MB Claims Philippines Attractive to FDI Based on the “Because We Said So” Metric

Here’s an interesting claim from an article in today’s online edition of the Manila Bulletin, which is apparently too exciting to attribute to a particular author:

Two factors – skilled workforce and competitive labor cost – account for investors’ choice of the Philippines as an ideal investment site. Many foreign companies reportedly prefer Filipino workers because they are easily trained, industrious, computer literate, English-speaking, and willing to work longer hours and at cheaper labor cost. We have the best workforce in the world,” the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) declares, citing the aforecited traits as to why the Philippines continues to attract foreign investors.

Well, that’s great. And highlighting “English-speaking” in a paragraph which includes the phrase “citing the aforecited traits” really drives the point home, doesn’t it? But of course, I’ve been here long enough that, grammar sentinel though I may be, exuberantly incoherent nationalism is hardly anything exciting. The real whopper in this Stuart Smalley-esque exposition is this claim:

In the first five months of 2011, FDIs reportedly rose by 189 percent to R300 billion and this is attributed to renewed investor confidence. 

Protip: If you’re going to make an unsubstantiated claim, make sure you don’t include facts that anyone with an Internet connection can actually check. Even the technical backgrounder for President Aquino’s recent SONA – a speech which is arguably the apex of self-promotion opportunities for any president – presents a decidedly more down-to-earth assessment of the level and source of investor confidence through his first 14 months in office.

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Actual journalism – reporting the key facts of current events, gathering views from both sides of a story, confirming information – is not really that difficult, and can be interesting. Maybe the folks at the Bulletin should try it sometime.

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