The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest umbrella of business organizations in the country, commends the newly installed administration of President-Elect Rodrigo R. Duterte for successfully convening Sulong Pilipinas, a consultative business conference held in Davao City last June 20-21 that PCCI helped to organize.
PCCI President, George T. Barcelon said this initiative of this newly installed administration has built the confidence of the private sector as it signaled the synergistic approach of government in aiming to transform the country’s growth into one that is sustainable and inclusive. Barcelon further lauded the importance the new administration is giving to local economic development. He said the comprehensiveness of the consultation and the inclusive approach of the new government are steps in the right direction.
Barcelon explained, “When the newly installed Finance Secretary, Sonny Dominguez sought PCCI’s partnership, he emphasized the importance of having representation from regional, provincial and local businesses. And indeed about a third of the delegates came from the regions and the provinces.”
PCCI, Barcelon said, mobilized its local chambers nationwide to send their representatives to the conference. The business community, he said, welcomes the broad-based socio-economic agenda of the incoming administration, recognizing the high priority given to the growth of agriculture, fishery and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Statistics shows that 62% of jobs in the localities are provided by MSMEs and that 70% of the poor live in rural areas, Barcelon cited, “If we want a sustainable and truly inclusive growth, we should increase the capacity of cities and municipalities outside of Metro Manila, to absorb investments and grow their MSMEs.” Local economic development (LED), Barcelon said, is strongly driven by the vitality and viability of businesses and enterprises hence the importance of both soft and hard infrastructure to make this happen.
Supporting this, Barcelon said, “We welcome the crafting of the 10-point economic agenda, and we appreciate that the business sector has been called upon to further crystallize the agenda into actionable recommendations”. Barcelon lauded the choice of cabinet appointments and their response to the sentiments and proposals of the business sector. The strong pronouncements made by the cabinet appointees, specifically on streamlining business processing and licensing, increasing the budget for infrastructure to 5% of the GDP, increasing resources for agriculture and innovation, stamping out corruption, and, honoring contracts, and the statement of President Duterte that nothing is not doable and it is just a matter of doing things, are a strong assurance moving forward.
Barcelon expressed the optimism of the business community that the 10-point actionable recommendations resulting from the conference are certainly doable. PCCI, he said is prepared to support and fast-track the implementation of the recommendations. (PCCI Press Releases)