President Duterte secures $185M in investment pledges from Singapore

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Singapore — President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the signing of US$185.7 million worth of investment agreements with Singaporean companies on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit here on Saturday, April 28.

The investment commitments are expected to generate some 1,920 job opportunities for Filipinos.

In his speech, the President assured the Singaporean businessmen that there would be no corruption in his administration.

“For as long as I am there, there will be no corruption in my government,” Duterte said during the signing of business agreements held at Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.

“Do not give in to them. All you have to do is to make a call I said and I will grant you anytime especially about graft, about workers in government asking for money,” he added.

The Chief Executive said he would task the departments of trade and finance to come up with measures that would make the process of doing business in the country “simpler and easier.”

He stressed that businesses in the Philippines will be protected for as long as the investors are paying the rights taxes and follow the law.

“You just take care of the laws. There are set of laws to follow. If it’s followed, then we are okay and we can talk about business,” he said.

“I welcome you. I assure you the protection that you need. No corruption is no corruption. I stake my presidency on this. I will lose the presidency on this. I will lose the honor and the prestige in pursuing that policy of no corruption,” he added.

He even said that he is willing to intervene if there will be problems with the local government units.

“My powers are limited. But I can change the rules down there if I really want to especially if it involves wrongdoing,” he said.

The President underscored that the main goal of the Duterte administration is not to “bleed business” but rather encourage business to flourish in the Philippines to provide work for the people.

Different Singaporean companies submitted six memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and four letters of intent (LOIs) in the fields of urban development, renewable energy, aviation, manufacturing and economic and trade cooperation.

The first MOU signed was between Filinvest Development Corporation and Keppel Corporation. It aims to explore cooperation opportunities in development of projects in Filinvest City, edge computing data centers in Metro Manila and urban solutions for Clark City.

It was signed by Andrew Gotianun Jr., Director of Filinvest Development Corporation, and Cindy Lim, Managing Director, Keppel Urban Solutions.

Another MOU was signed by Filinvest Development Corporation with Hitachi Asia Ltd. Which aims to provide the framework for the exploration of collaborative opportutnies and determine business opporturnities which include social innovation business, energy management, information and communication technology, water solutions, security and financial technology and urban development on existing and future developments and projects of FDC, its subsidiaries and affiliates.

This agreement was signed between Josephine Gotianum-Yap, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Filinvest and Kosuke Horiuchi, Managing Director of Hitachi.

Another MOU signed was between Everhydro and OceanPixel. The purpose of the MOU is to develop marine renewable energy projects in Zamboanga.

It was signed between Marianne Eleanor Catanyag, Programme Manager of Everhydro, and Michael Abundo, Managing Director of OceanPixel.

An MOU between Robin Village International Pte. Ltd. and ICSICT Support Services Corp. was also inked with an objective to explore collaboration in prefab projects for areas needing fast development.

The signatories were George Barcelon, President, ICSICT Support Services Corp. and Lim Chong Sit, Managing Director of Robin Village International Pte. Ltd.

Another MOU signed was between Ascent Solutions Pte. Ltd. and Ascent Solutions Philippines Inc. which aims to provide framework for the investment of Ascent Solutions Pte. Ltd. into Ascent Solutions Philippines Inc. in cash, equipment and technology for the development of a blockchain technology platform for a national ID system, transport management system and trade financing.

The last MOU signed was between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and Singapore Manufacturing Federation.

The purpose of this MOU is to promote, strengthen and expand trade, economic, scientific, technological cooperation and other business relations between concerned organizations and firms of both parties.

It also aims to exchange information about commerce, industry and economy in general, of their respective economies and to assist their members in establishing and strengthening business contacts through the organization of events such as conferences, seminars, study tours, exchanges of trade groups and participation in trade fairs with the objective of promoting the growth of trade between Filipino and Singaporean businessmen.

It is also expected to promote training programs and other projects that will benefit small and medium enterprises.

The following LOIs were also received by the Philippine government:

– LOI between Jollibee Woldwide Pte. Ltd. and Golden Beeworks Pte. Ltd. which objective is to enter into a Development Agreement with GPBL for the development of 25 new Jollibee outlets in Singapore for a period of five years.

Ernesto Tanmantiong, CEO of Jollibee Foods Corporation and Jennie Chua, Partner/Shareholder of Golden Beeworks Pte. Ltd. signed the LOI.

-LOI between SIA Engineering Company Limited (SIAEC) and Cebu Air, Inc. which purpose is to enter into discussion with Cebu Air on potential growth opportunities for its joint venture companies in the Philippines on the following initiatives:

A. Expand Line Maintenance operations at Clark with the Philippines Government’s drive to shift air traffic from Manila to Clark;

B. In line with the growth of its customer base and business volume, Parties expect planning on investment in expansion of its hangar facilities at Clark to commence in the near term; and

C. Expand Training Academy to serve beyond local aviation organizations, and cater to international students.

-LOI of Lepack Packaging Pte. Ltd. which aims to explore opportunities in the Philippines on Plastic Packaging and Film Manufacturing.

– LOI between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council which objective is to jointly work on a feasibility study to identify a site that would be suitable to implement the SGConnect™ legacy project.

Also present during the signing were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

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