n the surface, the
Philippines can seem like an enjoyable and friendly place to do business.
But scratch the surface and you’ll find yourself in a strange and alien
world where a whole new set of rules and attitudes apply.
Just recently, the Fraser
Institute, a well-known North American think-tank, ranked the Philippines
third from the bottom, on its annual survey of the best places to do
business for mining companies. The country is missing out on multi-billion
dollar foreign investments—not to mention the thousands of jobs new
businesses can provide—simply because foreign companies see the Philippines
as unreliable. Rules can change mid-stream, and local jurisdictions can
impose ever increasing requirements. The country already suffers from a
history of failed business projects where foreign investors were left
“holding the bag.” A prime example is the construction of NAIA Terminal 3
where German airport services firm Frapport AG found itself entangled in a web
of government agencies, bureaucrats, the courts, and the previous
Gloria Arroyo administration. Unfortunately for Frapport AG, a simple straightforward airport
project turned into a nightmare. Unfortunately Fraport AG’s experience is in
no way an isolated
case. These things happen all the time in the Philippines where there is no
requirement for full disclosure and all parties to a deal—no matter how
minor—usually have another secret deal going on the side.
Although the Philippines
has recently improved its overall credit rating, that improvement has not
translated into a significant boost in foreign direct investments to the
country. In fact Indonesia continues to receive four times as much foreign
investment even if it now rates lower than the Philippines. Why? As we point
out above, the reason is the Philippines has, over the years, built a
reputation of inconsistency and unreliability, in addition to widespread
corruption, a poorly educated populace, inadequate infrastructure, and a
hopelessly ineffective judiciary.
From large multinational
corporations to mom-and-pop businesses opened by balikbayans, many businesses who had set up shop
here in the Philippines, have since left in frustration. Many point to the
almost whimsical attitude of local officials who seem to delight in giving
businesses a difficult time simply to prove to everyone that they can. When
business owners realize that the odds are stacked against them despite
their best efforts, they close shop and move elsewhere. And in today’s world
of global connectivity, that could be anywhere else outside the Philippines.
The recent pork-barrel
scandal that is currently all over the news also highlights just how
widespread and far-reaching corruption is in the country. Sitting senators
who took an oath to serve the people are now accused of serving only
themselves to the tune of tens of millions of pesos. They are now fighting
tooth-and-nail to exonerate themselves. And why shouldn’t they, others
before them stole much more yet never spent a day in jail.
It may seem
counterintuitive to some but Philippine courts have a lot to do with
improving the business climate of the country. Government officials can offer
all kinds of business incentives and talk till they’re blue in the face. But
unless the Philippines has a properly functioning judiciary, reputable
foreign businesses will have to think long and hard before they ever invest
or set up shop here.
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Our Readers Previous Article
Name: Jorge Villanueva City/State/Country: Canada IP
What is Edsa to many Filipinos?
Honestly, you get varied opinions or reactions depending on how each individual perceived it or how he or she is affected by it. The fact is, the episode did not alter the very core of societal life, unlike that of the Cuban revolution or similar upheavals. It did change a dictatorial, martial law encrusted rule. But, and disappointingly, retained the milieu or the attitude that made it happen, in the first place. In retrospect, the martial law became
intolerable not primarily because of the suppression of human rights but the proliferation of corruption at the highest level. Ironically, corruption existed before Marcos and persisted even after he was relegated to history. Precisely why Edsa remained an enigma in the minds of so many.
Name: Manuel C. Diaz
City/State/Country: Montclair CA USA IP Address: 18.104.22.168
Cory Aquino was not a Joan of Arc. Her son BS Aquino lll is no Solomon either!
Name: 1 UP
City/State/Country: GOTHAM CITY IP Address: 22.214.171.124
"The fact that (Cory) Aquino, in so many ways, failed in that task has somewhat diminished the significance of the EDSA revolution through the years.." you were on point PNL. But Cory was not alone to take the blame. Erap, Gloria and Fidel had their share. All were tainted with scandals during their term. The transition from authoritarianism to true democracy left much to be desired. It was not seamless but marked with several unsuccessful military coups.
Name: JRH City/State/Country: Montreal, Canada IP
The Filipinos who participated in the People Power Movement did not even realized that they created a bloodless national movement that brought about drastic changes in the Phils. It's a peoples' synergistic actions for the common good of our nation who created an unstoppable wave of a concerned citizenship. It was to object, protest, reject, & show our govt that things were not right. It proved that noboby can oppress the Pinoys that long. It was a system overflowing with bad things. It was ordinary citizens, the religious, non-partisan groups & part of a neglected military who made it happened. Edsa is not just a part of our history but a ongoing process cuz corruption never really went away.
Name: Enteng D'Dragon City/State/Country: Pulo ng mga Mahangin
IP Address: 126.96.36.199
News item PDaily Inquirer March 4- "“Remember, [Manila] Mayor Erap [Joseph Estrada] not only faced but was convicted of plunder and he almost made it in 2010. So, anything is possible in Philippine politics,” Romualdez said when asked if Revilla remained a viable candidate in the 2016 presidential election." SO- that is why it is more fun in the Philippines and EDSA 1 WAS JUST A BIG FIESTA AFTER ALL!
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comments for publication.
ow long before the people responsible for the Dacer-Corbito murders are brought to justice? The hopeful answer may be found in a speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol on March 25, 1965 when he said: "How long? Not long, because no lie can live forever. How long? Not long, because you shall reap what you sow. How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."
Another whistleblower Ruby Tuason will soon testify before the Department of Justice, and the Philippine Senate. And probably before the Ombudsman, the Batasan committees, the Sandiganbayan and other courts as well. Her appearances will likely involve high drama, moving testimony, and bombshell revelations that will be plastered across the front pages of Philippine dailies and reverberate throughout social media.
Macho, Macho Men and the Matriarchal Philippine Society
An online article a week ago concluded that the reason that Deniece Cornejo the vixen in the Vhong Navarro mauling incident was being mercilessly vilified was because Philippine society tends to treat women that way (LINK). The writer a certain Tricia Aquino in collaboration with Judy Taguiwalo a University of the Philippines professor in the Department of Women and Development Studies, try to paint a bleak picture of Filipina women as persecuted second-class citizens who end up being blamed for the troubles that befall them.
We Must Learn from the Past, for the Future of Mindanao
Will the signing of the last annex of the peace accord between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) finally bring lasting peace to troubled Mindanao? Everyone hopes so. But let’s go back several decades in time and see how the country fared in a similar situation back then.
The Internet: Keeping Philippine Politicians Honest
On January 20, 2014 Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., delivered his long-awaited privilege speech to refute the charges and allegations leveled against him regarding the misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Unfortunately, the senator’s speech was light on facts refuting the charges, and heavy on counter-accusations and theatrics.
Wanted: A Proactive President Who Will Stand Up to the Chinese
Last Tuesday, Bonnie Glaser a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) a Washington, DC-based think-tank testified before a joint hearing of the U.S. House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces and the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Asia Pacific.
Fears of the Philippines as a Narco State
The recent Christmas Day police raid on a drug storage facility in a ranch in Lipa, Batangas yielded not only P420 million pesos ($10 million) worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) drugs but also the discovery of a major new player in the Philippine drug scene.
"The Mexicans are here. This is the first time that we have confirmed it."
From Herminio Disini to Cory Aquino to Artemio Panganiban; What Will Pnoy Do?
Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban might soon find himself under arrest, arraigned and prosecuted because of a libel charge filed against him by Ferdinand Marcos crony Herminio Disini. The “libelous act” that Panganiban is accused of is writing an article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2011 that Disini alleges is an “irresponsible and malicious” attack with regards to his involvement in the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP)
during the martial law years.