(PNA file photo)

MANILA – Senator Robinhood “Robin” Padilla on Wednesday said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s trip to Singapore was a good opportunity to attract foreign investors to our country, given that the state-island is considered a major business center in Southeast Asia.

Padilla’s statement came after the President was criticized for the weekend trip.

"Ang bansang Singapore po ay ang sentro ng negosyo sa buong Southeast Asia. Nandiyan po sa bansang Singapore ang foreign investors. Pugad po ito ng mga negosyante (Singapore is a center of business in Southeast Asia. Foreign investors are there. It is a hub for business)," Padilla said in a statement.

Padilla said it was important for the President to speak with prospective investors in person in a global business hub like Singapore and discuss with them the opportunities they will have when investing in the Philippines.

The senator maintained that the Philippines needs investments to boost the economy by generating revenues to fund government programs and projects that would create jobs for Filipinos.

Singapore has been acknowledged for its political stability, developed infrastructure, open business policies, skilled workforce, and the use of English as the main working language.

"Building relations with Singapore is building relations with the business world," he said. (PNA)