The Philippine Business Conference

The two-day 47TH Philippine Business Conference (PBC) opens today with the theme “Innovation.PH: Economic Recovery for All.”

The 47th PBC, chaired by Cathay Land President Jeffrey T. Ng, has pursued innovation as a continuing theme since last year as businesses must embrace innovation to thrive in the digital world. Innovation is also the focus of Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico’s leadership at the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), which organizes the country’s largest annual business gathering.

This year’s PBC, in a hybrid format, is unique as it will also gather for the very first time the candidates for the top position of the land in next year’s elections before a business audience. They are given time to lay down their platforms and address issues presented to them during the “Presidentiable Forum.”

Businessmen will hear for the first time the candidates’ plans on how to lead the country and move it forward amid difficulties. Certainly, the business community will be listening intently.

As a tradition, every PBC is an opportunity to concretize recommendations, gathered from a year-round of area business consultations, into PBC Resolutions for submission to Malacanang.

As part of the tradition, the President of the country addresses the business community at the end of the conference. The President normally responds to the PBC Resolutions. The PBC is actually a stage for the pronouncement of government policies.

This is President Duterte’s last chance to address the business community, which is attended by big and small businesses in the country and even PCCI’s partner business organizations from other countries.

The PBC, the annual gathering of businessmen in the country, has always been a venue to discuss issues that affect the flow of capital, the engine of growth in an economy.

With the Philippines being one of the worst hit countries globally by the pandemic and growth recovery has been sluggish, the PBC is the right venue for solutions to evolve.
Businessmen have to weigh the country’s business environment and the unveiling of corruption issues in government. Amid these issues, businessmen must evaluate their own governance issues. As they say, it takes two to tango for corruption to prosper.

During this time, it is heartwarming that despite their hunger for profit, the pandemic has unveiled the other side of business. Businessmen have shown that they, too, can go beyond by sacrificing their margins for the welfare of their people.

The annual PBC could be its loudest voice in prodding the government for concrete action. If only the PBC Resolutions are adopted and implemented by the government beyond lip service,  we could have seen a thriving business environment, faster capital flow into the country, and better life for Filipinos.