Business as usual

Now it’s time for some serious business. President Benigno Aquino III, who is now holding meetings with the dignitaries of the United States, has accumulated for the country a whopping $1 billion worth of business investments from his recent successful trip in the United Kingdom (UK).
During his three-day European trip, President Aquino was able to witness the signing of different business deals between the Filipino and British companies. Among them include the Cebu Pacific and Rolls Royce contract, ASEA Gaz Asia Ltd. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures gas project, and the expanding of the mining firm, The Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (PASAR- Glencore) in the Philippines.
In a report from The Philippine Star, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang also mentioned of the Aquino’s meeting with the executives of Shell and Nestlé.
The same report said that although the President was willing to share his views about his campaign against corruption if asked, the focus remained on the sectors in which UK firms could invest in the country like business process outsourcing (BPO), electronics, infrastructure, mining, tourism, as well as in agriculture.
Considering that the European trip was Aquino’s first since he became president, the latter was hopeful, along with his delegates, that business ties with the UK will be further strengthened with these business deals. More important, the President was optimistic that more jobs will now be on the way for Filipinos back at home.
The UK trip also posed as an opportunity for talks about intensifying the alliance between the Philippines and the UK against terrorism. The UK visit also became a chance for the President to discuss the issue about the West Philippine Sea with British Prime Minister David Cameron considering how a many nations have to pass through the body of water for trading purposes.
Optimistic as the President and his cabinet members may have been about the recent UK-US trip, others were not too happy with him spending P87.1million in the said trips.
In a recent report from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines website, Fr. Joe Dizon found it “scandalous” for the President to spend such large amount of money when he could have spent it on “generating more jobs, providing free medicine, and building more public hospitals,” for the Filipinos. Fr. Dizon further stressed that such spending was contrary to the President’s campaign on being prudent.
In every business, it is inevitable that a certain amount of capital should be spent first before the fruits of labor could actually be seen. While it is true that spending should be done with all caution, truth still remains that business is all about taking risks. Sometimes, a step backward is all that’s needed in seeing the bigger picture. If that amount spent for trips could double by the time the President gets home, more Filipinos will have jobs, less will be hungry, and more lives will be uplifted.
(NYNJ June 8-14, 2012 Sec A pg.6)

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