Senator Manny Pacquiao says he has “at least 10 international billionaire friends” who wish to invest in the country
Boxing champion-turned-politician Senator Manny Pacquiao said he would use his global fame to attract foreign direct investment to the Philippines, if elected president.
On Thursday, Nov. 18, Pacquiao said he had “at least 10 international billionaire friends” who pledged to invest their money in the country.
“Marami po akong kakilala in a naagtatanong bansa. Gusto nila mag-invest his natin bansa“Pacquiao said in a pre-recorded question-and-answer session with members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
(I know a lot of people from other countries who keep asking me. They want to invest in the country.)
The only problem is that he always receives questions about the reliability of the Internet and the power supply, and most importantly, the corporate tax rate.
According to Ookla, the Philippines’ average download speed improved to 38.12 megabits per second (Mbps) in October, better than the 35.03 Mbps recorded in September. Although this Internet speed is “manageable”, several regions of the country still do not have reliable broadband service.
Meanwhile, electricity supply problems continue to plague the country during the dry season, when demand for electricity increases in the face of aging power plants.
“Eh nakakahiya naman tayo. Sinong mag-iinvest sa atin? ” he said. (Embarrassing. Who would invest in this country?)
He pledged to “wage war” on bureaucracy, strengthening the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act to ensure that all business permits are processed in no more than three days.
This year alone, President Rodrigo Duterte enacted the Business Recovery and Tax Incentives for Businesses Bill (CREATE), reducing corporate income tax from 30% to 25% for large businesses and 20% for small businesses. It has been a relief for businesses that bled in 2020 at the height of the pandemic.
But for Pacquiao, lowering corporate tax rates between 20% and 25% is not enough. He wants it at “15% fixed” – rivaling Singapore’s 17%.
The aspiring president reiterated on Thursday his earlier position that the government should instead strengthen its sources of non-tax revenue rather than rely on tax collections.
Again, he did not give details, but Pacquiao had said earlier that his government would “maximize” the potential of state-owned and controlled companies.
On Thursday, Pacquiao traveled to Malabon to visit a family who took care of him as a struggling young boxer. He also visited LA Construction where he worked as a construction worker, and then distributed relief kits to residents of Barangay Maysilo. – Rappler.com