The Philippine Business Conference (PBC), the largest annual business gathering in the country, has urged for economic activism in the country as it passed policy resolutions the government should consider
The 47th PBC & Expo, organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), has crafted a 10-point recommendation for outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte and the aspiring leaders to consider as the country braces for the 2022 national elections. The list covers 10 specific areas including reopening the economy, jobs generation, internet connectivity, innovation advocacy, ease of doing business, agricultural productivity, education, environment, energy efficiency, and infrastructure.
Specifically, this year’s PBC calls on the government to 1) Institutionalize innovation for economic development, 2) Open the economy now and assist businesses to create new jobs, 3) Fully implement ease of doing business, 4) Fast-track internet connectivity at competitive rates, 5) Modernize agriculture for food security, 6) Innovate and digitize the education system, 7) Balance industry growth and environmental protection, 8) Assure adequate power supply at a competitive cost, 9) Make infrastructure a cornerstone of economic development, and 10) Fast track the completion as scheduled of all infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build program and ensure transparency in the bids and awards of contracts.
The business community hopes to generate inspiration and responses from the President and the Vice-President, the top economic managers, leading CEOs, international innovators and most-awaited, from the newly declared Presidential aspirants.
As the country hopes for a real economic recovery in the coming months, it is PCCI’s desire to see this in an inclusive way – hence, the theme “innovation.ph: Economic Recovery for All”, Jeffrey Ng, Chairman of this year’s PBC & E. After all, PCCI, with an estimated membership of 35,000 enterprises from direct and indirect members, is comprised mostly of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico expressed hopes that government will heed the call of the business sector to implement the short, medium, and long-term proposed solutions to not only go back to normal but to rebound to become more resilient, competitive, innovative, and sustainable.
“We will not concede this projected future amid all the grim outlook from many sectors. We, at PCCI, believe we still have what it takes for a nation to become one of the most robust economies in the world. The Philippine business sector will lead this change,” Yujuico said.
Jose Pardo, Council of Advisers chairman said that PCCI has to take the lead in keeping “economic activism” alive through this set of recommendations that emanated from PCCI-strong membership and industry association across the country.
As chairman of this year’s PBC, Ng explained that the resolutions are also addressed to the aspiring new leaders as the country braces for the 2022 national elections. Aspirants for the highest position of the land will gather for the first time together at the “Presidentiables Forum” on the second day, Thursday, Nov. 18, of the 47th PBC where they are expected to present their economic platforms and address issues before a purely business audience.
“What we continue to battle head-on is a complex social, economic, and health challenges and there are no magic bullets. While there are, no doubt, many other proposals on the table, we offer these resolutions containing doable recommendations, proposed legislations and executive actions to guide our economic recovery and bring into the fore those who are in danger of being left behind as we bounce back from the aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic,” Ng said.
Ng lamented that after a year and half into this pandemic, “We are still fighting a desperate race to achieve herd immunity and to fully open up our economy.”
As business looks towards recovery, Ng said it is a must that business must embrace technology from analytics for decision-making to digital marketing and social media to software solutions for speed to market.
“These will advance us forward,” he stressed. Thus, he stressed the 47th PBC is putting innovation at the front and center of its development agenda to bring the country to a middle-income economy as set in Ambisyon 2040.
Ng also paid tribute to the health frontliners, who bravely sacrificed themselves so that others may live. “These heroes have fallen, but they are remembered. We honor them with every store we reopen, with every business we rebuild, with every industry we restore and with every return to life as we know it,” he said adding that never has the ingenuity of the Filipino been called upon than now to reboot, restrategize and rebuild the country.