Tell it to SunStar: Cha-cha will drive away investors

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

By Sen. Risa Hontiveros

If the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) secretary appears agitated, it is because the business community is anxious, and investor confidence is declining due to the sudden insistence of administration allies and personnel on Charter change (Cha-cha).

While Neda Secretary Arsenio Balisacan had to walk back his statements regarding Cha-cha, it is clear that he was merely transmitting the sudden sense of restlessness and uncertainty in politics and government being signaled by Cha-cha.

Like warnings of a possible destructive tsunami the appearance of major cracks in the political landscape both signaled and created by Cha-cha will be driving away investors who are looking for, first and foremost, predictability and safety for their investments.

This turmoil at the highest levels of government threatens the fate of franchises, tax incentives, and the award of public-private partnership contracts. Magtataka pa ba tayo kung bakit kinakabahan ang mga negosyante?

At the moment, Cha-cha is not on the formal agenda of Congress, and the resolution of both Houses for a Constituent Assembly appears to be suspended.

Instead of engaging in a power struggle, let’s prioritize economic reforms as outlined by Neda itself, unlike Cha-cha, which is in the Philippine Development Plan—’ease of doing business,’ addressing blackouts, ensuring proper irrigation for farms, and breaking monopolies in electricity and telecommunications.


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