Filipino-Chinese businessmen support shift to MGCQ

Published February 21, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Filipino-Chinese businessmen in the country strongly throw their support behind the decision of the government’s economic managers to de-escalate Metro Manila under the general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified GCQ (MGCQ) to quickly and decisively revive the Philippine economy.

In a statement, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII), which groups various Filipino-Chinese business organizations, said they fully support the call of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in their calls to de-escalate the National Capital Region and 8 eight nearby provinces from GQC to MGCQ.

“With this, we can quickly and decisively revive our economy while still upholding health protocols like wearing of face masks, face shields, and observing social distancing, etc.,” FFCCCII President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong.  

Lim pointed out the need to ideally implement a balance of economic survival and public health safeguards. He said FFCCCII supports initiatives and progressive reforms to accelerate Philippine economic recovery and sustainability.

“All sectors should support reforms that promote our Philippine food security, let us cooperate to help ensure stable food prices as we work for start of Philippine economic recovery this year,” said Lim.

Meantime, Lim cited the efforts of Agriculture Secretary William Dar to offer loans to market vendors and financial aid to hog transporters severely affected by the two-month price cap on pork and chicken products in Metro Manila.

Lim said the P27 billion worth of assistance should help commercial hog raisers repopulate in their area. “The temporary pork supply shortfall is not just here in the Philippines, it is a regional challenge since 2018, so government reforms seeking to boost hog production are very positive steps,” he pointed out.

FFCCCII is an umbrella federation of over 170 Filipino Chinese chambers from Aparri to TawiTawi, plus diverse trade and industry associations.

With the passage of economic reform bills and the improving domestic and global conditions, Lim expressed confidence that Philippines can achieve 7.5 percent GDP this year.

Lim said these positive factors include the coming of various anti-pandemic vaccines, gradual reopening of the Philippine economy while still upholding health safeguards, the country’s excellent macroeconomic and fiscal fundamentals, the end of Trump’s chaotic trade war pitting the world’s two biggest economies USA and China with the recent Chinese New Year phone call by Pres. Biden to Pres. Xi.

FFCCCII also support’s government to increase production of our hogs, chickens and other foods to ensure stability of supplies and prices, such as financial and technical assistance to producers and farmers, and modernization of rural infrastructures under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program.

FFCCCII also cited Dar’s leadership stressing that despite the global crisis and economic slowdown last year 2020, the Philippine agriculture still registered positive growth last year and is expected to continue its good performance this year.  He said Dar’s ‘Plant, Plant, Plant’ program to promote food sufficiency in the country.

 The DA also cooperated in the launch of the Masagana 300 project led by SL AgriTech and Go Negosyo.  Masagana 300 aims to encourage and honor Filipino rice farmers who achieve 300 cavans harvest per hectare by utilizing modern hybrid rice technology.