Soft and hard infrastructure to improve competitiveness top private sector agenda
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) once again led the private sector in the annual public-private consultative exercise under the Sulong Pilipinas 2019.
Led by the Department of Finance, this year’s Sulong Pilipinas generated over a thousand participants from all over the country, who cited the critical need to improve the country’s soft and hard infrastructures as well as the ease of doing business to ensure that the current gains of government will be sustained in the long run.
PCCI President, Ms. Alegria Sibal Limjoco and Chairman, Mr. George T. Barcelon presented the following top 10 actionable recommendations of the business sector:
- To ensure that K-12 is well implemented and education is relevant, Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should enhance the skills of instructors and identify and integrate emerging in-demand skills for students into the curiculla. Teachers’ salaries should increase by 2020.
- To achieve water security, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) should prioritize the rehabilitation of existing dams and the government as a whole should consider the creation of a Department of Water, Water Regulations Commission and National Water Corporation.
- To attract investors and spur business, the Office of the President, the Department of Trae and Industry (DTI) and other concerned agencies should ensure the effective implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Law and appoint the head of the Anti-Red Tape Authority.
- To support and stimulate the growth of innovative digital start-ups in different fields (including medicine), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), with the private sector, should make grants available to start-ups and enable technology transfer.
- To improve farm productivity, the DPWH and the Department of Agriculture (DA) should improve agricultural and logistics by 2020
- To spur business and jobs creation, the government should prioritize the amendments to the Magna Carta for MSMEs, warehouse receipts act, weather-indexed agricultural insurance, and faster implementation of the joint memorandum order on high foreign shipping costs and ports congestion to help import/export industries.
- To ensure strong agency performance, competent technocrats should be appointed as secretaries in key departments.
- To ensure sustainability of, and efficient use of resources, agencies such as the DA and the Department of Agrarian Reform should enact a modern and sustainable national land use and maritime use policy.
- To increase trade, commerce and tourism, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) should complete the rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railway and major airports
- To improve infrastructure development, Congress should amend the Public Services Act, the Right of Way Act and the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution.
The Chamber continually seek improvement on the above-mentioned issues and nation can look forward to greatly benefiting from these recommendations.