By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
AMMAN, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan — President Duterte said that he will create a department that will attend to foreign businessmen willing to explore opportunities in the Philippines.
Duterte made the statement in a speech before Jordanian businessmen in a forum in Amman Thursday afternoon (Jordan time).
In his speech, Duterte assured that the Philippines needs investments and that it is ready to accept foreign money to cater to the needs of Filipinos.
“Now, ‘Is the national government capable of accepting and embracing foreign money?’ I would say, ‘Yes, on all counts,'” he said.
“We need investments. We need the money to finance the huge population — education, medical care, everything. So we need help. Help in terms of business where you can make your profit,” he added.
“If there’s a thing that is capable of making you succeed in business in my country, I will invite you,” he continued.
Duterte also acknowledged that some businessmen may be hesitant to enter the Philippines due to some corrupt government officials. He assured them that corruption is a thing of the past and that they will be able to do business in the country with ease.
“There is one thing which I would like to guarantee you. Maybe you’ve heard some other time about the Philippines being corrupt. Yes, most of them in the past,” Duterte said.
“But I tell you know, I give you the solemn commitment that if you go there, it will be business with ease. And as a matter of fact, you do not have to travel from one place to another to get a permit or clearance wherever,” he added.
The President then revealed that he will create a department just to process the application of foreign entrepreneurs who want to do business in the Philippines.
“I will create a department just to receive your application. We will do the processing. We will give you a list, a shopping list of what to produce,” Duterte said.
“If everything is in order, there’s no need for you to follow it up. We will advise you that your papers have been approved and that you can start your business,” he added.
Duterte also said that a color-coded “roadmap” will be given to foreign businessmen, telling them which area is good for which business.
Just like what he told businessmen from other country, Duterte promised to deal with government workers who try to hinder their applications by asking for bribes.
“I will guarantee you the return of profit. There will be no corruption. And if you ask anything, even a toothpick, I will guarantee you, you can have my audience anytime of the day or night,” Duterte said.
“I can call the guy in front of you. But if I shoot him, you just walk away. Leave me with the police to talk about these things,” he added.
At least US$60 million worth of business deals was bagged by the Philippines after the signing of two memoranda of understanding and seven letters of intent between Philippine and Jordanian private firms. At least 430 jobs are expected to be generated.
King Abdullah II, during his working lunch with Duterte, said that he would like to return to visit the Philippines and that he will bring his own business delegation to seek opportunities in the Philippines like what Duterte did during his three-day historic visit to the Kingdom.