Amid the tirades of President Rodrigo Duterte against the United States and European Union that have been cited to have affected investors’ confidence, chambers of commerce can help get the message across to the foreign business community.
This according to European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Senior Advocacy Adviser Henry Schumacher who said that "there is so much more explaining to do" as far as getting the President’s message across to the foreign community.
"ECCP needs to help get the message across on where we are going from here, on what the opportunities are and on what to do in order to see to it there are no u-turns on where people want to invest," Schumacher stressed.
He said that "question marks" of investors have to be addressed and that it needs to get the picture across on where the opportunities in the country are.
He noted that there seems to be a different message received by parent companies abroad than what their local counterparts actually believe.
President Duterte had lashed out at the EU and United States for criticizing the extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses in connection with the present administration’s all-out war against the illegal drug trade.
Even before he was elected as President, Duterte had vowed to improve peace and order and get rid of corruption in government.
However, his unconventional leadership has caught the attention of many especially of the international community.
Schumacher believed the foreign business community in general is optimistic with the administration’s sense of urgency to implement the changes it has promised.
Generally, investors remain optimistic of the new administration’s 10-point socio-economic agenda that is seen to accelerate the Philippine economy further.
In a statement earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the Duterte remains fully engaged in implementing the 10-point agenda, while carrying out his other priority goals of eliminating crime and corruption.
Dominguez had urged investors not to be distracted by the political noise generated by Duterte’s unconventional type of governance, as he remains committed to keeping the economy on its upward trajectory.
The key component of the 10-point agenda is the tax system reform, whose first package was submitted to Congress last September 26.
It aims to ease the tax burden on wage earners and the middle class as well as protect the country’s vulnerable sectors.
Duterte’s 10-point agenda also include infrastructure spending, macroeconomic policies, competitiveness and ease of doing business, rural development, land administration and management, human capital development, social protection, responsible parenthood, and science, technology and arts.
According to the recently released survey of Social Weather Stations, Duterte’s net trust rating remains "excellent" after three months in office, despite mounting criticism of his bloody war against illegal drugs.
The President got a net trust rating of 76 in September, down 3 points from 79 in June, but the decline was within the 3-point error margin, according to results of the SWS Sept. 24 to 27 poll.
The SWS poll also showed that 84 percent of Filipinos were satisfied with Duterte’s drug war, but 71 percent said suspects should be kept alive.
Source: The Freeman