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Regional Economic Manager’s Briefing
His Excellency BENIGNO S. AQUINO III
President of the Philippines
During the Regional Economic Manager’s Briefing
[September 16, 2010, Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City]
Maayong hapon kaninyong tanan.
It is an honor to be here in the presence of the business leaders of Davao. Your attendance is an indication of your interest in our efforts to improve business and economic conditions in the country. It is not just you who are bullish. Even foreign investors have expressed a renewed interest in doing business in our country.
Secretary of Trade Greg Domingo and Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima have just come from a visit to the United States and they report that many businessmen abroad who previously avoided our country are now ready to take a second look. Businesses are already putting their money where their mouth is.
Last Monday, the Philippine Stock Market index hit an all-time high on heavy volumes. Our recent sale of 44.109 billion pesos worth of 10-year Philippine Peso Global Bonds was thirteen times oversubscribed by foreign investors. Even though the bonds were denominated in pesos, and not in dollars as they usually are, this means that they, and not we, will assume the foreign exchange risk. This is undeniably a sign of confidence.
We are also now exploring a number of proposals for big-ticket investments in roads and expressways, power plants and other vital infrastructure. If these projects push through, our government will save billions of pesos. We are working to further enhance the business climate so that they and you will be confident investing your money in our country. We are in the process of streamlining procedures for business registration and approval of big-ticket infrastructure projects to make them faster, simpler and easier.
I believe that you here in Davao are well poised to take advantage of this business climate. The hydroelectric plant in Santa Cruz has just been inaugurated and this will help provide much needed energy to Mindanao. With the greatly improved power situation one more hindrance to your success is being removed.
And still there’s more. My administration is seriously considering liberalizing air transport to make it easier for people to come to Davao and other parts of the country and for exporters to reach their markets more efficiently.
As our administration strives to further enhance business conditions here in Davao, I know that you will continue to thrive. As your businesses grow, they will employ more people and pay more taxes. You can count on us to do our part. Davao, like Mindanao, is poised to be the Land of Promise fulfilled.
Now that the people themselves have directed us towards the straight and righteous path, it is incumbent upon each and every Filipino—from the private or public sphere, from the most common folk to the grandest collectives—to unite under the banner of hope. Thank you for being part of our agenda of change.
Your government is here for you, and we continue to draw our strength from you. Maayong adlaw ug daghang salamat sa inyong tanan.