Business sector hopes PNoy's last SONA will push pending reform bills

July 25, 2015 News

Even as the Aquino administration is already running out of time, businessmen are still hopeful the President would still push for the passage of some reform bills still pending in Congress during his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) next week.

Francis Chua, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), would like the President to clarify whether he would still push for the passage of the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law or not.

“Will the BBL still has a chance during his term?” Chua asked.

Chua would also wish the President to make a strong declaration for his anointed standard bearer.

Edgardo B. Lacson, President of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, said the employers’ group is still batting for amendments of the Labor Codè.

“It has always been ECOP’s advocacy to amend the restrictive and punitive provisions in the 4 decade old Labor Code crafted during Martial Law years to align our labor policies with the rest of ASEAN and enhance our competitiveness,” Lacson said.
From the foreign business groups, Michael Raeuber, president of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP), said that European investors still continue to push for the passage of bills the ECCP had identified before as critical to sustain economic growth.

For instance, ECCP has been opposed to pending bills in Congress seeking to amend the existing fiscal incentives menu saying that doing so will only undermine investor confidence as investors know that the cost of doing business in this country is higher than in most competing countries.

The ECCP has also noted of the greater need for data security to protect local companies and more especially the robust IT-BPM sector.

Companies that wish to enter the BPM / KPM market and make use of Big Data are hesitant because of the lack of data security regulation, the ECCP said.

Thus, the creation of a Department of ICT would be a big step forward to address this, including cyber security. The slow and expensive broadband infrastructure needs to be addressed, the group said.

ECCP also hopes Aquino to address the issue that government is not honoring some of its commitments under VAT Refund and is thereby withholding large amounts of working capital from Investors.

In addition, ECCP is still hopeful that the government will find the will to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution to allow more foreign direct investments into the country.

Source: Manila Bulletin