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New team seen curbing corruption in Philippines
Publication Date : 24-07-2014
The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (Amcham) has lauded the creation of an Investment Ombudsman Team (IOT) in the Philippines, which is deemed critical in ensuring and enhancing the integrity of the local business environment.
In a statement, Amcham noted that the team, which was put in place last month, was a concrete manifestation of the sincerity of the Aquino administration to pin down corruption in the conduct of business, encourage foreign investments and improve global competitiveness rankings.
“As the Philippines undergo political challenges today, business should not be disrupted and must continue to operate in a strong, dynamic and competitive environment to generate more decent jobs.
There should be no more delays in the delivery of frontline services, issuance of licenses, permits and certificates, solicitation or any form of request in exchange of approval, and arbitrary assessments of fees in shipments and cargoes,” the business group explained.
“To show our strong support to the Investment Ombudsman Team, we have invigorated and renewed our marching order to the American Desk at the Board of Investments to be very active and engaging to our membership and potential investors, gather feedback and coordinate closely with the Investment Ombudsman Team,” it added.
The IOT is tasked to act on “grievances involving delay committed by any of the Investment Promotion Unit (IPU) network agencies in the delivery of frontline services relating to the establishment or conduct of business.”
The team will also address “complaints containing verifiable leads or information involving allegations (such as) solicitation, demand or request by a government official in exchange for the issuance of licenses, permits and certificates, the release of shipments and cargoes, as well as arbitrary assessment of fees, (and) issuance of licenses, permits and certificates to any person not qualified for or legally entitled.”
Such a team--which will work in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Board of Investments and the business community-- is seen to help protect and fight for the interests of foreign investors, a big number of which were previously wooed by the government to set up shop in the Philippines.