MANILA, Philippines - The European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) continues to support government initiatives to curb corruption in the country.
ECCP president Hubert d’Aboville said fair competition and a level playing field for investors should be prime concerns for the Philippine economy to grow.
“We have to recognize the intimate, causal relationship between the restoration of decency and integrity in government, and the stability, consistency and predictability that such a condition imbues our economic life,” d’Aboville said.
“We cannot achieve poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth without resolving lingering problems of corruption and poor governance; and without strengthening and achieving a certain level of autonomy in the operation of key legal, regulatory and administrative institutions,” he added.
According to d’Aboville, the administration of President Aquino is doing the correct thing by trying to restore decency and integrity in its governance.
The ECCP, two years ago, started the Integrity Initiative project that will help the government combat corruption, provide a level playing field for investors, and minimize unemployment in the country.
The ECCP, together with its partners, has been able to sign more than 1,000 companies and 17 government agencies to the Integrity Pledge – the guiding principles of the Integrity Initiative.
Still, d’Aboville is asking the government to fast track the implementation of its flagship public-private partnership program considering the fact that the country last year only attracted less than $1 billion in foreign investments.
“One year after Arangkada was launched, economic growth and a substantial increase in local and foreign investment remain far behind expectations,” d’Aboville said.
The Arangkada Philippines was drafted by the Joint Foreign Chambers. It lists recommendations on how the Philippines can hit $75 billion worth of foreign direct investments (FDIs) by 2020.
The ECCP president compared the country’s situation to Indonesia which last year attracted $19.30 billion in investments with $3.70 billion going to mining.
According to d’Aboville, they would closely watch how the government would handle the P438.80 billion appropriated for tourism, agriculture, agrarian reform and fisheries, general infrastructure, business process outsourcing, and electronics and semiconductors manufacturing.