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Cebu’s businessmen have returned. PRRD’s promise to reintroduce “commercial vibrance”

The Cebu business sector has praised President Rodrigo Duterte’s pledge to restore the country’s pre-pandemic “commercial vibrance.”

The president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Felix Taguiam, praised the President’s promise to assist local companies in recovering from the epidemic.

“What President Duterte said in his last SONA (State of the Nation Address) about the government’s commitment to helping the private sector reclaim the country’s commercial vibrancy prior to the pandemic is very welcome, and it has been evident at the local level, where the Chamber has partnered with the national government for strategic interventions for small, medium, and even micro-businesses,” says the Chamber.

The business leader also mentioned Duterte’s acknowledgment of the private sector’s involvement in combating the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) epidemic in his last State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

He encouraged the government to address the difficulties that different segments of the business community are facing.

Taguiam said that there is still more to be done to reduce the country’s high cost of doing business, which he described as a problem.

“The government should place a greater emphasis on the development of these regions that make our nation and cities much more livable. The utility sector is a critical business that contributes to economic and social growth, but it is still an area where our nation has cost and supply challenges,” he said.

President Steven Yu of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said he was happy to hear Duterte express gratitude to private players in the Covid-19 battle.

“The private sector cannot be successful partners of the government without the administration’s open arms, therefore much praise goes to the administration for embracing the private sector as equal partners in progress,” he added.

Yu also voiced optimism for the tourist and domestic service industries, both of which have been hit hard by the recession.

“Inasmuch as we understand our country’s budgetary constraints, what concerns us is the revival of Cebu’s tourist and domestic service sectors,” he said.

Yu said that the tourist sector is critical to the country’s economic recovery and that greater attention should be paid to assisting the industry post-pandemic.

Existing legislation enacted under the Duterte administration, such as the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, has aided companies, according to local business leaders.

Duterte has asked Congress to make amending the Foreign Investments Act, the Public Service Act, and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act a top priority.

Once changed, these rules would allow for greater foreign investment and ownership in the nation.

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