• Duterte wines, dines tycoons in palace


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte hosted dinner for the country’s top businessmen in Malacañang on Tuesday, in an exclusive gathering said to have cleared the air of “wrong perceptions.”

    HEART TO HEART President Rodrigo Duterte hosts dinner for the country’s top businessmen in Malacañang on Tuesday. Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the gathering cleared the air of tycoons’ misconceptions on Duterte. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

    Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella told reporters Duterte and the tycoons discussed the proposed shift to a federal form of government, labor contractualization, graft, job creation and tax reform.

    “The one-hour meeting was extended to three and in the words of [Presidential Adviser] Joey Concepcion, everybody walked out extremely, extremely happy,” Abella said, referring to Duterte’s adviser on entrepreneurship.

    Abella said the tycoons expressed support for programs to reduce poverty and invest in areas affected by conflict, such as Sulu province in Mindanao.

    Aside from Concepcion, also present in the Palace dinner were Ayala Corp. Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. board member Hans Sy, Aboitiz Equity Ventures President Erramon Aboitiz, International Container Terminal Services Inc. Chairman Enrique Razon Jr. and Lucio Tan Group President Michael Tan.

    Also, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. chairman Manuel Pangilinan, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President George Barcelon, and Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the former president.

    ‘The real President’

    Concepcion, in a television interview, said businessmen’s “wrong perceptions” on Duterte were clarified during the dinner.

    “Everyone in that room was able to clear their minds on wrong perceptions that they had with the President,” Concepcion told the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).

    “They got to see the real President and were able to ask questions,” he added.

    Barcelon said the meeting was “really a heart-to heart talk with the President.”

    Abella said the business leaders discussed with Duterte, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd and Labor chief Silvestre Bello 3rd a “win-win” solution on the issue of contractual labor that will satisfy both workers and employers.

    Ending the practice of illegal contractualization, in which workers are hired on five-month contracts and deprived of regular benefits, is one of the President’s campaign promises.

    Barcelon cited the need for fair labor laws to resolve the issue.

    “We need to have well-balanced labor laws so there would be job opportunity,” Barcelon said, adding that labor regulations that are too tight run the risk of restricting the growth of small and medium businesses, which should be given enough leeway to hire contractuals.

    Drugs, gambling

    During the meeting, Duterte showed the thick list of drug protectors and their photos, Barcelon said.
    The President told his guests he would crack down on illegal gambling after addressing the drug problem, Barcelon said.

    Duterte also welcomed plans by Go Negosyo, Concepcion’s brainchild, for a micro-entrepreneurship program in conflict-wracked Sulu, and offered military escorts, Barcelon said.


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    1. AYOS!!
      Napabilib si MVP kay Pareng Digong. “In good form” at “very impressive” daw.
      Malayong mararating ng Mindanao, lalo na kapag na plantsa na ng Kongreso ang federalismo na inaasahan ng mga Moro.
      Pati si JAZA was smiling ear-to-ear— “with the biggest smile in the world”, according to another account—nang nakipagkamayan sya kay Digong noong Jan 17 dinner sa Malacanang.

    2. The Great Defiant on

      andyan pala si Goyang…
      we’ll…why not use her economic know-how to help the President…

      si abnOY kaya bakit hindi kasama?…
      anyway, puro epal lang naman ang alam nun….
      di ga?…ahahahaha!!!!

      abnOY sana mabasa mo ito…BF!!!!

    3. The Great Defiant on

      si MVP iwas tingin kay DU30…
      pag hindi kayo makinig…
      you businessmen and oligarchs…
      your time is up…and people is feed up…

      otherwise, we will blow all your a@#$%hole to kingdom come…

    4. Legislating a well-balanced Labor Law, as George Barcelon suggested, would require the government to give tax breaks and some other incentives to small and medium businesses. ( puro TAX and VATs lang kasi ang nasa isip ng mga legislators natin, eh). The legislators can always take a look on the U.S. labor law and see what are the things that can be applied or acceptable in the Philippines, based on so many variables, that both employees and employers can live with. Few areas of the existing labor law need to be improved and few areas also needed addendums to make a fairly balanced Labor Law.

      Few areas that need to improve are Labor Union (this will give employees a bargaining tool), Equal Employment Opportunity, Women Equal Rights, Disabled people can still be employed because it says so, in the disability act, Discrimination Act, and few more. The legislators should take out TAX and VATs out of their minds if they want to create a well-balanced Tax Law. They should be willing to give tax breaks to small and medium businesses that follow or comply with the newly created labor law.