Palace defends Cabinet members’ UK trip: They are marketing PH
Malacañang on Thursday defended the United Kingdom trip of several Cabinet members amid the soaring inflation in the country, calling it a “very well-justified” visit.
In a Palace briefing on Thursday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque argued that the trip was meant to boost the economy by encouraging foreign investors to come to the Philippines.
“Sa tingin ko po, very well-justified po iyong presensiya, lalung-lalo na ng mga economic managers because they are marketing the Philippines,” Roque said.
(I think that their presence was very well-justified, especially the economic managers because they are marketing the Philippines.)
“At kapag naman po sila ay nakakalap ng investors, magkakaroon tayo ng mas maraming trabaho, mas maraming kapital at mas maraming kita para sa mga Pilipino,” he added.
(And when they have gathered investors, we can increase employment and capital, as well as earnings for the Filipinos.)
The UK delegation included Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat.
The trip, which was from September 24 to 26, was highlighted by the Philippine Economic Briefing where they sought to convince British company representatives to invest in the Philippines.
Aside from the forum, the Cabinet delegation also dropped by London’s first Jollibee branch which drew the ire of labor groups who claimed that the popular fastfood chain was listed by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) as one of the top three local companies suspected of engaging in labor-only contracting services.
The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) said the visit was ill-timed, especially as “the peso continues to weaken and there they go purchasing expensive foreign currency at the expense of our national coffers.”
It added that given Jollibee’s issues on contractualization, the visit “sends a signal that all is well with the company even if it is not complying with labor laws.” /je
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