President Aquino remains on the right track, PCCI chief says

By Kris M. Crismundo

MANILA, July 24 (PNA) — President Benigno Aquino III remains on the right track of his goal of “matuwid na daan,” the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president and former ambassador Alfredo M. Yao said in an interview Thursday.

The leader of PCCI, which is the country’s largest business organization, said President Aquino should continue to pursue the robust economic growth of the country.

“Look at our economy in the last four years, it’s very good. We are the “Darling of the ASEAN” and became second fastest growing economy in Asia,” Yao mentioned.

In 2013, the Philippine economy managed to grow by 7.2 percent despite the country was hit by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (Haiyan) late last year which devastated significant amount of agricultural and business assets.

The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth eased in the first quarter of this year, in which analysts explained as an effect of the typhoon Yolanda.

However, an international institution — the World Bank Group — has remained positive and has retained its projection on the Philippine GDP growth of 6.6 percent this year and 6.5 percent in 2015. This is despite the organization lowered the global economy projection for this year of 2.8 percent from its original forecast of 3.4 percent.

Further, Yao also bears with the slow trickling down of the effect of the strong Philippine economy as national issues and other complicated conflicts are arising during the presidency of President Aquino.

“There’s no perfect thing in this world. Our problem didn’t happen overnight and the solution cannot be an overnight thing,” he said.

Economists and other institutions, likewise, noted that the current administration should ensure that the robust economic growth will be translated to inclusive growth by eliminating poverty through providing more jobs.

Prior to the State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) of the Chief Executive on Monday, the PCCI would like to hear that President Aquino will take the following measures within the remaining term of his presidency:

* Investing in hard and soft infrastructure that will further ensure competitive costs of power, logistics, and transportation;

* Pushing reforms in curbing corruption and promoting transparency and good governance;

* Better coordination between national government and local government units to ensure consistency of application of laws;

* Reforms in labor policies and practice in order to attract more investments and more job creation;

* Cooperation with all the branches of the government to reform procedures and practices that will evolve the globalization of small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Yao also mentioned that private sectors, academe, civil society, media, and all other stakeholders must help the government in achieving stronger economy and enhancing the life of every Filipino. (PNA)