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Pacquiao vows to impose “Filipino-first” policy in employment if elected president

Presidential aspirant and Senator Manny Pacquiao on Friday promised to impose a “Filipino-first” policy in employment.

Pacquiao made the commitment while he seek a “more favorable and welcoming climate" for foreign investors.

The boxer-turned-politician cited a constitutional provision which said the ”State shall promote the preferential use of Filipino labor,” amid the “notable surge” of foreign workers employed in various businesses, especially in the offshore-gaming sector.

“Hindi kasi maayos at malakas ang ekonomiya natin kaya walang maibibigay na trabaho. Nagsarado pa ang businesses natin na maliliit na dapat nagbibigay ng trabaho din. Ang kailangan natin palakasin natin ang ekonomiya,” Pacquaio said.

(Our economy is not at its best situation that is why we cannot generate jobs. A lot of small businesses which provide jobs to our people have also closed down. What we need to do is strengthen our economy.)

The lawmaker said foreign investments can thrive in the Philippines due to its strategic position in the Pacific region.

However, it cannot reach its full potential due to corruption, high taxes, inefficient and expensive utilities, and slow internet connection.

In November, Pacquiao said he would push to lower the corporate income tax rate to 15%  if he would be elected president to attract more foreign investors.

The lawmaker claimed that he could woo investors to put their stakes in the Philippines due to his international relations and his commitment to eradicate corruption in the country.

At least five wealthy businessmen friends who are into various fields of businesses around the world will definitely put up their businesses in the Philippines, he added.

He said that all of these new businesses will strictly employ Filipinos for their manpower.

“At least may minimum na five investors akong kaibigan na gustong mag-invest sa bansa. Hindi lang 'yan kundi palalakasin natin ang ating mga small and medium enterprises para makapagbigay ng milyon-milyong trabaho para sa Pilipino. Ang maganda dito sa mga kaibigan ko, ang gusto nila, pag dito 'yung investment nila, gusto nila Pilipino lang lahat ang magtatrabaho,” Pacquaio said.

(There are at least five investors, all of whom are my friends, who are interested to put up their businesses in the country. Apart from that, we would strengthen the small and medium enterprises to produce millions of jobs to the Filipinos. They will hire Filipino employees only.)

He said his goal is for businesses to look for people and not the other way around.

“Pagdating ng panahon, 'yung mga kababayan natin na napipilitang lang magtrabaho sa ibang bansa para maka-survive sa buhay na gusto nang bumalik dito ay pwede na silang magtrabaho dito at maghanapbuhay sa Pilipinas,” he added.

(Time will come, our countrymen who had to work in other countries to make their ends meet will go back to the Philippines because they can secure job and livelihood here.)—AOL, GMA News