Drilon expressed alarm over reports the Philippines is lagging behind in efforts being done by other Southeast Asian countries to lure investors leaving China, including the biggest multinational firms from Japan and the US.
Facebook/Sen. Franklin Drilon, file
DTI told: Woo big firms moving out from China
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to intensify efforts to woo multinational companies planning to move out from China.

Drilon expressed alarm over reports the Philippines is lagging behind in efforts being done by other Southeast Asian countries to lure investors leaving China, including the biggest multinational firms from Japan and the US.

“I do not see enough efforts being done, as compared with our neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, to win over the biggest companies moving out from China to relocate into the country,” Drilon said in a statement.

“This is an opportunity that we should seize immediately. The competition is tough. We cannot afford a laid-back attitude especially in this most trying time in our history as a nation,” he said.

He said the government must reach out to these companies as their investments will help the economy heavily battered by the pandemic.

Drilon said the government should device “a more aggressive strategy” to woo these companies to relocate to the Philippines.

“What’s sad is that we get the leftovers. They’re some small businesses coming it. I do not think that that is the proper way to look at it,” he said.

The Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines Inc. (JCCIPI) earlier said that the Japanese manufacturing companies in China consider first Vietnam, Indonesia and then Thailand due to supply chain, resources and raw material production.

Upon Drilon’s questioning during the Senate Committee of the Whole inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said there are some companies that will move into the country, but admitted that they are not the biggest companies.

These companies reportedly are more inclined to move their companies to Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

“The reality is, we need investments more than ever for our economy to recover from this COVID-19 disease and to provide jobs and livelihood opportunities to Filipinos who lost jobs due to the pandemic,” Drilon said.

He noted that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) estimated that around five million Filipinos would lose jobs due to the pandemic.

“Tell us the stumbling blocks we are facing here and if concerns legislation, Congress will fix it,” Drilon said.

Among the legislation that Drilon believes would help lure companies into the country are the amendments to the Public Service Act and the Retail Trade Act.

He said the restrictive requirements of both laws impede foreign investments in the country.

The Senate leader authored twin economic measures to amend the said laws. Senate Bill 13 proposes to limit the definition of public utility, while opening up other public services to the market.

Senate Bill 14, on the other hand, seeks to further relax foreign restrictions by removing investment categories and setting an across the board minimum paid up capital investment equivalent of $200,000 in Philippine peso.

Drilon urged the government to include the twin economic measures as priority legislation.

He also asked the DTI never to downplay threats made by opposition legislators in the United States to look into the possibility of revoking the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) extended to the Philippines over human rights issues.

CHINA DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY FRANKLIN DRILON
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with