Why foreigners don’t invest in PhilippinesBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
“Pedring” was the only typhoon that flooded the seemingly impregnable US Embassy compound on Roxas Boulevard in Manila.
US Embassy staff had to be evacuated by the police and taken to higher ground because of the flood.
Pedring also forced the evacuation of guests of Hotel Sofitel at the Cultural Center Complex, the first evacuation effort in its decades-old existence.
In terms of scaring US Embassy staff and guests of a five-star hotel out of their wits, Pedring packed more wallop than “Ondoy,” which inundated whole villages and drowned some 500 people two years ago.
* * *
Pedring struck almost to the day Ondoy pummeled Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon two years ago.
The typhoon’s fury came two years and one day after Ondoy.
The universe is probably giving us a message that we’ve abused Mother Nature so much for so long.
We are now continuously harvesting the bitter fruits of such abuse.
* * *
“Marikina watershed reforestation pushed”—headline.
Why only now?
If the reforestation had taken place long before Ondoy and Pedring, Marikina and other areas would not have experienced flash floods that put middle-class villages under water.
We are reactive people—taking action only after a bad experience—and not proactive, which is taking action to prevent a mishap.
Our police are reactive people: They go after criminals after a crime has been committed, when their more important job is preventing a crime before it occurs.
* * *
President Noy has been going abroad inviting foreign businessmen to invest in the country.
Only very few investors will answer P-Noy’s invitation.
Ours is not an investor-friendly government and country.
Potential investors will have to reckon with corrupt officials at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Department of Trade and Industry and the Bureau of Customs, which will assess the machinery and equipment to be brought in.
That’s not all.
Potential investors will have to bribe officials of towns and cities where the foreign-owned companies will be set up.
Even barangay officials will have to be bribed for a business permit to be released.
You think that’s the end of it? No sir!
We have one of the highest power rates in the world; so much of the investors’ expenses will be for the payment of electric bills.
What also drives away foreign investments are our militant employees. They stage strikes and walkouts once they see their company is earning.
More from this Column:
- Abusive immigration personnel
- Tax exemption for Pacquiao?
- ‘Yolanda’ victims can rely on Lacson
- Ping Lacson’s new job
- Epidemic might break out in Tacloban