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Doing business in the Philippines

November 22, 2011

Yesterday, I posted this comment on a forum for foreigners in thePhilippines.

Recently, a friend of mine who is an officer with a corporation with locations in several Asian countries and headquartered in Texastold me he wanted to close down operations in the other countries and move everything to the Philippines. He was even considering buying a home here to live in when he came to marry a Filipina. Due to the intransigence of officials, he has changed his mind. The following was taken directly from his email to me…
”I now doubt that I will be buying a home there. We are moving our corporation to China. The government officials and the people in the Philippines that we had to deal with were very unreasonable. They all wanted kickbacks and the amounts were ridiculous. (money under the table) We will purchase the items we need in China instead and have them shipped directly to the States, and stored here in Texas. Everything will fly into Dallas, Fort Worth Airport, (DFW) and the on to Tyler. One of the other officers in our corporation is from China, so he will be making the arrangements in China. I do not particularly want to travel to China.”

I got several responses to my posting.  Here are two of them…

“It has been going on a long time, and it’s why the Philippineslags behind other Asian countries in attracting business. Its people are industrious, educated, English speaking, and the labor is cheap. There are good ports and airports everywhere, but the story of the Phils is, the land of ofw’s because of no jobs. Employers can demand almost anything, and get it. Those sales girls at SM are required to have college degrees. And although I personally enjoy it, you rarely see pinays so immodestly dressed in public as those short, ugly orangish dresses they make those sales ladies wear. I have seen some gloriously fine legs on SM sales ladies.  The laws themselves deny land ownership and restrict business ownership, and then the bureaucracy demands its graft all the way down the line.  In ways, we profit from this system. I was able to bribe the issuer of our marriage license to date it prior to my arrival to allow me to marry before my trip ended. I was able to pay a “fine” to a policeman, on the spot, to get out of ticket, towing, court, etc. Others here have experiences similar.  I have boys to raise, but don’t intend to sit on my keister and drink when I am retired, but I also plan to keep a low profile, in small businesses, and be a shadow manager.  What can you do? If the Phils reforms, attracts business, and prospers, it will become just another place like here. And the ladies there would become like ours. A tragedy that gives me the shudders.”

And there was this…

“The World Bank gives thePhilippinesvery poor marks for doing business there.  They are rated 136 out of 183 countries. The issues are not just the issues you have noted, the problem is much deeper and getting worse over the years. I’ve seen very few foreigners do well with business in the RP. If you want to do something to entertain yourself in the Philippines, raise pigs, chickens, children, have a sarisari, have a bar, etc… great. But your own country, no matter where you are from, is probably a better place to make money at least according to the World Bank.”

I neither agree nor disagree with the comments.  Just something to think about.

 

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