#MINDANAO: Better numbers, good moves

Published September 9, 2021, 10:48 PM

by John Tria

Recent economic figures such as the lower unemployment rate in July from the Philippine Statistics Authority serve to remind us not only about our recovery, but of our economic potentials.

First we examine the recent reduction in the unemployment rate which dropped from 7.7 percent last June to 6.9 percent in July, falling below 7% for the first time since 2020, which had a 10.3% unemployment based on the annual estimate.

I believe this lower unemployment rate may already reflect the 11.8% growth in the second quarter, as more economic activities will create a demand for workers and in turn, multiply the economic activities.

It is vital however, for businesses to fully examine and audit their workplaces, their good moves for compliance with COVID 19 safety protocols for those reporting for office work.

Other measures include such as engaging in workplace rotation for employees, such as giving a portion of workdays as work from home to decrease the number of staff in offices.

It is critical that business owners and management in all businesses, from large to small reiterate these protocols regularly to remind everyone to be on guard. This will help balance the need to prevent infections and keep operations going.

Researchers will do well examine which economic sectors and which regions are poised to grow significantly with respect to the same month in 2020 and 2019, and the trends we are seeing as full COVID-19 vaccinations hit 15 million of Filipinos, the priority of which are the vulnerable.

Why the Ease of Doing Business Law is a game changer

The Ease of doing business law or RA 11032 is a game changer since it, for the first time, establishes a no contact policy, and provides the necessary timelines provided, of courses that applications and their attachments are complete, including remedies for permit applicants in case said government agencies violate the provisions of the law. This amends the 2007 Anti Red tape act. More importantly, it puts an agency in place, the Anti Red Tape Authority.

The good news is that an increasing number of government agencies have adopted zero contact systems and are going online in accordance with the Ease of Doing Business Law. This includes GOCCs such as the Landbank in order to facilitate payment through its linkbiz facility and the DENR Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). This also includes the one stop shops in many other agencies.

Who benefits from this expanded implementation? Of course the estimated 900,000 or so micro, small and medium enterprises, commonly referred to as our economic backbone, especially in the provinces such as the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

Here, the MSMEs are the economy. Most of them cannot afford service providers to assist them in getting permits. Gaining the ability to process permits on their own, from the comfort and safety of their homes also reduces the possibility of exposure to COVID-19.

You are all invited to the Mindanao Business Conference brought to you by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry on September 23-24. You can all join through the online platform.

Let us all continue staying safe!