BUSINESSMEN are looking forward to President Rodrigo Duterte’s second state of the nation address (SONA) on Monday in anticipation of his policies and programs that will help achieve prosperity for the country.
Here’s what they said in an interview with The Manila Times:
“As the President enters the second year of his term, it is our hope that he furthers policies and programs that will help the country realize the theme of Asean’s 50th year of prosperity for all,” Executive Director Peter Angelo Perfecto of the Makati Business Club (MBC) said.
Perfecto said this could best be attained through “aggressive and strategic focus on micro, small and medium enterprise development by addressing obstacles such as access to financing and to global markets, peace initiatives by concluding peace agreements like the BBL (Bangsamoro Basic Law); infrastructure roll-out through the Build, Build, Build program; and crafting integrity and anti-corruption goals through multi-stakeholder partnerships like the Open Government Partnership and Integrity Initiative”.
“We hope for expanding opportunities for dialogue to pursue key reform for taxes and the mining sector among others,” he said.
“The private sector looks forward to closer coordination, collaboration and partnerships to build on our successes in services especially business process outsourcing and tourism, and to address challenges in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors,” he said.
“There is much to be done and only by working together on shared strategic goals can we realize our vision of prosperity for all,” Perfecto said.
For his part, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PhilExport) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis said that he was hoping the President would report on what was happening in Marawi, and updates on curbing government “red tape”.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Chairman Emeritus Francis Chua said that “the President was in the best position to advise us what has been done and what more to expect in [the]coming months and years; the support he needs from the business sector and the masa [people].”
The business sector is prepared to support the agenda of the President for the interest of the country and the people, Chua added.
Rex Daryanani, president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Phil.) Inc. said that he expected the President to talk from his heart.
“I expect him to say it as it is and to call a spade a spade. I expect him to continue with his direction with tweaks along the way and as he sees fit. I expect Filipinos to be happy with all that has been achieved so far,” Daryanani said.
Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) President Perry Pe said that the MAP expected “the President to focus on infrastructure spending and the ease of doing business or the passage of the anti-red tape law. I expect the Marawi rehabilitation Finally I expect easing of foreign nationality restrictions to bring up our foreign direct investments.”
Jose Luis Yulo, president of Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI), said he expected President Duterte to speak the truth about the situation in the country, and to say that while he has extended the olive branch of peace to the communists, it was “to no avail; and after decades of peace talks, it is becoming clear that there is nothing more to talk about, especially since Communism worldwide has already been proven to be a failed economic system”.
“The same with the endless peace talks with our Muslim brothers. After decades of peace talks, from one MNLF militant group, we now have at least five militant groups: MNLF, MILF, BIFF, Maute, AbuSayaff, etc.,” Yulo said.
(The MNLF is the Moro National Liberation Front; the MILF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front; and the BIFF, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.)
“We would suggest that the government just tweak the ARMM law: make a list of development projects to ask both the CPP and Radical Muslims to submit their own list of projects, then let us all turn our swords into ploughshares! Anyone who doesn’t do this, in effect is responsible for making Mindanao poor,” he said.