By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang justified the trip of the administration’s economic team to the United Kingdom, saying they are there to look for investors.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after some Cabinet officials were criticized for attending the opening of the first Jollibee in Great Britain this week despite the inflation issue the country is facing.
The Cabinet officials who were seen in a photo for the launch of the home-grown fastfood chain in London are Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.
In his press briefing, Roque labeled those criticizing the trip as “dilawan (yellows),” the color associated to the Liberal Party and later on the term being used by supporters of President Duterte to label anyone against the President.
“Hindi po mawawala ang mga tumutuligsa, ang tawag sa kanila Dilawan. Pero, ang katotohanan po, nandoon sila for a reason (Critics are expected, they are called Yellows. But the truth is, they are there for a reason),” he said Thursday.
“Kinakailangan pong i-promote ang Pilipians as an investment destination. Panlaban po natin ‘yan para sa…. hindi lang sa inflation, kundi doon sa mga banta laban sa ating ekonomiya (We need to promote the Philippines as an investment destination so we can fight inflation and other threats to our economy),” he added.
“Kung hindi po natin ibebenta ang ating bayan, hindi naman po pupunta dito ang mga namumuhunan (If we do not sell our country to investors, they will not go here),” he continued.
Roque said that getting investors from UK is important, saying there were few British investors in the Philippines before.
“Dahil sila po ay hindi na kasapi ng European Union, mas importante na magkaroon tayo ng (Because they are no longer a member of the European Union, it’s more important that we establish a) marketing push in the United Kingdom,” he said.
The Palace official also noted that it would be the Filipino people who will eventually benefit from the trip of President Duterte’s economic managers to England.
“So sa tingin ko po, very well-justified po ‘yung presensiya, lalong-lalo na ng mga economic managers (So I think their presence there, particularly of the economic manager, is very well-justified) because they are marketing the Philippines,” Roque said.
“At kapag naman ho sila ay nakakalap ng investors, magkakaroon tayo ng mas maraming trabaho, mas maraming kapital, at mas maraming kita para sa mga Pilipino (And when they get investment, we will get more jobs, more capital, and more pay for the Filipinos),” he added.