Business Groups Push for 12 Economic Reforms

February 06, 2017 News

Businessmen have asked the Duterte administration to prioritize the 12 business and economic legislative reform measures to increase investments, create more jobs and attain inclusive growth in the country.

The Philippine Business Group Joint Foreign Chamber of the Philippines has identified the economic reforms after a series of meetings of business leaders and representatives of Congressional and Executive agencies and through an e-mail vote.

The list was contained in a letter sent to Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea. A copy of the letter was obtained by NewsCentral.PH on Sunday, February 5.

The 12 measures were listed based on the “voting” results, with most of them receiving tied votes

The priority measures are:
1. Constitutional amendments, pertaining to foreign equity restrictions
2. Comprehensive tax reform package
3. Apprenticeship program reform
4. BOT (Build Operate Transfer) law amendments; Freedom of Information
6. Corporation Code amendments;
Public Service Act amendments;
Telecom reforms;
Water Sector Reform Act
10. Bank Secrecy Law amendments;
Emergency powers to address traffic and transportation crises;
Retail Trade Act amendments

“Many were considered in the last Congress and some even earlier but did not complete the legislative process. All constitute reforms that will improve the business and economic climate of the Philippines and result in more investments, jobs, and inclusive growth,” the Philippine Business Groups – Joint Foreign Chambers said.

Businessmen are optimistic that the executive branch will prioritize these proposals. The business chambers and associations which supported these reforms were:

1. Ernesto M. Ordoñez, Chair of Alyansa Agrikultura;
2. Bruce Winton, President of American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines;
3. Tom Grealy, President of Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.;
4. Nestor V. Tan, President of Bankers Association of the Philippines;
5. Julian Payne, President of Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.;
6. Guenter Taus, President of European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.;
7. Benedicta Du-Baladad, President of Financial Executives of the Philippines;
8. Calixto V. Chickiamco, President of Foundation for Economic Freedom
Ike Amigo, President and CEO of IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines;
9. Yoshio Amano, President of Japanese Chamber Of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.;
10. Ho-Ik Lee, President of Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc.;
11. Edgar Chua, Chairman of Makati Business Club;
12. Dan Molloy, President of Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.;
13. Marife B. Zamora, President of Management Association of the Philippines;
14. Dan Molloy, President, of Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.;
15. Danilo C. Lachica President of Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc.

Given the multiple bills for most of the proposed laws, the business leaders support them in principle but not always in every detail.

“Our specific comments and suggestions will be made during the legislative process and in consultation with concerned departments. We believe they are in line with the 10-point socioeconomic agenda of the Duterte administration,” they said.

The Presidential Legislative Liaison Office and National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), are coordinating the proposals of the various departments and cabinet clusters in preparation for consideration by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) and President Rodrigo Duterte.