JERUSALEM — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, September 4, met with several business people in Israel where he pledged to provide them a corruption-free business environment in the Philippines.
In his speech during the ceremonial signing of the Philippines-Israel business agreements, President Duterte said he would find more ways on how to curb bureaucracy and make it easier for investors to set up businesses in the Philippines.
“I’m going to make it simpler and simpler the rules when I go back. And I want it really to be graft-free,” Duterte told the hundreds of Israeli businessmen who attended the event held at King David Hotel.
“I tell everybody, if you are into business in the Philippines, there are rules to be followed. And if there is anyone of you here now, and I give you my guarantee…if anyone of you here would do business in the Philippines and you are given a hard time, especially if you are being milked or extorted… tell me. I will grant you an audience even in the middle of the night and hear you out,” the President emphasized.
The Chief Executive assured that he would not tolerate any corruption in his government, noting that he himself would be ready to carry out punishments.
“Just remember the official with whom you are transacting. You name him, I will call him, and in front of me I will say to you, ‘Slap him.’ ‘Slap him twice on both cheeks,’ because he is insulting you. He is insulting your character and for me, he puts my country to shame,” he said.
President Duterte reiterated that no government transaction has ever reached his table and he only allowed his Cabinet officials to attend to business-related matters.
“And then I said, ‘I will not dirty my hands with money in politics.’ My standing order to all of my Cabinet members who are here is — no transaction of any kind, any contract, any agreement between the Philippines and a private person or even a government office-to-government office…they will not reach my table,” he related.
He further expressed that firing some officials whom he had worked with since his mayorship days was a testament of his seriousness and determination in fighting corruption in government.
The President also encouraged the businesspeople to look into Davao for their possible investments as the city in Mindanao is progressing, and its agriculture sector is promising.
“We would be happy. Somebody like you, gentlemen and ladies, doing business in my city, contributing to the nation-building of the Republic of the Philippines,” he said.
Toward the end of his speech, President Duterte vowed to consistently eliminate the drug problem in the country and maintain peace and order to attract more investors without any abuse of corruption.
“I will husband it — your project — whatever it is. There will be no corruption. There will be no harassments, no nothing,” the President stated with conviction.
21 PHILIPPINES-ISRAEL BUSINESS AGREEMENTS SIGNED
Meanwhile, during the event, 21 business agreements were signed between several private companies from the Philippines and Israel. The agreements have an estimated investment value of US $82.9 million and expected to generate some 790 jobs for the Filipinos.
The agreements signed include three Memorandums Of Agreement ( MOA ), 11 Memorandums Of Understanding (MOU), and seven Letters Of Intent (LOI).
Below is the list of agreements inked during the event:
1) MOA between Century Properties, Inc. and Globe Invest Ltd.
- To enter into a joint venture agreement for 1) advanced energy optimization management; 2) advanced agriculture and urban farming; 3) prefabricated housing; 4) water desalination, and 5) other master-planned real estate development projects.
2) MOA between Stone of David Corporation and Gaia Automotive Industries Ltd.
- To cooperate on the marketing and promotion of tactical vehicles, including technology transfer.
3) MOA between Stone of David Corporation and MCTECH RF Technologies Ltd.
- To cooperate on the development of military and intelligence products and hardware
4) MOU between Century Pacific Food, Inc. and Kvuzat Yavne
- To distribute canned tuna products for the Century brand within Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
5) MOU between Integrated Computer Systems, Inc. and Verint Systems Ltd.
- To explore mutually beneficial opportunities for collaboration on security, intelligence data mining, and information technology.
6) MOU between the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) -7Go Negosyo and Israel-Philippines Chamber of Commerce/Israel Chamber of Commerce
- To jointly develop and undertake programs, projects, and advocacy initiatives related to the Kapatid Mentor ME Program.
7) MOU between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce
- To exchange information on commerce, industry market updates, and identification of business and trade opportunities.
8) MOU between the PCCI-National Capital Region and Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce (JCC)
- To promote, strengthen, and expand trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation, and other business relations between member-organizations of the two parties, including the exchange of information on commerce, manufacturing, pharmaceutical/health and wellness, real estate/construction, ICT and renewable energy.
9) MOU between Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and Eilat Port Company Ltd.
- To promote the all-water route between the Port of Subic Bay and the Eilat Port, mainly exploring the possibilities for developing links between Subic Bay Freeport and the Eilat Port to support trade and investment
10) MOU between AMA Education Systems (AMAES) and HackerU
- To cooperate on developing cybersecurity-related certification courses in the Philippines
11) MOU between Le Soleil Shipping Agencies, Inc. and ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.
- To provide additional ships or vessels to service the country’s local and international shipping requirements.
12) MOU between Armscor Global Defense, Inc. and EMTAN Karmiel Ltd.
- To transfer know-how and technology of EMTAN to Armscor to enable the latter to create a local manufacturing facility for the manufacture of weapons in the Philippines, under license from EMTAN. This project has an estimated cost of US $10 million and is projected to generate 200 jobs.
13) MOU between KEREM IT Solutions and Carbyne Ltd.
- To allow the local partner to promote and sell the other party’s products.
14) MOU between KEREM IT Solutions and SuperCom
- To allow the local partner to promote and sell the other party’s products.
15) LOI of Amdocs Philippines, Ltd.
- To expand operations in software development and support services in the Philippines as its hub in the Asia-Pacific Region.
16) LOI of TrueLogic Online Solutions, Inc.
- To expand operations in software, systems development, and support services. This venture has an estimated cost of US $500,000 and is projected to generate 100 jobs by 2019.
17) LOI of Silver Shadow Advanced Security Systems and Rayo Illuminar Corporation
- To explore opportunities in the manufacturing and refurbishment of small arms and ammunition, together with the local partner, Rayo Illuminar Corporation. This project is estimated to cost US$50 million and is expected to create 160 jobs by 2019
18) LOI of MIMA TECH and I GilanGroup
- To expand operations in the field of agriculture and wastewater and sewerage treatment projects. This project is estimated to cost US $20 million, which is expected to generate 300 jobs by 2019.
19) LOI of FlyEast Philippines
- To expand current Philippine operations on tourism development. This project is estimated to cost US $400,000 and is expected to create 30 jobs by 2019.
20) LOI of FoodLab Capital
- To expand operations by building the FoodTech Acceleration Center within the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) to service the food industry locators of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). This project is projected to cost US $ 1 million.
21) LOI of Assuta Medical Center and I-DEA Ventures Group Inc.
- To expand operations in the Philippines by building a state-of-the-art medical center within the CSEZFP to service the medical needs of the locators of the CEZA. Also expected to cost US $1 million. PND