• POST-SONA: Businessmen rally
    behind Duterte socio-economic policies


    BUSINESSMEN rallied behind the socio-economic policies and programs President Rodrigo Duterte detailed in his State of the Nation Address (SONA), which they described as “direct to the point and refreshing.”

    “No pretensions and direct to the point. Frank appeal to end temporary restraining orders and change altogether our government procurement system,” Perry Pe, president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said in a text message on Tuesday.

    “Smart for him [Duterte} to call for the P25-billion tax settlement of Mighty Corp., the rest were expected,” he added.

    Asked how he would rate the President’s SONA, Pe said: “I don’t like rating people. My take is whether SONA was effective?  Yes. Did it resonate and connect?  Yes. Because he was talking straight to his audience, and would even name some senators and congressmen.”

    For his part, Jose Luis Yulo, president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands (CCPI) said that the SONA “was honest and straight from the heart, without any hypocritical ‘political correctness’”.

    “The CCPI is elated on his call to implement some of the Chamber’s advocacies as embodied in our pillars,” Yulo said.

    These are:
    1. To use our mineral resources as inputs to factories producing finished end products, instead of just exporting them.
    2. Front line govt services must be efficient.
    3. Connectivity must be improved to connect our islands.
    4. No more unending peace talks with CPP (Communist Party of the Philippines), which has been proven a failed ideology.
    5. Maintaining the standing of Filipinos against colonial rulers and foreign interference.
    6. Honoring the soldiers and strengthening the Armed Forces.
    7. Taking the judiciary to task for their being a hindrance to govt projects with their abuse of TROs.
    8. Asking Congress to amend the Procurement Law, pass the death penalty bill, and hasten deliberations on tax reform, the BBL and federalism.

    He added, however, that the Chamber would withhold its support for the BBL and Federalism at this point in time. He did not elaborate.

    Yulo rated the President’s speech at 9 on a scale of 1 to 10 “because it is truthful and down to earth on the state of the nation and on what his solutions are. The directness and straightforwardness is quite refreshing”.

    Meanwhile, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said that the President was very comprehensive and covered all grounds.

    “He is very comprehensive and covers all grounds. We believe the position of our President that martial law is most effective and least cost in solving the rebellion problem,” PCCI Chairman Emeritus Francis Chua said.

    Chua also added that the President’s position on processing the raw material into finished products rather than exporting them would bring more jobs and develop natural resources.

    “He is keen on infrastructure and bringing connectivity to rural towns will definitely create more job and reduce poverty. This will assure the growth of 7 percent as envisioned by the President,” Chua said.

    For his part, Edgar Chua, Makati Business Club (MBC) chairman, said: “The MBC has always supported policy and regulatory reforms which would drive the economy and sustain its growth in the long run, and we are encouraged that the President remains committed to pursuing his socio-economic agenda.”

    “In particular, we welcome his leadership in advocating for a more fair and equitable tax policy, his commitment to invest more in education and in addressing the country’s infrastructure deficit,” Chua said.

    Chua said it was also important to highlight one of the President’s calls to re-consider restraining orders issued by courts as these often delayed the implementation of critical infrastructure and social programs of the government.

    “We also recognize the impassioned call for real progress on Climate Change,” said Chua.

    “This proves the firm determination of the current administration in fulfilling and meeting our commitments to the Paris Agreement. As one of the most vulnerable developing countries to climate change, it is important that we offer our full support towards a green economy.

    Rex Daryanani, president of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce (Phil.) Inc., also said that his chamber was very much content with what the President said.

    “He spoke from the heart. He has an excellent grasp of the issues. We appeal to all sectors of society to rally behind and support our government,” Daryanani added. RAADEE S. SAUSA



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