police which was readied as a fixture for the SONA, he allowed police to mingle with the rallyists who, in the most recent years, got closest to the Batasang Pambansa on a SONA Day. 

Duterte opened Commonwealth Avenue and had Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa in a dialogue with rallyists hours before he delivered his SONA. 

While on it, the president who in surveys has just enjoyed over 90% trust ratings said "We shall continue to attract investments that will generate thousands of jobs each year—jobs that are suitable for the poor and less skilled members of the workforce."

Even before the SONA, which the president traditionally delivers every time the Congress every 4th Monday of July, Duterte has already instructed his cabinet secretaries to cascade his development priorities and policies. 

He said issuing permits and licenses should be done in three days, no necessary follow-ups. 

In Bohol for example, four days prior to the SONA, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 regional director Asteria Caberte told the exhibitors and the department is taking to heart the instructions from the President. 

Caberte was sharing the DTI's mandate of enhancing the business environment at the opening of the Sandugo Trade Expo 2016 at the Island City Mall. 

For these, Caberte said in Central Visayas, the streamlining of business regulatory requirements as in the Business Permits and Licensing System (BPLS) is now in place, although further improvements are desired. 

Improvements can be on the backroom operations, she hinted. 

Through the BPLS, the agency hopes to reduce the cost of doing business and fostering transparency in all transactions. 

We are happy to report that all of the 132 LGUs in Central Visayas have already adopted the BPLS, Caberte said. 

That same week, several towns in Bohol capped a year of becoming friendlier to investments with the National Competitiveness Council awards for Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness index based on economic dynamism, government efficiency and infrastructure. 

This sums up Duterte's directives to put up reforms that ensure competitiveness.

Following the SONA, the President has said reforms that promote ease of doing business will be mandatory.

As to the country's beckoning big slate investors, Duterte hinted restrictions to the economy are needed to make more investments to come and to develop labor-intensive industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and tourism shall be pursued.

While not detailing on it, Duterte said investing in human capital and ensuring equal access to economic opportunities would be among his poverty alleviation strategies. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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