Photo Caption: President Rodrigo Duterte and Presidential Adviser Joey Concepcion together with the Go Negosyo Kapatid taipans in a dinner in Malacanang last January 17, 2017.
2017 is off to a good start as we have recently met with President Rodrigo Duterte to discuss different business matters such as inclusive business, micro, small and medium enterprise development, our Sulu project, labor and contractualization federalism, and other concerns that need to be raised. The objective of this meeting is to express our support to the President in helping areas of conflict and extreme poverty in the country.
I arranged this meeting with the Kapatid taipans for them to directly hear the President’s views and opinions on issues concerning the business sector. We are glad that the President agreed to meet us despite his current busy schedule right after the successful state visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The big brothers in the entrepreneurship community were also delighted to share to the President the current efforts done by their companies to help alleviate poverty in the country.
Attendees include Ginggay Hontiveros, Go Negosyo Sulu Coordinator; Alfred Ty, GT Capital Holdings Corporation Co-Vice Chairman; Manny Pangilinan, First Pacific Managing Director and CEO; Federico Lopez, First Philippine Holdings Corporation Chairman and CEO; Doris Magsaysay Ho, Magsaysay Corporation President and CEO; Michael Tan, LT Group President and COO; George Barcelon, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President; Kevin Tan, Megaword Corporation First Vice President – Commercial Division; Hans Sy, SM Prime Holdings Chairman of the Executive Committee; Enrique Razon, International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) Chairman, Cong. Arthur Yap, Bohol 3rd District Representative; Sec. Carlos Dominguez, Department of Finance Secretary; Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Tomas Alcantara, Alsons Group Chairman; Merly Cruz, Go Negosyo MSME Development Adviser; Erramon Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures President and CEO; Alice Eduardo, Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation President and CEO; Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO; Tony Tan Caktiong, Jollibee Foods Corporation Chairman and CEO; Edgar “Injap” Sia, Double Dragon Investment Chairman and CEO; Dr. Francisco Duque, Department of Health Former Secretary; and Domingo Yap, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice President.
Enrique Razon, Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Manny Pangilinan, Cong. Arthur Yap, Alfred Ty, and Federico Lopez.
The first part of the meeting was to update the President on the progress that we have so far for Sulu. The Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu of Go Negosyo and Department of Agriculture of Sec. Manny Pinol launched this project with the initiative of bringing socio-economic development. The Sulu Project was President Duterte’s initiative and was assigned to Sec. Pinol. This was launched in Malacanang last December and was attended by President Duterte and more than 500 entrepreneurs and Go Negosyo advocates. Ginggay Hontiveros, who is our Sulu coordinator raised the commitments we have as a group such as housing development, mentorship, infrastructures, and other programs that will help Sulu reach progress. Michael Tan, Manny Pangilinan, Hans Sy, and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala also pointed out their respective companies’ planned programs.
We understand that there is extreme poverty in the region coupled with the conflict with armed groups. This is the reason why we want to bring change in the area. Hopefully, an improvement in the lives of all community members in Sulu.
We were able to raise concerns on contractualization as well. President knows that Filipinos are dependent on their jobs thus we are one in the mission of employment generation. We need more jobs so that Filipinos will no longer work abroad. As mentioned during the dinner, there are more than 6,000 Filipinos who leave the country everyday. The goal here is to reduce the number of Filipinos who travel abroad for work opportunities. We aim to create more employment here in the country since there are more people joining the work force. We do not accept anything that will hinder job growth in the country.
President Duterte showing the “narco list” to the businessmen.
President Duterte’s plan for federalism was also raised. The businessmen were supportive of the move for federalism. There are various suggestions from different people on their vision of federal state. There are just questions that were raised such as the number of federal states which is a work in progress.
Sec. Carlos Dominguez also appealed to the businessmen to support the tax reform program and to encourage the congress to approve the reform from the executive branch.
The President stayed with us for more than three hours. Many were extremely happy with how the President responded to every question. They saw his passion on the drug problem as he showed the thick list of people involved in the drug trade. It was a chance for many to have an eye to eye contact with the President and saw his sincerity in improving the lives of many poor Filipinos. As I walked out towards the exit you can see in the eyes of the the big brothers a great renewal of confidence and whatever doubts they had on the President have been cleared. What was accomplished was a relationship of trust and cooperation where the Kapatid taipans can use their resources to help the President achieve his vision on change. We will all look forward to the next meeting with the President 6 months from now. This was one of the best meetings I have attended with the President