‘Let’s get to work and start making changes’
Billionaire tycoon Michael Romero made his first call as a winning candidate for the House of Representatives to create a new National Economic Council that will plot a six-year economic roadmap for the Philippines.
Romero, a Filipino businessman who owns port companies, a budget airline and a basketball team, ran under the 1-Pacman Partylist in the May 9 elections. He won and will assume his legislative post when the 17th Congress opens in July 2016.
“My first bill would be the recreation of the National Economic Council, which was abolished by President Ferdinand Marcos in the ‘60s,” Romero said in a statement.
He was referring to the National Economic Council created in 1935 under Commonwealth Act No. 2, which was composed of not more than 15 members appointed by the President, with the consent of the Commission on Appointments of the National Assembly. It was tasked “to hold office for such term as the President may prescribe, to advise the Government on economic and financial questions, including the improvement and promotion of industries, diversification of crops and production, tariffs, taxation, and such other matters as may from time to time be submitted to its consideration by the President, and to formulate an economic program based on national independence.”
Romero envisions a new NEC that will identify which industries will be vital for the country’s economic growth, putting priority on urgent areas of the economy such as infrastructure, agriculture, food security and job generation.
It will be a multisectoral body composed of three Cabinet Secretaries (DOF, DTI, NEDA), two senators, two congressmen, two from the business sectors (the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Makati Business Club), one LGU and one labor group. It will have its own executive director.
The NEC will conduct monthly monitoring of the efforts to achieve the country’s economic goals and objectives for the next six years.
Romero has been serving as chairman of the board of Globalport 900, Inc. since June 7, 2012. He is also chief executive officer of Harbour Centre Port Terminal, Inc., chairman of Manila North Harbour Port, Inc., chairman of Mikro-tech Capital, Inc., CEO of Pacifica, Inc., chairman of 168 Ferrum Pacific Mining Corporation and vice chairman of AirAsia Philippines.
He mastered in business management at the Asian Institute of Management, and holds two doctorate degrees in business administration and political economics from the International Academy of Management and Economics-Philippines and De La Salle University.