Marcos vows improving ease of doing business in Philippines

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Marcos vows improving ease of doing business in Philippines
President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on August 9, 2023
(Pool photos by KJ Rosales / The Philippine STAR)

MANILA, Philippines — While the bureaucracy may have gone “a little bit out of control,” President Marcos has assured investors that efforts are underway to improve the ease of doing business in the Philippines.

In an interview during the 2023 Asia Summit in Singapore last Wednesday, Marcos said measures are being implemented to encourage more investments in the Philippines, which he said has emerged stronger and more resolute after surmounting challenges.

He added that the country is still dealing with issues related to power supply and bureaucracy.

“Our power generation was not sufficient or was not properly distributed, the prices were high and then number two problem was the ease of doing business, i.e. the bureaucracy had gone a little bit out of control. And that is something that we immediately have begun to address,” Marcos said.

According to the President, the Philippines is trying to increase its supply of electricity and to attract more investments in renewable energy.

“On the ease of doing business, we have changed many of the rules, we have changed many of the systems,” he said.

“And underlying all of that is the digital transformation of the bureaucracy, so that ease of doing business is again an advantage once we get it done thoroughly through the entire bureaucratic system,” he added.

Marcos said Philippine laws have been amended to change the tax incentives, tax holidays, tariffs and tariff structures to make it easier for foreign investors to come in and do business.

In his keynote address during the summit, Marcos noted that the Philippines offers incentives, tax breaks and robust legal frameworks that safeguard the interests of foreign investors.

He added that geopolitical stability and regional cooperation are cornerstones of the Philippines’ foreign policy and that the country is dedicated to peaceful relations and collaboration conducive to investment and business.

“Our nation’s resilience and ability to adapt are not just stories; they are lessons that we bring to the table, lessons that we share with partners who are invested in our shared future,” Marcos said.

“Our story is one of promise, of potential, of endless opportunities and all waiting to be harnessed... The Philippines is open for business. We invite you to join us in shaping a brighter future for us all.”

Marcos departed for Singapore last Wednesday to attend the 10th Asian Conference, his 16th foreign trip since assuming office last year.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had invited him to watch the finals of Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2023. The President is scheduled to return to the Philippines today.

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