PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Francisco “Isko” M. Domagoso, currently the mayor of Manila City, said his plan to cut taxes on oil by 50% to bring down electricity rates would not just provide relief to consumers but make the country more competitive in attracting foreign investors.   

“We have the most expensive electricity costs in Asia. That’s why we are not being approached (for investments),” he said in an ANC interview Tuesday.    

“Thailand and Vietnam (have foreign direct investments of around) $10 to 20 billion because the plants want to go to (these countries) simply because the electricity is cheap,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.  

Mr. Domagoso said the entry of foreign investments would create jobs and boost the country’s economic recovery.  

He also said that he is not open to setting up nuclear plants in the country as he is focused on providing immediate solutions to Filipinos.    

“That would take time (and) we can’t even handle well our literal trash. What more with nuclear waste? My attitude towards the situation is to fix the problem (or) the task on hand today,” he said.  

He also wants the country to “go back to normal” from the coronavirus pandemic by the end of next year, if elected President.  

“I want you, by Dec. 31 of 2022 (that) you are able to go out, eating out because all of you are vaccinated with the booster (shot) already (and) everybody is protected,” he said.   

The mayor also weighed in on the Senate investigation on the administration’s questionable purchases of pandemic supplies such as face masks and face shields, saying the allocation could have been better spent on other medical needs.   

“I think learning from this pandemic, there are unnecessary expenditures so you should redirect these funds to where it could be useful to people’s lives,” he said.   

The standard bearer of Aksyon Demokratiko said that the funds should have been used to purchase medicine and supplies to treat COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) patients in hospitals nationwide.  

“I would have wanted to buy tocilizumab, remdesivir, (and) oxygen. So that those infected, we can put those who are infected by putting up hospitals dedicated to COVID (to) give them ample care, survive, and go learn to live with COVID and go back to work safely,” he said.  

He also said that he would charge those involved in anomalous contracts with Pharmally Pharmaceuticals Corp. if there are sufficient grounds.   

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee recommended charges last week against Pharmally executives for alleged violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, falsification of public documents, and perjury, among others. 

Among the issues discovered by the upper chamber in its investigations were alleged overpricing of face shields and masks and the tampering of expiration dates. The Senate will continue its probe on Thursday. — Russell Louis C. Ku 

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