PBBM touts PHL’s perks for RE investors

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PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. prioritized seeking more investments on renewable energy during his ongoing working visit in Singapore to bring down the country’s high electricity rates and help in achieving the country’s “climate targets.”

During a roundtable meeting with businessmen at the sidelines of the 10th Asia Summit Fireside Chat in Singapore on Wednesday, the chief executive said the country now provides significant incentives for foreign investors.

He noted they can now enjoy 100 percent equity in the exploration, development, and utilization of solar, wind, hydro, and ocean or tidal energy resources.

“With this development, I encourage our Singapore partners to consider the Philippines and take part in the country’s goal of increasing renewable share in power generation and offering lower cost and cleaner energy to the general public,” Marcos said.

In his interview with Stonepeak managing director Steven Ciobo in the Summit, the President noted insufficient power supply and “out-of-control bureaucracy” were the two main factors which discourage new investments in the country.

Last year, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) expressed concern over the high electricity rate in the Philippines compared to neighboring countries Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand.

Marcos said the country is now trying to increase the country’s power supply, particularly renewable energy.

Other options

Aside from power, he said other sectors offering potential high return of investments are physical and digital connectivity, water resources, agriculture, and health.

He also urged Singaporean businesses to consider the numerous investment opportunities from the country’s start-up ecosystem.

“The Philippines’ start-up ecosystem also possesses great potential with our young and competent talent who are—with strong government support and dedicated start-up community,” Marcos said.

“I invite you to look at the Philippines as your destination for your investment supporting a smart and innovative economy,” he quipped,” he added.

The Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), the country’s sovereign wealth fund, is also another attractive option for foreign investments.

Marcos said the MIF will allow foreign investors, multilateral institutions, and other sovereign wealth funds to co-finance government programs and projects “in strategic, high-impact sectors including infrastructure.”

Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil met with other businessmen on Thursday to encourage them to invest in the country.

Grand prix

The chief executive’s working visit in Singapore will end on September, 17, 2023.

During the trip, he will also attend the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2023 upon the invitation of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) criticized the President for accepting the said invitation as the country is faced with “economic crisis and crushing debt.”

It noted Marcos should have “politely declined” the offer and instead focused on addressing the country’s high rice prices.

“Living it up as if it was 1972 sends the wrong message to Filipinos who up to now are struggling to find the so-called P41 rice in local markets,” Bayan said.

Marcos issued Executive Order No. 39 earlier this month, which set a price cap of P41 per kilogram (kg) for regular milled rice (RMR) and P45 per kg for well-milled rice (WMR) nationwide.

Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila