PHOTO CAPTION: Go Negosyo Meet the Presidentiables Series.
It seems that the 2016 presidential election is starting to heat up. Recently, Sen. Grace Poe announced her candidacy in a well-attended gathering of her supporters, followed by Sen. Chiz Escudero’s announcement the next day as vice president of Sen. Grace. Former DILG Secretary Mar Roxas declared his candidacy a few weeks ago along with the endorsement of President Aquino. And of course, Vice President Jojo Binay has proclaimed his presidential plans long ago.
For many entrepreneurs who have invested in the Philippines with the business they have set up, they want to be sure that a vibrant macro climate will continue to exist. They need an assurance that the consumer confidence and spending will continue to drive the country to grow with higher GDP numbers. All of which will benefit the entrepreneurs as they will be able to continue to expand and hire people as well. The suppliers who are entrepreneurs themselves will continue to grow so this cycle will continuously spin faster and shall benefit even the less fortunate as it gives them more chance to set up a business or be employed.
This is why the next presidential election is important. Electing the right leaders is crucial. I believe that the electorate or the people voting are getting more informed and aware, more objective and mature in decision-making. But as we all know, each person has their own choice as to who the right leader should be. This is what we call democracy – the right to choose the government that will drive us ahead. This is something we did not experience during martial law years.
Go Negosyo through the Negosyo Talks will mount a program which will give a chance for the top entrepreneurs to meet the top three presidentiables who will share their vision for the country including their platforms on what they can do to help bring about a vibrant Negosyo climate. Entrepreneurs will be given the chance to dialogue and clarify issues that need to be addressed.
It is clear that Grace, Mar and VP Binay lead the nationwide surveys. But we still cannot tell. It is a long way before they see the finish line. Many things can still change. For me what is important is that the Philippines cannot go back to its cycle of misery. We need to see this country continuously grow at levels that meet the criteria of an investment grade and a more developed nation. This shall attract more foreign investors thus contributing to a better economy. We should still be the ‘Darling of Investors’ for the next years. The Rising Star of Asia, as they say.
With this vision ahead, our OFWs will be able to see opportunities for them to be rehired in the Philippines or for them to invest back home. We can see that many of our OFWs are just waiting for good opportunities here. Gladly, most of them are even considering starting their own enterprises. Also, our micro and small entrepreneurs will be able to get a fair chance in becoming a medium and eventually large entrepreneur in the future. Our youth will be able to seek better employment in the country and be able to contribute to the talent base that will make this country dynamic.
The next leader of the Philippines, without any doubt, should continue with the reforms in good governance that this current administration has started. But it is not only about good governance that makes a country great. It is being able to make hard but best decisions needed in implementing the necessary infrastructure, education and health that will help sustain the growth we would like to see in the country. The next president must be able to determine how to solve numerous problems including the airport congestion, port congestion, and the Metro Manila traffic situation. We need solid plans that will bring about a stronger infrastructure which will bring our growth, most especially in tourism which is a driving force in the economy, to greater heights.
Relatedly, we conducted a well-attended Negosyo sa Bayan last week, organized by our group and the Center for Future Leadership Foundation led by Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Joey Pelaez. Over 500 Mayors, Vice Mayors, Councilors and LGU officials participated, and we had Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the conference keynote speaker. We all know that his name always appear in the news as someone who will also run for President. Well, he categorically stated that he is not really running for President, and he said that people, either his friends or enemies, may be the ones who are putting his name as a candidate. I guess some quarters may like what he said, but when you talk to some Davaoenos, we will never know for sure until the last day of filing of candidacy.