CEBU CITY – The business community in Cebu has welcomed the commitment made by President Rodrigo Duterte to revive the pre-pandemic “commercial vibrance” in the country.
Felix Taguiam, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), expressed support for the President’s assurance to help local businesses recover from the pandemic.
“What President Duterte said in his last SONA (State of the Nation Address) that the government is committed to assist the private sector reclaim the commercial vibrance of the country prior to the pandemic is most welcome and has been evident at the local level, where the Chamber has partnered with the national government for strategic interventions for the small, medium and even micro-businesses that drive our economy,” Taguiam told the media here.
The business leader also cited the recognition made by Duterte, who delivered his final SONA on Monday, on the private sector’s role in fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
He urged the administration to address challenges being faced by various sectors in the business community.
Taguiam said there is still much to be done to address the cost of doing business in the country as it remains a challenge.
“The government should put more focus on the development of these areas that make our country and our cities a much better place to live in. The utilities sector is an essential industry that plays a vital role in economic and social development, yet, it remains an area our country has been struggling with in terms of cost and supply,” he added.
For his part, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Steven Yu said they were pleased to hear Duterte’s appreciation to private stakeholders in the Covid-19 fight.
“Without the open arms of the administration towards the private sector, the private sector cannot be effective partners of the government, thus, much credit goes to the administration who embraces the private sector as equal partners in progress,” he said.
Yu also expressed hopes for the recovery of the tourism and domestic service sectors, which have been severely affected by the crisis.
“Inasmuch as we recognize the limitations of our financial capability as a country, what worries us is the recovery of the tourism and domestic service sectors in Cebu,” he added.
Yu said the tourism industry plays a crucial role in the country’s economic recovery, and urged for more focus on helping the industry post-pandemic.
Business leaders here agreed that existing laws passed during the Duterte administration, such as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, have helped the businesses.
Duterte has urged the Congress to prioritize the bills for the amendments of the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
These laws, once amended, would open the country to more foreign investment and ownership. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency