By Chino S. Leyco
The private sector has submitted several actionable recommendations to the Duterte administration’s economic team touching on the areas of agriculture, financing, peace and order as well as social protection.
Following the four regional “Sulong Pilipinas” workshops in La Union, Pampanga, Cebu and Davao, the Department of Finance (DOF) released the consolidated recommendations submitted by the private sector to the government.
Based on the DOF statement, the private sector wants to see improvements in the current state of the agriculture sector, which grew at an anemic pace this year, as well as to simplify loan requirements for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The private sector, likewise, suggested that the government works on enhancing peace in the country, including the order measures, and stricter profiling of the government’s cash transfer or social protection beneficiaries.
According to the DOF, the main concern of the private sector is agricultural productivity and raising farmers’ incomes. For this reason, they suggested that the government should introduce programs on education and the use of new farm technologies.
They also recommended building more physical infrastructure such as seaports, airports and mass-based transport systems; and simplifying requirements for loans with reasonable interest rates for SMEs and the rural sector.
Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, meanwhile, said the recommendations submitted to them will be thoroughly studied and acted upon “with as much seriousness as we have done in the past.”
On the other hand, Dominguez said the Duterte administration has delivered on several key recommendations made two years ago by the private sector to help the government sustain high and inclusive growth.
In particular, Dominguez noted the improving the ease of doing business, implementing a national identification (ID) system and instituting tax reform.
The finance chief said the government also responded to the call of the business sector to modernize the country’s infrastructure and logistics network with its ambitious “Build, Build, Build” program that is now powering the economy and providing a strong base for sustained high growth.
These recommendations, Dominguez recalled, were fleshed out by leaders of the business community during the first-ever “Sulong Pilipinas” consultative conference in Davao City in June 2016.