Last Monday, President Duterte delivered his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) which presented the achievements and plans of the administration in the next three years. We are one with the President in his plans for the country. Some members of the business sector have also expressed their reaction to the President’s SONA. Let me share them with you:
“There was a high expectation to PRRD’s SONA and he did not disappoint for the following reasons:
From the onset, focusing on our country’s much-needed transformation by challenging the august body of elected and appointed government officials to tackle the still pervasive practice of corruption. I pray they all take heed and follow the President’s aversion to corruption and bureaucracy by going on record in public forum when invited to speak. Such effort to change our image will inadvertently attract more foreign direct investments and job creation and enhance the ease of doing business helping the MSMEs.
Secondly, his sincerity and persistence in making life easier for the marginalized, civil servants; public teachers, etc. with education, digital inclusiveness, salary standardization and improved peace and order.
Thirdly, putting emphasis on the agricultural sector’s need to access funding and technology. Issues on environment, hygiene and water concerns are highlighted for sustainably.” – George Barcelon, Chairman of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The SONA of the President is very precise on what he wants from both chambers – creating new departments and agencies, solving the traffic problem in Metro Manila and the elimination of corruption. His stand on the West Philippine Sea is very practical and realistic. Instead of an armed conflict with China which we can never win, let us sit down and see what collaboration we can do together without surrendering our sovereignty.” – Henry Lim Bon Liong, President of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“We appreciate the honesty of the President calling a spade a spade on the status of drugs and corruption in the country. He has set the tone on his demand for accomplishments and speed. His call to prioritize action is admirable and timely. We believe that with his approval ratings, he has and will continue to rally the citizenry behind the change of mindset that he continues to advocate and work towards.
His declaration that the enemy is us and that we are our own tormentors will help the citizenry realize that we need to no longer tolerate all criminal acts such as corruption.
On the West Philippine Sea, we agree with the President that a balancing act is required and that this must be addressed in a peaceful way.
We are delighted that the President is clear that the MSMEs hold the promise to eradicate poverty and this shows that he will continue to focus on this most important sector to drive inclusiveness, growth, and poverty alleviation. His focus on ease of doing business and now his holding agencies accountable will only strengthen the steps already taken to achieve this.
His declaration that he plans to continue to aggressively work towards reform in the second half of his term is welcome and most appreciated.” – Rex Daryanani, President of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry
“The SONA had familiar themes on drugs and corruption, but we welcome the directive on various measures to encourage the growth of business – simplification of processes and shortening issuance of permits to three days, going online, passing the TRABAHO bill and the rest of the comprehensive tax reform package, passage of the National Land Use Act, and more loans for MSMEs. Addressing the issues of the day such as forming a Department of Water and Department of Disaster Resilience are also welcome measures as is the more pragmatic tone on improving public sector salaries, including those of the teachers. The focus on traffic management and infrastructure are, of course, expected. Hopefully, the government is able to live up to the promises.” –Riza Mantaring, President of the Management Association of the Philippines
“With the ease of doing business, he ordered the mayors and the local government units to release business clearances and permits within three days. This is a big help for MSMEs. He also seemed so determined for a better Philippines which is really what we want – to grow the middle class and achieve inclusive growth through inclusive businesses for prosperity for all.” – Bing Limjoco, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry
“It was good to see the President focusing on corruption as corruption is decimating our economy, but it will need more dramatic action to get it truly reduced. Prioritizing the passage of tax bills is essential and urgently needed if we are to get much-needed new investment. There are six other bills the business sector needs the Congress to tackle urgently too. I suggest joint committee meetings to speed completion. The creation of a Department of Water was a necessary action given water’s importance. His stand on the West Philippine Sea makes good pragmatic sense. Concentration on Build Build Build will be a lasting legacy of his administration that will benefit us all.” – Peter Wallace, Chairman and founder of the Wallace Business Forum
“The Philippine Retailers Association supports the President’s initiatives and declaration in helping create an environment conducive to business as well as easing the burden of the people.
The retail industry strongly supports the government’s efforts at promoting the ease of doing business, especially on faster issuance of permits and other business documents. This will promote more efficiencies for businesses in general, especially for SMEs. This will also help encourage entrepreneurship, knowing that setting up a business will no longer be tedious and they can soon start operations.
Also, we are happy that the water supply problem will now be taken cared of by one agency that will be specifically tasked with overseeing this issue. This will greatly ease the burden on the public.
Lastly, the President’s announcement to allocate funding for MSMEs is highly laudable. This will help grow our middle class and this will, in turn, boost our economy.” – Rosemarie Ong, President of the Philippine Retailers Association
“The Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines Foundation Inc. (SEIPI) thanks President Duterte for his commitment to good governance by combating corruption and keeping civil servants accountable to the Filipino people. We especially commend his leadership in cleaning up the Bureau of Customs and implementing the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act.
We share the same goals that the President aims to achieve especially in reducing poverty – through inclusive employment. We thank the President for keeping education and MSME development in his agenda of priorities.
We agree with lowering corporate income taxes for individuals and the improvement of tax administration. Moreover, we trust that the President will work towards improving (enhancing) fiscal incentives to promote foreign direct investments so that our industry can compete globally, attract new technologies and increase its capacity to employ inclusively and impact local communities. As the largest export sector, we support his vision for regional development, especially in rural and high-growth areas.” – Dan Lachica, President of SEIPI.