Cayetano: Fighting corruption is the key to improving Philippine business and investment climate

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the government to step up its efforts in fighting corruption the country if the government wishes to attract more foreign investments.

The senator lamented the Philippines’ ranking as the third worst among 142 countries in terms of procedures to start a business in the latest World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report

He cited the report’s findings that the country still performed poorly in containing diversion of public funds, irregular payments and bribes, favoritism by public officials and the burden of customs procedures.

The minority leader also echoed the call of the Asian Development Bank to fight corruption as a means to effectively promote the public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the country.

He pointed out that it is important for investors in the country to see that the government operates with transparency and accountability.

The lawmaker noted that enacting laws like the pending Freedom of Information (FOI) bill would go a long way in ensuring that transparency and accountability are upheld in the government.

“The FOI bill will provide the public access to government information including transactions and contracts. Doing this would help prevent corrupt practices because everything will be done out in the open. Prospective investors and business owners especially can know that what they see is what they get,” he said.

Cayetano also pointed out that the government needs to improve on the current process of starting and maintaining businesses in the country for the benefit of local business owners.

“Prospective business owners in the country, both local and foreign must be able to trust the government with their hard earned capital,” he said.

He said the Aquino government must step up its anti-graft and corruption drive, to do nothing more would further endanger our image to prospective investors and businesses,” he said. “There is so much that needs to be done,” he said added.