To fight corruption, red tape, President Duterte asks investors to be assertive

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Golden Topper Corporate Launch at the Aseana Business Park in Parañaque City on September 25, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL

Local and foreign investors can profit in the Philippines as long as they play by the rules and back government’s fight against corruption, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte said on Wednesday.

In a speech at the Golden Topper Corporate Launch in Parañaque City, President Duterte said that in the past, Southeast Asian countries had a bad reputation for rampant corruption, discouraging businessmen from investing their money in the region.

Putting the fight against corruption, criminality, and illegal drugs at the forefront of his endeavors, the President assured investors that, under his tutelage, he would not tolerate abuses in the government.

“I would like to stress to you again this evening for the nth time that the Philippines, at least during my term, is trying to minimize or altogether remove corruption. And I would appreciate it very much if you investors, whether aliens, foreigners or Filipinos would come here to invest and be clear about the policy of this government,” he told businessmen.

“I do not tolerate corruption. I hate corruption. And I will go out of my way to punish people who are into graft and corruption,” he added.

He asked them not to hesitate and inform authorities if there are corruption and abuses in their dealings with the government.

“That is the only way where you can help me and you can help yourself from harassments, from oppressors, extortionists. Be assertive because whether you are a Filipino or an alien, you must stand for your rights,” he stressed.

“And in my country, I would be very happy for as long as you are doing it right and I said be assertive and do not succumb or surrender to the corrupt people.”

The administration has already achieved a lot, and the President said he does not want these gains destroyed. The country’s good standing is obviously the reason why Golden Topper Group Inc., a well-known real estate company, is investing in the Philippines.

President Duterte said he wants everybody to behave. “And I also expect that behavior from you. We just obey… There are rules to be followed. Just obey the rules and nobody is going to disturb you. Nobody is going to molest you. Nobody is going to, well, ask for this and ask for that.”

At the same time, he warned the company to stay away from illegal activities and not to allow its infrastructure for narcotics trade or kidnapping for ransom.

He then expressed his gratitude to the people behind Golden Topper Group Inc. for recognizing the country’s achievements and for showing their trust in the administration by investing in the Philippine real estate industry.

“May these groundbreaking projects not only set the standard for excellence, creativity, and innovation in your industry, but also cultivate an environment that will encourage healthy competition among the best real estate developers in this region,” the President said.

“Indeed, the success of this endeavor will surely cement your status as the government’s reliable partner in propelling the Philippine economy forward. It will also highlight your role as an important partner in spurring infrastructure development, generating more jobs, and sustaining the steady growth of our economy,” he added.

The President also expressed optimism that with the success of Golden Topper’s business venture, it will not only expand foreign investments in the Philippines, but also enable the country to strengthen its relations with other countries, especially with its Asian neighbors.

Also present during Wednesday’s event were Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Golden Topper Group Inc. Chairman Lam Kiu San, Chief Executive Officer Joseph Ramil Lombos, Chief Investment Officer Allan Crisologo, and Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Balikbayan Media Center
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