Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III urged the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) to continue organizing Sulong Pilipinas consultative forum beyond President Duterte’s term.
At the close of the virtual Sulong Pilipinas 2021: Partners for Progress Forum, Dominguez called on the business group to carry on with the productive working relationship between the government and the private sector by organizing consultative forums.
Dominguez said Sulong Pilipinas has been an effective feedback mechanism in determining the people’s response to the government’s plans and programs.
“I hope that the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry will continue this consultative exercise with the government beyond the Duterte administration,” Dominguez said.
“You have brought not only your time but also wisdom to enrich these consultations that serve to guide our policymaking,” he added.
The PCCI has consistently been the host of the Sulong workshops, from the first one held in Davao City in June 2016 when the President was still mayor up to the most recent gathering held online in April.
“I should also thank the thousands of individuals who participated in all our Sulong Pilipinas workshops,” Dominguez said.
Meanwhile, the private sector presented 10 actionable recommendations after the virtual Sulong event last month.
The recommendations include proposals to raise financial assistance to farmers; strengthen education’s focus on science and technology; and establish programs that enhance skills and talents of support sectors and industries as part of the recovery program, starting 2021.
In addition, the private sector wants to increase investments in urban mobility infrastructure (i.e, bike lanes) and public transport reform by 2022; and integrate government portals and services to make transactions easier amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dominguez opened the virtual event by providing updates on the country’s growth and pandemic response.
Although the global outbreak of COVID-19 put the nation to a great test, Dominguez said the Philippines has the fiscal stamina to withstand a long battle and prevail over the crisis.
“The fact that the Philippines managed to maintain its solid financial footing throughout this global health emergency confirmed the correctness of the reforms pursued by President Duterte since the beginning of his term in 2016,” Dominguez said.