VICE President Jejomar Binay will take on the role as “the enabler” once elected, focusing on improving the country’s business environment and eventually solve the problem of poverty that continues to plague the nation, his camp said on Wednesday.
“Under a Binay presidency, the government’s role as an enabler will be played to the hilt.
He shall periodically meet with and consult the business sector to get your thoughts and insights. Governance to the government, business to the businessmen,” former Finance secretary and now United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) treasurer Margarito “Gary” Teves said.
Teves, who also serves as the economic adviser of Binay, added they will employ Binay’s experience in governing Makati City (Metro Manila) during his first 100 days in office and concentrate first on five issues: jobs, income, food, infrastructure and governance.
He said businesses in the country will be able to enjoy shorter business registration process.
From 16 steps in 34 days, the plan was to shorten the process to six steps over eight days.
The Philippines currently ranks 103rd out of 189 economies in the World Bank’s Doing Business report in 2016.
It is still easier to do business in Malaysia, which ranked 18th, Thailand (49th), Brunei Darussalam (84th) and Vietnam (90th).
Teves noted that despite claims of economic growth, poverty is still seen as the most pressing problem in the country.
To solve this, he said, the Philippine economy would need a sustained 7 to 8 percent gross national product (GDP) growth per annum.
This, he said, is doable with the right mix of economic and social policies.
Binay, according to Teves, is targeting to boost employment in sectors that had previously been neglected such as agriculture, manufacturing and exports, and micro, small, medium enterprises (MSMEs).
He said a Binay administration would also make necessary arrangements to open up the Philippines to foreign investors.
If Binay wins, he will convene the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council to tackle this issue, Teves said.
If the plan pushes through, he added, the country will finally be able to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will open doors for expansion in manufacturing, textile and shipbuilding industries.
Under a Binay presidency, Teves said, at least five percent of the country’s GDP will be devoted to an integrated countrywide infrastructure development program.
“We will aim to build one mega project per region and one major project per province,” he added.
Teves said they also want to continue and enhance the public-private partnership strategy of the government.
Just as he had done in Makati, the Vice President seeks to invest in human capital development by providing better education and health services, added the UNA official.
Aside from continuing and improving the K-to-12 program by integrating an apprenticeship component similar to the University of Makati’s dual training system, Teves said Binay will implement a nationwide program similar to Makati’s globally-recognized Yellow Card program, which provides free maternal, child and elderly care; free outpatient consultation and medicines; and government-subsidized hospitalization on top of PhilHealth benefits.
“Increased revenues from the private sector will then enable the government to help more of its people through more jobs, more meaningful incomes and adequate and affordable food for every Filipino,” he added.