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Forget your fears, Duterte tells BPO companies

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte assured the business process outsourcing industry that it has nothing to fear from his administration.

"Forget your fears. This is a democracy we follow the free enterprise," said Duterte when asked by an American BPO company executive if companies like his should worry about changes in the government's policy towards their industry.

The executive asked: "One of the biggest concerns our clients have right now is, is something going to change? Is the administration going to change the policies, the investment incentive structure, will there be some sort of a change in the ability to continue to develop the industry that may spook or create concern from some of our investors?"

Duterte was taking questions during a Peter Wallace Business Forum event on Monday, December 12, at the Palace.

"There will be changes, changes for the better, not to kill businesses. You can stop worrying," added the President. (READ: Duterte's tough talk and what it could mean for US, EU investments)

Anxiety among American companies, including in the BPO sector, came about after Duterte's slew of anti-American rants.

Prominent among these tirades was his declaration of his economic and military split from the United States. 

Far from getting anxious, Duterte said BPO companies should be getting ready to make more investments in the Philippines.

"If it's a matter of erasing you from this place, in fact, I'm encouraging you to place more," he said, adding that his own hometown Davao City, where he was mayor for two decades, is "one place where there is a great activity of outsourcing."

Duterte told the executive that it's only his critics who say his pronouncements and policies are anti-business.

"It's actually a product of the other side. They would like to create an economic situation whereby there will be a tilt of balance somehere and destroy the economy and blame it on me," he said.

He blasted the Aquino administration for not honoring some contracts with the private sector, something he promises will not happen under his presidency.

"I would even guarantee to you that the Philippines would honor its contractual obligations unike the previous administration, they were known for their notoriety of not honoring contracts or bending the rules. It will not happen in my term. Bending the terms for the favor somebody, that's bullshit," he said. – Rappler.com

 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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