President Duterte’s chief economic manager shrugged off fears that the shutdown of ABS-CBN Corp. would weigh on the country’s ability to lure foreign investors.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that foreign investor confidence remains strong despite the issue on the pending congressional franchise of the Lopez-led television network.
In particular, the finance chief cited the $2.35 billion foreign investments in government’s latest global bond sale.
“Recently, we raised $2.35 billion in our bonds. That is an investment in the Philippines and that happened this issue with ABS-CBN. So, I think our bondholders—to the extent of $2.35 billion—are very confident in the Philippine economy,” Dominguez told reporters.
While the country is seeing a slowdown in foreign direct investments, Dominguez said that this is primarily due to the coronavirus pandemic, which also affected business sentiments in other economies.
“We have seen a slowdown, yes, but essentially this is because of the COVID pandemic. Most companies around the world—here and abroad—are keeping their money in cash, in case they experience a drop in demand, or any other problems with their own company,” he said.
“We have not seen any direct result of a slowdown in investment because of the ABS-CBN issue,” the finance chief added.
Dominguez also said that the renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise does not hinge on President Duterte.
“The fact that ABS-CBN does not have its franchise is not an administration issue. Franchises are not provided by the administration, they are provided by the Congress. So, that issue is so strictly with them,” Dominguez said.