DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 Nov) – Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte has the right “chemistry” to lure investors in Mindanao.
In an interview at the Waterfront Insular here Thursday afternoon, he said that he is optimistic that Duterte’s keen interest for peace and development will change Mindanao’s paradigm from being a conflict area to an investment destination.
“Given these and the opportunities for business na nakikita ng mga international businessmen, na may magandang chemistry na pwedeng magamit para mag-invest at magtrade sa Mindanao,” Tugade said.
He said that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will pour more budget to develop the island’s connectivity such as upgrading of airports and seaports to serve the needs of the prospect investors.
Tugade added that there will also be constructions of economic zones here to take advantage of Mindanao’s strategic location, being the gateway to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and its advanced members such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
He said the administration will also work at improving Mindanao’s connectivity to the rest of the country and the ASEAN, especially ports for mobility that will promote business, provide cheaper foods, and encourage productivity among individuals and organizations in the production sector.
“Ito ang gusto baguhin ng Duterte administration. Kung ito ang mababago, ano ang gusto ng Duterte administration? Bigyan sila ng pagkakataon madevelop and grow. And the fundamentals of developing and growing is slogan namin – build, build, build,” Tugade said.
He emphasized the critical role that infrastructure plays in developing this island, otherwise “growth will not be there, or if at all, will be very slow.”
Tugade said the Duterte administration “wants peace and security as [the President] would like economic development. In a period of five years, he wants these structures in place, para pagkatapos ng termino nya at least the structures are there. For what? For economic development and for peace and security.”
Duterte’s war on drugs, criminality, and corruption, he said, will also play a major role in the overall development of the country.
“On top of that, and this applies to national, wag kalimutan na ayaw nya ng corruption at ayaw nya ng droga. Kung walang corruption at droga magkakaroon ka ng peace and security,” he said.
President Duterte emphasized to the economic leaders during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting that the country is open for business and that his administration will effect reforms to ease off doing business in this country.
“In my engagements with foreign and business leaders, I made it clear that Philippines is now introducing economic and fiscal reforms as part of our needed approach to make it the world’s top investment destination of choice. The Philippines is on track with unparalleled trajectory of growth. Let’s work hard together to sustain if not surpass what Philippines has so far achieved to improve the ease of doing business, suppress drugs and criminality, and eliminate corruption,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)