Gordon sees need to increase foreign direct investments in PH

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 03 2021 01:26 AM

MANILA - Senator Richard Gordon on Thursday raised concerns about the decreasing volume of foreign direct investments (FDI) in the Philippines as compared to its neighboring countries.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, said that from $8.2 billion in 2016, foreign investments dropped to $6.5 billion in 2020, and $1.5 billion in January to February of 2021.

According to Gordon, these figures would be disadvantageous to the country, especially now that it has a P11-trillion debt.

In a bid to pull back foreign investors' interest in the Philippines, Gordon points at the need to provide incentives.

"Tingin ko babalik talaga tayo ng incentives," Gordon told the committee.

The main agenda during Thursday’s hearing was Senate Bill No. (SBN) 1549 which seeks to create a Regional Investment and Infrastructure Coordinating Hub of Central Luzon (RICH).

The proposed measure aims to enhance the use of available infrastructures, natural resources such as idle land, and human resources to encourage foreign and local investments outside the National Capital Region.

"The future is now and all government needs to do is to create the atmosphere of equal opportunity. The atmosphere where people can go in and trade mind for mind, work for work, effort for effort and enjoy the blessings of their hard work and vision," Gordon said.

Senator Pia Cayetano, meanwhile, pointed out giving opportunities to the homegrown talents in the region, especially the products of State Universities and Colleges (SUCs).

"And they are all around the region," Cayetano said.

Gordon assured local government officials and other stake holders in the region that they will be given the opportunity to take part in making decisions for the region using the available measures designed to entice investors to put in money in the area.

The bill has been referred to the Technical Working Group for fine tuning.

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