Sunday, April 21, 2024

Lawmakers See Tangible Benefits Of PBBM’s Foreign Trips

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Lawmakers See Tangible Benefits Of PBBM’s Foreign Trips

6

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Lawmakers at the House of Representatives on Wednesday said President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s foreign trips have already brought tangible benefits to the Philippine economy through the actualization of investment commitments.

AnaKalusugan Party-list Rep. Ray Reyes said Marcos is practically the chief salesman of the Philippines.

“He is the face of the country that when he goes there, he has to lend credibility to his word,” Reyes said in a press conference.

He said that over a one-year time period from November 2022 to November 2023, the country has registered an increase of 28.7 percent in foreign direct investments.

“So hindi lang travel-travel ito (this is not just merely traveling). There is also a tangible result already into the economy because he is telling every country he comes in that the Philippines is actually ready to work together with the rest of the world,” Reyes said.

He said the House of Representatives, under the leadership of Speaker Martin Romualdez, is pushing for institutional changes through the passage of priority bills that encourage economic growth and foreign investments.

South Cotabato Rep. Peter Miguel, for his part, said Marcos is bringing and promoting the Philippines as a product with his visit to Australia.

Miguel said the recent moves in Congress to propose amendments to the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution signals foreign investors that the country is easing its investment rules and is ready to open up the economy.

“Siguradong magpupuntahan lahat dito because our market is so big. Doon pa lang with a hundred million population and with the capability ng mga Filipino, matatalino tayo, magagaling tayo magtrabaho, marunong tayo umingles, yung labor natin hindi naman ganun kataas (I’m sure a lot of investors would flock in because our market is so big. With a hundred million population, with the capability of Filipinos –we are intelligent, hardworking, English proficient, and with our cheap labor), so we can expect the deluge of foreign investors for their own global market),” he said.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) earlier reported that around USD14.2 billion worth of investment commitments from President Marcos’ foreign trips in the past 16 months have begun turning up as of December 2023.

The DTI said the investments came from 46 projects that are already operating or have registered with investment promotion agencies.

“Our dedication to turning investment pledges into reality is unwavering. We also leverage each presidential visit as a springboard for building up a pipeline of investment opportunities and making the Philippines as investment destination of choice,” DTI Secretary Alfredo Pascual said in a statement.

The DTI said 16 of the projects are in the manufacturing sector, 10 are information technology and business process management (ITBPM) projects, and nine are renewable energy.

Japan and the United States are the largest sources of the investments, with 21 and 13 projects, respectively.

“Foreign investors are still conducting pre-implementation and planning activities in their respective countries for the remaining 102 projects involving USD58 billion investment pledges,” the DTI said.

The DTI added its establishment of the One-Stop Action Center for Strategic Investments (OSAC-SI) helped accelerate the investments of foreign pledges. (PNA)