by Rafael Alunan III
I was with Republic of Korea Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae Shin for dinner last night hosted by Taekwondo master Hong Sung Chon. He said that he had met President-elect Rody Duterte in Davao and what he observed from his direct eyeball and exchange was far different from what he gathered in the news.
He said that Du31 is a gentle, soft-spoken learned man who has a deep understanding of the country’s problems, and has sharp instincts on what to do.
What’s needed is a professional bureaucracy to help him execute his policy directives and programs.
Korea’s support for the Philippines is unstinting to reciprocate our valuable contribution during the Korean War. He said that his government will support law enforcement capability buildup and keen on steering Korean investments to the Philippines.
He appreciated Du31’s focus on corruption in government because that is one of the main reasons why investors shy away from the country.
He is also monitoring the charter change initiative to amend economic provisions to make the country more attractive to foreign investors.
His concerns regarding Korean tourists and residents lie in crime and corruption.
Annually, Koreans are mulcted by corrupt authorities (at the airport), as well as robbed and/or killed, with some cases still pending resolution after the lapse of 1-2 years.
I can only surmise without fear of contradiction that the mulcters are most likely from Customs, Immigration and the local police. Du31 must really clean-up as the first step to regain trust and confidence in the government and in the Philippines.
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