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PIA Press Release
2010/09/15

President Aquino tells Cebu businessmen that investors' confidence in RP is back

Cebu City (15 September) -- President Benigno Aquino III told Cebuano business leaders that investors' confidence is back in the country under his administration and to take advantage of such positive business and economic climate.

"I am here to personally inform you that there is renewed interests among foreign businessmen to invest in the Philippines," President Aquino told around 200 business leaders from the different business chambers of Cebu, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor during the one-day Regional Economic Managers Briefing at the Marriott Hotel in Cebu City.

President Aquino also said the feedback from his economic managers during a recent visit to the United States is very positive. Last month, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima visited the United States to boost trade and economic relations between both nations.

"The prognosis is good, that we can offer a better business environment for the investors," Aquino stressed.

Aquino also said that some of the business leaders who were turned off by the corruption and uncertainty in our economy and politics over the last decade have expressed a desire to invest again in the Philippines.

The President said positive signs of early recovery are seen even with just over two months in office and that the country is experiencing real signs of progress citing the Philippine Stock Market Index which has gone from high to high.

Public-private partnership is essential to further the needed growth the country needs, according to the President.

For Cebu, one of the potential public-private partnership (PPP) projects listed down by his economic team is the redevelopment and upgrading of the Mactan International Airport, Aquino disclosed.

"However, some improvements will also be seen in the near future --- a new instrument landing system is to be installed in the next few months and eight new airbridges will be bidded out in order for us to finally retire and replace the new ones," the President added.

President Aquino also identified the establishment of a cold chain system from Mindanao to Cebu to Manila, among other routes as another project on the administration's PPP list.

The President said that with the help of the private sector "we hope to see these projects into reality."

"With these, we can hope for significant increases on the number of tourist arrivals which will in turn provide the climate for more successful entrepreneurs to thrive," Aquino pointed out.

The President told the Cebuano businessmen that "we want to hear from you on what other infrastructure you think is needed in Cebu so that we can stay as an engine of growth."

Cebu will also stand to benefit as the President said he is seriously considering liberalizing air transport to make it easier for people to come to Cebu and to other parts of the country.

President Aquino however admitted that more work needs to be done but that working together, which is the essence of public-private partnership, government and business can achieve mutual goals that benefit the entire nation.

His visit to Cebu today is his first time after being installed as President of the Republic. Before his keynote address, President Aquino made sure to thank the Cebuanos for delivering 1.2M votes for him during the last elections.

From the economic briefing, President Aquino proceeded to Cebu Coliseum for the Presidential Forum with Cebu Volunteers attended by around 4,000 Noynoy-Mar Volunteers in Cebu.

His last open engagement was an anti-poverty program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development where two beneficiaries of the 4Ps Program gave their testimonies on how they have benefited from the government program.

President Aquino will stay overnight in Cebu before flying to Davao City for another engagement. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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