Biz groups ‘encouraged’ by Duterte policies

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Laud commitment to more efficient processes, honoring deals

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Businessmen are encouraged by President Rodrigo Duterte’s stated commitment to streamline steps in completing government requirements, as well as honor existing contracts, treaties, and international obligations, the heads of two major business groups said Thursday.

During his inaugural speech on Thursday, President Duterte immediately ordered all department secretaries and head of agencies to reduce requirements and processing time of all applications across national and local government agencies and units—from submission all the way to the release—and eliminate unnecessary requirements to streamline efficiencies in the government.

Duterte also stressed that transactions and contracts honored and approved by the government should be transparent and be carried over accordingly without hindrance or changing of rules midway.

Makati Business Club (MBC) Executive Director Peter Perfecto commended this, saying, “We laud President Rodrigo Duterte’s first order to all Cabinet secretaries to reduce requirements and processing time of all applications across all agencies and remove redundancies in these requirements and to respect the sanctity of contracts.”

This will answer the call of the business community—the large enterprises, the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as well as the foreign investing community—to further ease doing business in the Philippines by decreasing the cost and time spent in applications, and will allow for faster business operations and transactions, he said.

The president also vowed that treaties and international obligations would be honored, and particularly advocated the “inclusivity” of indigenous peoples in the peace process.

“We further laud his statement that the country will honor all existing treaties and international obligations. We are encouraged as well by his call for inclusivity in the ongoing and other peace processes, particularly of indigenous peoples,” Perfecto said.

“Finally, we are pleased to hear that both President Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo have called for the nation to work together and set aside personal interests to reach our shared vision for the nation,” the MBC executive director said.

“In response to their calls, we reiterate our commitment to work closely with the new government to make the people’s lives better, safer, and healthier,” he added.

George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), praised the Duterte Administration on Wednesday before the inauguration, recognizing its immediate response and strong political will to consult the business community even before they assumed office.

“This is the first time that an incoming administration has consulted the business community even before they assume office,” Barcelon said.

“I think the government should set their priorities and realize the focus areas to be able to start moving. I think they can do things right away. I think they have the political will to do it,” he added.

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