Angeles City, Pampanga – Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte today said the shift from a highly-centralized governance to a Federal Parliamentary system will spur the development of regional economic zones like the Clark and Subic Economic Zones.
Speaking before businessmen and locators operating business facilities in the Clark Economic Zone, Duterte said a Federal system of government in the Philippines will allow regional growth areas like Clark and Subic to “chart their own economic fate and destiny.”
The Davao City Mayor, who is conducting a “Listening Tour” to advocate a shift from a Unitary Presidential form of government to a Federal Parliamentary, said the “under-utilization” of the Clark International Airport and the Subic and Batangas Free Ports are “lost opportunities” resulting from a governance highly dependent on the “goodwill” of the Central Government.
Duterte, known as one of the most business-friendly local executives who steered Davao City from a basket-case in peace and order and investments to become the 4th Safest City in the World to Live In and 7th Most Ideal Working Places in the World, said a Federal system of government will free vibrant investment areas from the stranglehold of stringent regulations imposed by a highly-centralized government.
“When I was a young Mayor of Davao City almost 22 years ago, one of Davao’s respected business leaders, Jesus V. Ayala, gave me an advice which I have kept in my mind until today: ‘Take care of peace and order and let business take care of business’,” Duterte told the Pampanga and Angeles City business leaders.
“When government takes care of peace and order, it brings about a climate ideal for investments for we all know that peace and security and political stability are the assurances which businessmen would like to have before they pour in their money,” he said.
Duterte said freeing businessmen from stringent regulations imposed by national government agencies will also lessen incidences of corruption and extortion.
Citing the example of Davao City government’s dealings with investors, Duterte said he has imposed a 72-hour processing time for all business transactions with the city government, especially the processing of business licenses and business permits.
Davao City is known as one of the very few local government areas where businesses are not harassed and businessmen are advised not to attempt to bribe city government employees.
Earlier, Duterte spoke before students and faculty members of the Angeles University Foundation also on Federalism and Good Governance where he was welcomed by AUF President Manny Angeles.