The country’s largest business group expects a rough ride ahead for the next leaders of the Philippines, including “blips in (credit) rating and downward trend” due to external factors affecting the domestic economy, even as they joined with the foreign business groups in expressing support for the incoming administration for the recovery of the domestic economy.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) issued separate statements amid the looming presidency of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. or BBM following the widening lead of the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the unofficial vote count, a day after the holding of national elections on Monday, May 9.
PCCI President George Barcelon noted that although not officially pronounced, he said, it is more likely that the UNITEAM group of Marcos won in the elections.
“The president-elect BBM will be faced with the same financial challenges due to the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic and lately the geopolitical storm in Ukraine similar to other countries (debt and inflation issues). There will be blips in rating and downward trend,” Barcelon warned.
But the country’s largest business group also expressed confidence saying “We know better” as they cited the country’s intact macro-economic fundamentals and economic reforms.
Barcelon attributed the sound country’s macro-economic fundamentals to Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez for providing a “sound take off point” for the new administration.
Meantime, the JFC expressed “hope to continue to work closely with government officials at all levels” throughout the country for the recovery from the pandemic and to maintain high levels of GDP growth, infrastructure development, job creation, and FDI inflows.
JFC, which is composed of six foreign business groups, said this can achieved best by “continuing the governance and policies of the current and previous administrations.”
On the conduct of the national and local elections on Monday, May 9, Barcelon described the process as “generally peaceful and credible”, commending the Commission on Elections, National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections, and Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
“Let’s give the incoming administration time to draw up and share their plans in making our country more progressive,” said Barcelon urging everyone to “stay positive.”
For its part, the JFC congratulated the Philippines for showing the “strength of its democracy” during the campaign period and elections.
The JFC statement is composed of business chambers from the US, Australia-New Zealand, European, Japanese, Korean, and Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters
The JFC is a coalition of the American, Australian-New Zealand, Canadian, European, Japanese, Korean and PAMURI. It represents over 3,000 member companies engaged in around $100 billion worth of trade and some $30 billion worth of investments in the Philippines.
The JFC supports and promotes open international trade, increased foreign investment, and improved conditions for business to benefit both the Philippines and the countries the JFC members represent.