Officials call for ‘investing in good governance’

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THIS file picture taken on August 23, 2016 shows Philippine Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales gesturing during an interview at the Office of the Ombudsman in Manila. — AFP

By Gillian M. Cortez

ECONOMIC growth in the Philippines can be complemented further by companies investing in good governance, said participants at a forum on Thursday on “Investing in Integrity: Investments Protection through Anti-Corruption Initiatives.”

“We often speak of integrity (as an) ideal to be strived for, (but) what if integrity or a state of being whole can offer us a way of moving forward?” retiring Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said for her part.

“Good corporate governance has been proven not just (to) impact market price positively,” Philippine Stock Exchange senior vice-president and COO Roel A. Refran said. “They said the movements, the ups and downs of prices are not as volatile if you have a good corporate governance. Sustainability is assured, risks are managed.”

Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority in turn said, “Last quarter, we grew by 6.8%. This is actually the 77th consecutive quarter of positive growth and 45th consecutive quarter growth (that is more than) at least five and a half percent.”

“By 2022, we expect to graduate to upper middle-income country,” she added.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said, “You better ride on this economic growth. The point is under the Duterte administration, it is really attracting investors because our President believes that investors and investments create jobs.”

He added, “We have a very sound macroeconomic environment right now. Investors are really coming in.” He also said investments last year “posted record levels because (an) example (is) in the Board of Investments alone last year, we did P617 billion.”

“It grew about 40% for the previous year,” he added. “The latest figure, in fact, we just got (for) the January to June (period), showed higher growth than last year.”

“Our greatest asset has always been our people: dependable, hardworking, resilient,” Mr. Lopez also said.