Carlos Celdran on the Philippine Business Environment

Editors Note: Maita Ocampo, Business Development at PayrollHero contributes to this blog on and off, this week, she had a call with one of the most famous Filipinos, Carlos Celdran.

Carlos CeldranOne-on-One with Manila’s Main Man

John Charles Edward “Carlos” Pamintuan Celdran is a man who wears many hats (at times, even bunny ears!), but in most days, he is an artist and a tour guide. He uses performing arts to educate people about Intramuros and of course…..Manila.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of scoring a phone interview with Manila’s main man. I asked Carlos some questions about his work and his thoughts on the Philippine business environment.

The Changing Manila Skyline

When asked about the changes in the restaurant/retail business in Manila, Carlos says that he’s seen everything and finds it terrible that the city is becoming more mall-driven. Not to mention, the “building boom” that’s currently happening – he pointed out the increasing number of condos and high-rise buildings that’s changing the Manila skyline in so many ways.

Let’s Talk Business

What can the Philippines (or in this case, Manila) do better to attract business investment?

Carlos mentioned 3 items:

  1. Streamlining the tax system
  2. Working on safety and security on roads
  3. Addressing the traffic and flooding issues

What are the challenges for foreigners setting up a business in the Philippines?

– “The biggest obstacle would be the 60-40 rule on ownership wherein foreigners can’t fully own a local company. For me, that’s the biggest hindrance more than anything else.” (more on that topic)

What advice can you give a foreigner setting up a business in the Philippines?

– “It is important to find a good Filipino business partner and it’s always about location, location, location.”

It’s always been a joy speaking with Carlos – whether in one of his tours, over beers, or this time, through the phone. I love the fact that he’s passionate and vocal for his love of country – trying to alleviate the not-so-good and embracing it for what it truly is.

You should definitely attend one of his walking tours and get to know more about the Philippines in a very interesting way. Take note: free Choc-nut and halo-halo for everyone!

Carlos Celdran Tours

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