Leaders of the Philippine business community on Tuesday, June 21, presented their Top 10 recommendations for economic development to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President George Barcelon presented the first five during a live broadcast of the business forum at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City dubbed “Sulong Pilipinas” where Duterte was guest speaker.
1. Adoption of the Comprehensive Tax Reform package, including reduction in corporate tax, personal income tax, and capital gains tax rates, and simplification of tax system, particularly for SMEs (small and medium enterprises);
2. Implementation of national ID system for improved targeting of social services;
3. Automation and streamlining of business permits and licensing systems;
4. Improvement of Internet and telco services to be competitive with the best in the region;
5. Delivery of support system and services to farmers to fully develop agri-industry’s potential;
Vicente Lao, president of the Mindanao Business Council presented the last five as:
6. Implementation of responsible mining;
7. Development, implementation of a national strategy for industries where the country has greatest competitive advantage;
8. Improvement of transport network across the country to improve connectivity;
9. Review (of) the conditional cash transfer program;
10. Reduction in bottlenecks of PPP (private-public partnership) and infrastructure projects and respect to sanctity of contracts.
“We recognize and are deeply grateful for the initiative to consult the business community. We look forward to you as the captain to call us to be on board,” said Barcelon in a brief speech before presenting the first five proposals.
“We look forward to you as our CEO (chief executive officer) with the Cabinet as the COOs (chief operating officers). You can give the signal and the whole country will follow,” said Lao.
In response, Duterte said the recommendations were “doable”.
Duterte revealed his own economic agenda in a press conference in Davao City.
Economic adviser Carlos Dominguez said that Duterte would focus on eliminating corruption in the revenue-generating agencies, easing restrictions on investment policies, and strengthening the basic education system.