Duterte assures Singaporeans of more ease in doing business
President Rodrigo Duterte assures Singaporean investors they will find it easier to establish businesses in the Philippines.
“I assure you now that you will have an ease in doing business in the Philippines,” Duterte said in his speech during the signing of the business agreements between Philippines and Singaporean companies on Saturday.
“We will make it simple and maybe I can task the Department of Trade and (Secretary) Sonny Dominguez of the (Department of) Finance to formulate a simpler much simpler, easier procedure to go and start a business. That I can assure you now and for as long as I am there as --- well in my office, it’s beside the river. For as long as I am there, there will be no corruption in my government,” he said.
“The only way really to move forward is to assure you that you can bring your profit out, no problem with the Central Bank. Sonny will see to it that everything is made easier for you,” he added.
Duterte said the Philippine government is always there if any problem arises.
“If you go into trouble whether for anything at all, whether it’s the BIR or the Customs I said, all you need to do is to pay the tax. The right tax --- well, the BIR is always there to negotiate. If you think that you get a lower or a discount maybe… If you just pay, that ends up everything,” he said.
“You will encounter problems with the local governments. Sometimes in the permit, sometimes in the land conversion which you would like maybe to develop. From a forest to an agricultural land, to an industrial area. All of these things can be done with enough personnel there to follow it up and I assure you I will establish a line that’s very simple to follow. And if you have any misgivings, just call me. Especially if it’s about corruption, I will give you time to talk to me,” he added.
“At any instance or whatever be the time except of course when it’s night. You can call my aide or any Cabinet member or the Secretary of Finance, you will be provided with sufficient information whom to call. And that would be it,” he noted.
Duterte also assures protection for Singaporean businessmen who follow the law.
“As long as you pay your taxes, just obey the laws, the environmental requirements are there and everything that would maybe bring in some complaints. You just take care of the laws. There are a set of laws to follow. If it’s followed, then we are okay and we can talk about business,” he said.
“And I welcome you. I will give you, I assure you the protection that you need. No corruption is no corruption,” he added.
Duterte also asked Singaporean businessmen not to give in to any extortion by government personnel involved in illegal activities.
“That is the only thing that you need to hear from me. That you are protected, that you can bring out your profits, that there will be law and order in your place and that you will not be visited by a lot of government people questioning this question that ---- in the guise of inspection but for the reason that they are there because of the money,” he said.
“Do not give in to them. All you have to do is to make a call I said and I will grant you anytime especially about graft, about workers in government asking for money,” Duterte added.
“The police is there, it will be sufficient to protect. All you have to do I said is to make the necessary call and we will be there to see to it that what I promised today will be the one --- will be the same rules that you will encounter in your business,” he noted. Robina Asido/DMS