2022 Philippine Elections

Pacquiao plans to lure foreign investments using his global fame

Aika Rey
Pacquiao plans to lure foreign investments using his global fame

GLOBAL FAME. Senator Manny Pacquiao visits Malabon on November 18, 2021.

Office of Senator Manny Pacquiao

Senator Manny Pacquiao says he has 'at least 10 international billionaire friends' who are interested in investing in the country

Boxing champion-turned-politician Senator Manny Pacquiao said he would use his global fame to bring foreign direct investments into the Philippines, if elected president.

On Thursday, November 18, Pacquiao said that he has “at least 10 international billionaire friends” who have committed to investing their money into the country.

Marami po akong kakilala sa ibang bansa na nagtatanong. Gusto nila mag-invest sa bansa natin,” said Pacquiao in a pre-recorded Q&A 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 gets questions on the reliability of the internet and power supply, and most importantly, the corporate income tax rate.

According to Ookla, the Philippines’ average download speed improved to 38.12 megabits per second (Mbps) in October, better than the recorded 35.03 Mbps in September. While this internet speed is “manageable,” several areas in the country still do not have reliable broadband service.

Power supply woes, meanwhile, continue to haunt the country during the dry season, when the demand for electricity picks up against aging power plants.

“Eh nakakahiya naman tayo. Sinong mag-iinvest sa atin?” he said. (This is embarrassing. Who would invest in this country?)

He promised to “wage a war” on red tape, by strengthening the implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Act to ensure that all business permits are processed in not more than three days.

Just this year, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill into law, slashing corporate income tax from 30% to 25% for large corporations and 20% for small businesses. This has been a relief to businesses that bled in 2020 at the height of the pandemic.

But for Pacquiao, lowering corporate tax rates between 20% to 25% is not enough. He wants it at “flat 15%” – rivaling Singapore’s 17%.

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The aspiring president on Thursday reiterated his earlier position that the government should instead strengthen its non-tax revenue sources rather thanrelying on tax collections.

Again, he did not elaborate but Pacquiao had earlier said that his government would “maximize” the potential of government-owned and controlled corporations.

On Thursday, Pacquiao went to Malabon to visit a family who took care of him when he was a struggling young boxer. He also visited LA Construction where he worked as a construction worker, and later distributed relief packs to Barangay Maysilo residents. – Rappler.com

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Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.