The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country's largest business organization, said yesterday that a maiden voyage as reported by Edward Du, head of delegation and president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is being prepared to set sail this July opening a new trade corridor, the Negros-Palawan-Labuan-Brunei (NEPALABRU).
PCCI president George Barcelon saw this as a temporary alternative to the barter trade in the Mindanao - Sabah area which was halted after Malaysian and Indonesian nationals were taken by a kidnap-for-ransom gang. They are supposedly hidden in a Philippine island.
The preparations were being made by businessmen in the maritime ports knowing the high social and economic benefits to NEPALABRU communities when commercial goods, tourism products and ideas cross borders, create more jobs, and disperse incomes to the population, Barcelon said.
The PCCI-organized delegation that visited Labuan and Brunei in early April reported that their counterparts were eager to reactivate business councils to serve commercial and economic relations in cooperation with government ministries.
These were the Philippines-Brunei Business Council and the Philippines-Malaysia Business Council.
The delegation reported also that Brunei and Labuan ministries expressed cooperation in helping Philippine halal food products break into the global market.
It also recommended a review of House Bill 634& and Senate Bill 2831 (Halal Export Development Act).
This was to ensure the global market acceptability of Philippine halal food products.
SME forums and technical trainings, workshops and seminars on halal certification were recommended to increase understanding and capabilities of local SMEs.
Briefing the PCCI board on April 19, the delegation said that its members formed alliances among tourism and travel operators in Malaysia and Brunei.
The delegation recommended a review of Senate Bill 1422 (An Act Creating a Special Economic Zone and Freeport in Brooke's Point, Palawan).
Members of the delegation were Edward Du, head of delegation and president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ernest Lee, honorary chairman, Brooke's Point Palawan Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Jaime Jane Lee, president, BPCCI; Edwin Glindro, PCCI deputy secretary-general; Juan Agustine Jalandoni, NOCCI; Alejandro Florian Alcantara; Socorrito Alcantara; Katherine Gay Vinarao, Edilberta Sogocio, Sydney Uy; Sheila Sabayle; Adel Gonzales; and Jessica Baga.