TUCP pushes reforms to bring in investments, create jobs

Published by rudy Date posted on March 13, 2006

To create more employment for Filipinos, the country’s largest labor group yesterday urged the government to implement reforms that could encourage local businessmen to invest here.

Up to 1.6 million jobs could be generated in the country from the reported $10.4 billion investments abroad of wealthy Filipinos, the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) said.

“Assuming this sum is actively invested in new factories and productive ventures here, we reckon it can easily create 1,560,000 jobs,”

TUCP general secretary and former senator Ernesto Herrera said in a statement.

Herrera issued the statement in reaction to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP’s) report that affluent Filipinos have hoarded $10.4 billion in passive investments abroad.

The BSP said the wealthy Filipinos pour their money to work in foreign equities, money market and multi-currency accounts, bonds, deposit certificates and even precious metals.

According to Herrera, poor governance is the single biggest disincentive for wealthy Filipinos to invest their money in their own country.

“The problems of rampant corruption, smuggling and crime, for example, are essentially due to weak and inadequate law enforcement. And deficient law enforcement is a manifestation of poor governance,” Herrera noted.

He added that the problem of high lending rates also discourage local entrepreneurs from pouring their capital or expanding their business operations in the country.

But the former lawmaker said those passive investments abroad by Filipinos will come back once the government succeeds in carrying out meaningful reforms and able to achieve political stability and sustained economic growth.

With the investments, Herrera said the country would be able to generate new employment for at least 1.6 million jobless Filipinos at this time.

“Based on the rule of thumb a $100,000-investment is enough to produce at least 15 good-paying jobs, using as a model the country’s thriving information technology (IT)-enabled services industry,” he pointed out. — Mayen Jaymalin, Philippine Star

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