In President Noynoy Aquino’s six-day tour of Australia and New Zealand, he delivered a series of speeches to encourage investing in the Philippines. The Australian Filipina handpicks 12 of the most quotable quotes from those speeches that show why now is the time to put your money where your heart is.
Reason No. 1: His anti-corruption drive is steadily restoring public faith that nobody is above the law and an honest man can do business in the Philippines successfully, even without “connections”.
“No longer are the rich and powerful beyond justice: Plunder charges have been filed against no less than my predecessor, the former president of the Republic, and no less than a Chief Justice of our Supreme Court has been impeached for declaring less than two percent of his entire cash wealth, when he is Constitutionally mandated to declare all of his assets and net worth in a sworn document.”
Reason No. 2: The Aquino administration is working towards narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, creating a “healthier, wealthier and wiser” nation that is conducive to doing business.
“When the gap between the haves and have-nots widens, it is only natural for the people to clamour for change. Thus, economic growth should not be the only strategic goal of government; for this growth to be sustainable—for it to be insulated from social disruptions—it must also be inclusive.”
Reason No. 3: The country is immensely resources rich. It is estimated that it has US$951 billion of untapped mineral wealth. (http://www.gov.ph/2012/07/06/executive-order-no-79-s-2012/)
More importantly, the government has proposed new laws that discourages mining practices that harm the environment and socially unacceptable.
“Our mineral wealth is a finite resource which belongs to the people; therefore the people, through the state, must realise a clear economic benefit to mining. Harnessing our minerals must be done sustainably and responsibly, with as little harm to the environment as possible.”
Reason No. 4: The Philippines is enjoying a financial turnaround unseen in recent history.
“These past two years and three months, our country has replaced the discouraging statistics of its past with hard-earned metrics of success. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index has hit a record high 46 times, and that is in 27 months of our administration. We have received eight positive credit ratings actions from international credit ratings agencies, most recently with Fitch and Standard & Poor’s placing us just one upgrade away from being considered investment grade.”
Reason No. 5: If you don’t believe the talk, check out the foreign investors who are walking the walk.
“Mr. Ruchir Sharma, head of the Emerging Markets Equity team at Morgan Stanley, has said, “The Philippines is no longer a joke.” And as a sign of certainty, his company has in fact invested around a billion dollars in our country during our watch.”
Reason No. 6: President Aquino believes in the capacity of the country to transform itself, with or without him. He believes that Filipinos shouldn’t depend on the right person, but that Filipinos will do what’s right for their country and their fellowmen.
“Ako po, meron pa akong natitira, three years and roughly about eight months. After that, eh, baka puwedeng retired na ako. Saka tinitingnan ko rin yung mga kapatid ko, naawa na rin ako sa mga kapatid ko. Alam niyo, Martial Law 1972, kung baga damay na kami ho mula nung ako’y nasa grade school pa. Sabagay, hindi naman ganun kadaming dekada ang lumipas nung nasa grade school ako. (Laughter) Pero ang importante ho ano, hindi tayo aasa, hindi ba, sa iisang tao lang, pero umaasa tayo dun sa tama. At umaasa tayo, na tayo bilang isang bansa at isang lahi, kayang-kaya nating humubog ng mga taong totoo sa atin at gagawin yung inaasam-asam natin parati hindi paminsan-minsan.”
Reason No. 7: And last but not least, the Philippines is worth investing in because Filipinos have always had the right business sense and inclusive culture – it’s just that they needed a good leader to unearth the country’s potential.
“Our country now stands for everything that is best about the Filipino spirit: determined, fair, and principled.”