Businessmen in the country mourn the passing of former President Benigno S. Aquino III, whose administration they described as a reign of fiscal stability and good governance.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization in the country, expressed its deepest condolences to the family of the former President.
“It was during his term that the Philippines won its first investment-grade credit rating,” said PCCI President Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico in a statement stressing how Aquino continued to strengthen the country’s fiscal stability and macroeconomic fundamentals.
PCCI noted that in 2013, three years into his presidency, Fitch Ratings raised the country’s credit rating to investment grade citing the political and economic reforms implemented under Aquino. Other credit rating agencies followed suit.
Yujuico further cited PNoy’s remarkable achievements in growing the economy. The GDP grew from an annual average of 4.5% before his term, to 6.2 percent during his 6-year reign. GDP growth peaked at 7.2 percent in 2013 when the country was the second fastest growing economy in Asia after China.
PCCI also cited the former President’s high-profile campaign to weed out corruption and the excellent performance of the GDP, the inflow of foreign direct investment (FDIs) steadily improved, rising by 60 percent when stepped down from office.
“The legacy of President Aquino should live on,” said PCCI.
The Filipino-Chinese business community was also saddened by the demise of the former President and extended condolences to the Aquino family.
“Throughout history, the Federation and the Filipino Chinese business community have worked harmoniously with all our national leaders for our charities and our socio-economic advocacies,” the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII).
“The late President Noynoy Aquino and also his late mother the late Cory C. Aquino were friends of the FFCCCII, and they have contributed to Philippine economic development. We at FFCCCII wish to convey our sincere condolences & prayers to the Aquino family,” said FFCCCII President Henry Lim Bon Liong.
Meantime, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said they joined the country in mourning the passing of former President.
“His administration was marked by impressive economic growth, with four credit rating upgrades and a significant increase in foreign direct investments, aided by his focus on transparency and good governance,” MAP statement emphasized.
Although his administration had its fair share of challenges, MAP said that the reforms he initiated in public infrastructure, the judiciary, education, health care, and social protections created an engine for progress.
With that, MAP said the former leader “generated a new respect for the country on the world stage. The West Philippine Sea arbitral ruling is evidence of international recognition of our territorial integrity.”
“In creating his place in history, each leader can only hope he leaves something better than what he found. The Philippines which President Aquino left behind was indeed a better place.”
The Makati Business Club (MBC) thanked President Aquino for his service to the people and democracy as they joined the nation — including many in the business community, who knew him, served with him, or called him friend — in their sorrow, prayers, and rededicating ourselves to lifting up more Filipinos.
MBC said that history will judge President Aquino well because “He bettered our lives by improving the economy and combining pro-people social policies — modernizing education, expanding cash transfers. He formed a relatively clean government that meant taxes went to public services and infra, while foreign and local businesses were excited to make job-creating investments.”
In a statement, the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. (PSE) said it joins the nation in mourning the passing of former President Benigno S. Aquino III. The PSE Board and Management extend their condolences to the Aquino family.
“The Philippine stock market recorded several milestones during the term of President Aquino as his policies transformed the Philippines from a high credit risk to an investment grade rating country starting in 2013.” it added.
The Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, Inc. (FINEX) remembered the former President for transforming the Philippines into a rising state in Asia during his time.
FINEX also cited the vastly improved rankings in global competitiveness and strong GDP growth during PNoy’s term.
“The Public Private partnership (PPP) model launched for infrastructure development became a model for other developing countries. His focus on transparency, good governance, and adherence to the rule of law improved our image and standing in the international community, increasing our attractiveness as an investment destination,” FINEX said in a statement.
Amid all these, FINEX said, social development was not neglected with the improvements in education and healthcare and the expansion of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which continue to improve the lives of fellow Filipinos.
“We join the country in expressing our gratitude for his service to the nation and extend our sincerest condolences to the Aquino and Cojuangco families,” the group said.
The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) said the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines will always be honored and remembered for his steadfast leadership, which paved way for the country’s economic growth and recovery during his administration.
The statement signed by PRA President Rosemarie B. Ong and Chairman Paul A. Santos recalled that PNoy was a staunch supporter of their advocacies and programs.
President Aquino’s transparency and good governance has restored the confidence of both local & international investors, which made the Philippines one of the fastest growing economies in Asia during his administration. For all these, we in the PRA will always be thankful for his service to the nation and to the Filipino people. Our sincere prayers and condolences to the Aquino family, may he rest in peace,” the PRA statement concluded.
Employers also mourn the untimely passing of former President PNoy stating they join the nation in grieving for the loss of a great leader and President, who was instrumental in advancing tripartism and prioritizing significant labor and social policy issues.
The Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines recalled in a statement that it was during his term that the following labor-related laws were passed: ECOP Statement on the passing of Former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III Republic Act No. 10395 – Strengthening Tripartism Act Republic Act No. 10396 – Amendment of the Labor Code, mandating mandatory conciliation of all issues arising from labor disputes Republic Act No. 10691 – Amendments to the Public Employment Service (PESO) Act of 1999 Republic Act No. 10361 – Domestic Workers Act (Batas Kasambahay) Republic Act No. 10771 – The Philippine Green Jobs Act of 2016.
They also thank PNoy for the ratification of International Labour Organization Convention No. 189, which gives every domestic worker the right to a safe and healthy working environment. He likewise forged bilateral labor agreements on Standard Employment Contracts with receiving countries employing large number of Filipino domestic workers. “The important thing for us to realize is that, as Filipinos, we all want to reach the same destination —a Philippines under the guidance of daylight, where no one is left behind, and where we can all work toward prosperity together,” they quoted the former great statesman during a speech at the ECOP’s 32nd National Conference of Employers.