President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to ensure that the massive infrastructure projects under his administration’s ambitious Build, Build, Build program are finished before his term ends in June 2022.
The President likewise assured Chinese investors that their businesses will be protected in a competitive environment that is free of corruption in the Philippines.
“Whatever your plans [are], do it fast,” he said, noting that the Sangley Point International Airport, in particular, must be completed in two years. The project involves Cavite Holdings, China Communication Construction Co. and China Airport Construction Group Co. Ltd.
During the Philippines-China Business Forum in Beijing, the President bannered the country’s growth for 82 consecutive quarters, recorded above 6 percent annual growth rate since 2012.
“Let me thank our Chinese friends for their interest to be part of the Philippines’ growth story. We are encouraged by your vote of confidence in our economy,” the President said.
“In return, [we] can offer you the benefits of our preferential trading arrangements with various economies, especially the US and European Union. We, therefore, have a win-win situation here. And I invite you all to take advantage of it fully,” he added.
He said Chinese investors are welcome to participate in the Build, Build, Build program.
Duterte assured Chinese businessmen that he will personally take to task Philippine government officials or personnel who will ask for bribes or grease money in exchange for faster facilitation of their investment contracts.
“Part of your hesitancy before was that because the Philippines was a corrupt country and not a peaceful one. I’d like to reassure you that during my term, I will not allow corruption. If you go to the Philippines, or with any agent there, come to me for any of your problems,” he said.
“If you encounter, or your agents or your lawyer will tell you ‘This official is asking for something like this’ – you just tell me and I will call that official, whoever he is, in my office and in your presence. I will tell the official to eat the money and swallow the coins. I have done it several times. Perhaps I will do more until the bureaucracy of the Philippines behaves,” Duterte added.
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