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ffifd"rd I *rro*,

'EBRUAR'
4, 2o2o Opinion

Give tm a run for their money


we've been making, and which are poverty is higher. Over l0 million Fil-
thankfully now echoed by much of ipinos now work abroad, whether per-
the President's economic manage- manently or temporarily. As of2015,
ment team: we were tle only country to fail to cut
*** our poverty rite by half in the pre=
One: the Philippines is the most re- ceding 25 years. One might of course
(f irst of two parts) sfiictive against foreign direct invest- object that self-rated poverry has in
ment (FDI), globally as well as just fact dropBed substantially since, un-
THIS moming, the task force formed within the region (ranked number I der Dut€rte, This of course begs the
by President Duterte to propose var- in botfr cases), based on a 2014 FDI question of horv much faster, or how
ious Constitutional reforms will for- regulatory r€striction index compiled much earlier, the improvbment might
mally present their recommendations by the Deparhnent of Finance. More have unfolded with the right econon-
for the first time to the House com- recently, as of20l8, World Banft data ic policies.
mittee on constitutional amendments over the preceding l0 years shows Four: Duterte himself is no strang-
headed by Cagayan de Oro Congress- that FDI into the Philippines only av- er io, let alone enemy of, the idea
mhn Rufus Rodriguez. eraged 1.6 pct of irs GDP, the lowest of liberalizing. The ten-point agen-
It's been a long and bruising ride within the entire ASEAN where the da he brought into office in 2016
lor those of us who've provided average was 5,89 percent. included the follo*ing as its third
support for this cause, in one form
or anol.her, ever since Duterte took #EF_ item: "Increasing
"competiliveness
and thrj ease of doing business...as
office in 2016. Over that period, the
well as pursuing the relaxation ofthe
campaign has molphed: first, from a 11 ay opening o-ur doiors,
Constitutional restrictions on for-
single-minded focus on federalism, to we would be encouraqing
a diverse range of reforms today; and the entry oJforeign
- eign ownership". This was echoed
by both local business groups and
second, from the objective of repl6c-
ing the 1987 Constitutjon wholesale,
investors who do not like foreign chambers of commerce, in-
to break the law.ll dicating the underlying soundness
to a more pragmatic approach of win-
ofthe idea.
ning what battles we can win today
The record thus shows that citi-
while keeping our powder dry for the
zenship-based restrictions on foreign
original target. T\yo: Not surprisingly therefore, investment are binding conshaints
Today seems to be an auspicious the Philippines also lags the iest cif to growth, They have importantly
moment to summarize the area of its peer group of the six largest ASE- contributed to lower investments,
proposed reform that seeks to reduce AN members when it comes to the fewer jobs, poor infrashucture, and
if not dismantle the protectionist lan- quality of its infiashuctue, based on non-inclusive development. Today,
guage in the 1987 Constitution that a 2015 global ranking conducted by when a global economy is changing
discriminates against foreign inves- the World Economic Forum. Not-only eVen faster because oftechnology and
tors based solely on their alien citi- are we the bottom dweller overall; we cross-border operiness, it does us no
zenship. That's always been my as- are also the bottom dweller in each good to remain inflexible and unre-
signment, buttressed to a great deg€c and every category of inhaslructure sponsive because of decades-old re-
by the intellects of my fellow ,,raging surveyed-from roads to ports to !e- strictions hard-wired into nothing less
increnrentalists" in the Foundation foi lcphony. than the basic law of the land.
Ec*nouiicb'lr:rriom. Three: As s lssuh 0i poor Fl)I snd
In {iiir;, th*:..r ols the i$flrin Friiirt$ ili,.tirr,Stui!'rrifg,,iotv; r,l*, f*i'i,en and Cohtinuod tomorrow

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