Business community sees 2014 better year as reforms bear fruit
The business community expects 2014 to be a better economically charged year than the calamity and controversy-filled 2013 where reforms emanating from the government and the private sector are going to bear fruit.
“We will fare better in 2014,” said Atty. Miguel B. Varela, President of Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization.
Varela said that the impact of the corruption issues uncovered and the good governance policy of the Aquino on both the government and private sector are expected to take concrete results this year.
With three years into the end of the current dispensation, the business community expects President Aquino to make a clear direction in cementing his legacy. This pressure on the president hopefully shall usher in sustained growth for the economy for the fulfillment of the administration’s goal of an inclusive growth.
On the government side, Varela expects the reconvening of the LEDAC (Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council) as a positive move to thresh out the priority bills that are necessary to sustain growth.
Varela, a member of LEDAC, has already pushed for the amendment of the economic provisions of the Constitution.
“We need to amend the economic provisions of the Constitution to get more investors, but only after we have put in place all the safeguards,” he said.
In particular, he cited, the 60-40 in favor to Filipinos the land ownership in the country. Similarly, foreign equity in certain industries such as media and the utilities sector are limited to up to 40 percent.
PCCI chairman emeritus Francis Chua expressed hope that the problems encountered in 2013 will all be left behind. He cited the controversial issues of the pork barrel, the PDAF, typhoons and earthquakes.
“The New Year ushers in a ray of hope, we are optimistic for 2014,” he said.
Chua said a lot of factors working in favor of the Philippines. He cited that continued boom in the services sector, great appetite of Chinese for Philippine products and the yearly increase of remittance from the overseas Filipino workers.
The implementation of the infrastructure projects under the Public Private Partnership program of the government is also expected to further boost growth.