MANILA, Philippines - As President Benigno Aquino delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), a business leader said the President should do more to address the high cost of doing business in the country.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Miguel Varela said Aquino has done well in his first two years, restoring confidence in the government and the economy, as well as improving the Philippines’ image as an investment destination.
“His policy for strong forceful advocacy of good governance that is transpaent, accountable and people-oriented is really a milestone. It has created a lot of inspiration from local and foreign investors because they see they have better opportunities, a level playing field that is assured and there are efforts by government and various agencies to improve the bureaucracy,” he told ANC.
MANILA, Philippines - For many foreign investors, doing business is now more fun in the Philippines.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently reported that many foreign investors are now thinking of relocating their operations in the country.
“The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines believes the Philippines is in a sweet spot as foreign investors are seriously studying the possibility of relocating their manufacturing activities in the Philippines,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said.
Based on a JFC’s 2011 Arangkada report, Baldoz said foreign investors now have a positive outlook towards the country’s business climate.
The JFC is composed of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, and Korean chambers of commerce, as well as the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc. (PAMURI).
MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang assured former Chief Justice Renato Corona that the distribution of lands at the Hacienda Luisita is ongoing and suggested that he focus instead on answering the tax evasion raps against him and his family.
In an interview with radio dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte laughed off Corona’s recent query as to why the lands have not been distributed to the farmers of the Cojuangco-managed land amid a final decision when he was still chief justice.
Valte said, “It would be better if he answer first the tax evasion raps against him.”
MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 2) Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo refused to enter a plea at the Sandiganbayan for the arraignment of her plunder case. Thus, the court entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
The plunder case stems from Arroyo’s alleged misuse of over P300-million in funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Also at the Sandiganbayan are Arroyo’s co-accused, Sergio Valencia and Benigno Aguas.
According to Sandiganbayan spokesperson Renato Bocar, the arraignment is open to the public but their courtroom can only accommodate a limited number of persons.
MANILA, Philippines – The chair of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) Audit Committee implicated former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the controversial alleged misuse of the P360 million operational funds of the charity agency.
In her testimony before the justices of the Sandiganbayan’s First Division, Atty. Ma. Aleta Tolentino said there were at least 7 instances where the former President approved the requests of then PCSO Chairman Rosario Uriarte for additional intelligence funds for the agency.
The requests, Tolentino testified, were also approved by the Board of Directors of PCSO prior to sending the said requests to Malacañang.
The prosecution showed Tolentino the 7 letter of requests from 2008 to 2010 with the approval of Arroyo and she verified it as true.
SULTAN KUDARAT - The Philippines’ top rebel leader warned a peace deal signed by his group could only end the armed conflict if the wider Filipino Muslim community supported it.
Under the pact the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) would give up its quest for an independent homeland in the south in return for significant power and wealth-sharing in a new autonomous region there to be known as Bangsamoro.
Authorities and MILF leaders must work to convince the large Muslim minority that the October 15 accord was a step forward for them, the front’s chairman Murad Ebrahim said recently.