Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III today challenged Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez to prevent not only corruption but fraud, deceit and swindling of foreign businessmen in their dealings within the country.
He then urged the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to accredit only “honest to goodness Philippine businesses in the delegations abroad” of President Rodrigo Duterte aimed at seeking big ticket investments in addition to cementing closer ties with foreign partners.
Pimentel said Pres. Duterte, who has promised the Filipino people a corrupt-free government, had earlier assured potential Russian investors to the country that there would be no corruption in their dealings with the present administration.
Although the President had to cut short his recent Russian visit because of a rebellion staged by the Maute group of terrorists in Marawi City, Lopez and the other members of the Philippine delegation stayed behind to finish the trade negotiations.
The visit sealed a total of 10 deals, including an agreement on defense cooperation, tourism promotions, agricultural enhancement, transportation technology, international film and art festivals, trade and investments, and industry development, among others.
Pimentel said the change that President Duterte had vowed to pursue does not only include a drug-free country but a corrupt-free government, pledging to personally take care of complaints aired by foreign businessmen in their dealings in the country. We should also provide them with a fraud-free investment experience in the country.
During his past visits to China, Pres. Duterte got a pledge of $15 billion for large-scale infrastructure projects and a $3 billion credit facility from the Bank of China while Japan has offered $8.1 billion in official loans and private investments. pr