Issues of owning land and the lengthy legal process to resolve a court case are two of the issues that discourage Americans from investing in the Philippines. I think both problems are something locals also face too particularly on the legal process. While there is no legal restriction for locals to own land its the high cost that prevents them from doing so. Let’s hope the current administration can make some changes to address them. While the land ownership may take time since it involves amending the constitution and will only benefit directly foreigners, a more efficient legal process is something both foreigners and local will benefit from. Let’s see.
From BusinessWorld Philippines
October 02, 2012
US envoy gives reasons why Americans not investing in country
CAGAYAN DE ORO — Land ownership restrictions and court cases that take years to resolve are the main reasons why less Americans are investing in the Philippines, US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. told media during a roundtable discussion held here on Tuesday.
“It is up to the Filipino legislators to change the system but if the Americans are not comfortable here, they would look for other places to invest,” Mr. Thomas said.
The US envoy also shared that there were American businessmen who came here, planning to invest in renewable energy, but they were cautious in pursuing new projects for various reasons.
Mr. Thomas, however, said that he is constantly in touch with American investors since he has seen great potential of investing in the country.
During the Investment Priorities Plan roadshow held here two weeks ago, Oliver B. Butalid, Board of Investments governor, said Filipinos comprise up to 95% of investors in the country.
“We are getting only a small number of foreign direct investments,” Mr. Butalid said.
The Philippines attracted only $1.262 billion in foreign direct investments last year, 3% less compared to 2010.
Mr. Thomas said Cagayan de Oro would be one of the cities in the country where future programs of the US government would be poured but he declined to provide details of such projects.
The US Agency for International Development is currently drafting a Growth with Equity in Mindanao Phase III program, which would include grants for infrastructure and institutional support to various provinces on the island. — Rochie Lou A. Embodo