PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte in a speech warned investors looking to set up shop in the country.
Speaking at the corporate launch of Golden Topper Group in Parañaque yesterday, Duterte said, places of business should never harbor illegal foreign workers or drugs.
“While I recognize the potential of these projects to help the Philippines withstand future challenges in the global setting, I nonetheless stress that your buildings should never serve as a haven for undocumented foreign workers, or for the manufacture of and trafficking of illegal drugs,” he said.
The President said the government is ridding the country of corruption, adding there are laws and they must be followed.
“I just want everybody to behave and I also expect that behavior from you. There are rules to be followed. Just obey the rules and nobody’s going to disturb you,” he said.
Duterte’s statement comes amid a crackdown on Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) who fail to pay correct taxes, as well as the recent arrest of over 300 illegal workers in Palawan.
The President also had strong words for foreigners who kidnap debtors and hold them for ransom.
“Those foreigners, I will not particularize, if the debtor cannot pay, they kidnap and ask for ransom. And even with the delivery of money, they still go ahead and kill the children. You can come (to the country), ply your trade... but if I catch up with you, it is dead or alive. Preferably dead,” he said.
Duterte said he preferred criminals dead as it meant not spending for the care of a prisoner.
Despite his warnings, Duterte said investors would be given an easier time in processing their papers, directing government agencies to give applicants a “shopping list” of requirements which should include how long the processing would take, as well as what time an investor could expect them to be completed.
Failure to do such, the President said, would mean someone was trying to extort money from them.
“I do not want people destroying the government now because we are improving,” he said.