A PARTY-LIST lawmaker said the Philippines can be offered as an alternative investment destination for foreign companies who are planning to pull out from China.
BagongHenerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera is urging the government to be more aggressive in inviting foreign investors to do business in the country after the coronavirus pandemic is over.
“The government should take a more aggressive approach to convince firms seeking to move out of China that the Philippines is a good alternative for them given our unique competitive advantage, highly-skilled manpower and improved ease of doing business,” Herrera said.
The Philippines should seize the opportunity as the United States and Europe seek to reduce reliance on China as a manufacturing base in the aftermath of the pandemic and the resultant supply disruption.
Calls for China exit mounted as the Japanese government recently decided to provide subsidies to businesses that move production back to Japan, covering up to two-thirds of relocation cost—a move that was fully supported by the U.S. government.
The lady solon said the Philippines can also convince some of the companies leaving China to consider the country as a manufacturing alternative.
“This is a golden opportunity for the Philippines to up its game in securing more foreign direct investment projects to shore up the economy battered by a two-month community quarantine to contain the spread of COVID-19,” Herrera added.
One of her proposals is the eastern portion of Bulacan province as a possible site for future manufacturing facilities.
“The eastern portion of Bulacan is an example of its viability where there are vast lands available for development into an industrial city of more or less 40,000 hectares. It has its own source of power and water, near the power grid, and has existing access roads,” Herrera said.
She said the Philippines badly needs to attract foreign direct investments, especially those that would generate mass employment.
“The need to create mass employment is now even more urgent after the COVID-19 crisis left at least 2.5 million Filipinos jobless,” she stressed.
Herrera said she believes the government has made significant progress in addressing critical issues that have hampered the country’s investment climate and the competitiveness of local firms, particularly that of micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs.
To lure more foreign investors, Herrera said the country through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), would need to offer them more attractive incentives.