PCCI rates Marcos 8/10 in 100 days

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry gives President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a positive 8 out of 10 rating for bringing back business confidence even amid pressing economic challenges faced by the country during his so-called “honeymoon” period.

During a press conference on Wednesday, PCCI president George Barcelon said the business group recognizes that the President has put a lot of effort in reviving the economy despite difficult times.

“The confidence of the business sector is probably 8 out of 10 as the administration was able to handle some pressing issues well,” he said, pertaining to the face-to-face that will go full swing in November and the challenges hounding the agricultural sector.

“These are all a work in progress. Agriculture is the one sector that needs to be addressed, which the National Economic and Development Authority should be quite focused. The President has taken the bull by the horn because it is one of the most challenging sectors in the country,” he said.

In terms of appointing an agriculture secretary instead of Marcos Jr. at the helm of the Department of Agriculture, Barcelon said he is leaving that up to the President.

The Marcos administration was recently hit by controversy over the importation of sugar when the price of the said commodity escalated in recent months, along with the still fluctuating prices of petroleum products, unstable inflation, and peso devaluation, apart from the persisting pandemic.

“We cannot gauge now what has been achieved. A hundred days is too short but we’re looking at a strong economic team, and the President giving his marching order to generate more economic activities and job opportunities for Filipinos. gauge is that the economic team is there and there is a marching order from the President to have more economic activities and job opportunities for Filipinos,” he said.

Agriculture is the one sector that needs to be addressed, which the National Economic and Development Authority should be quite focused.

Marcos Jr. during his working visit to the United States as well as ASEAN countries such as Indonesia and Singapore, said the Philippines is very open to attracting investments, eliciting pledges worth  $3.9 billion in pledges during his US trip alone.

Barcelon said that not only foreign investors are bullish on the country, but also domestic investors.

“The FIRB (Fiscal Incentives Review Board) recently approved almost P100 billion of projects that have something to do with transportation, a subway project, and the like with the Marcos administration’s Build, Better, More,” he added.

48th PBC&E
The PCCI will be kicking-off its two-day, 48th Philippine Business Conference & Expo this 19 to 20 October at the Manila Hotel’s Grand Ballroom with President Marcos Jr. as the concluding guest of honor and speaker.

This year’s conference is themed “The Philippines is ready and open for business.”

“We have been consistent in our position to fully open up our economy because we need to get back on track to sustain our growth momentum,” Barcelon said.

Ferdinand “Perry” Ferrer, whom the PCCI has appointed 48th Philippine Business Conference and Expo chairman, welcomed the President’s confirmation to grace the conference as guest speaker as this will be his first PBC appearance following his victory at the presidential polls in May.

“The business community is excited to hear from our President his vision and programs to steer our country towards a higher growth trajectory and we, in the private sector, will be the government’s partner in achieving this vision,” Ferrer said.

The highlight of the two-day conference is the PCCI’s submission to the President a set of policy resolutions that capture the collective aspirations and expectations of the Philippine business community with the new administration as it steers the direction of the Philippine economy rebounding from the pandemic.

The resolutions cover a wide range of issues, from achieving food security, transparent and affordable health care, employment generation, globally competitive education, and training standards, strengthened national security, reliable and competitive digitalization, climate change resilient and environmental-friendly policies, affordable power, safe and efficient transportation, and an outward and forward-looking trade policy.

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