By Chino S. Leyco
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III assured European businessmen that transparency will prevail as the Duterte administration fast-tracks its flagship infrastructure projects meant to link communities, enhance productivity and create new jobs, especially in the countryside.
During a recent meeting with key officials of top European multinational companies, Dominguez said the Philippines is open for business, particularly in the area of infrastructure development, but he has yet to see companies from Europe participating in the bidding for these type of projects.
Dominguez told the Europe-ASEAN Business Alliance (EABA) that the government has been “very transparent” in its transactions, and continues to pursue reforms in the country’s tax system following the enactment of the first tax reform package.
The EABA members, in turn, informed Dominguez and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez that they are interested in contributing to the economic reform agenda of the Duterte administration, by setting up businesses, which they said are “an important contributor to economic prosperity.”
Both Dominguez and Lopez emphasized that the ultimate goal of tax reform is to attract investments and create more jobs.
“We are in the midst of tax reform, we aim to restructure the tax system for it to be fair and provide more level playing field for business,” Lopez said.
Dominguez pointed out that President Duterte’s policies on attracting investments, on top of pursuing a massive infrastructure program and pushing tax reform, are to provide a conducive climate for business by maintaining peace and order, and curbing corruption in the bureaucracy.
The government remains committed to the Build, Build, Build Program to bridge the infrastructure gap that has painfully made our country lag behind our ASEAN neighbors.