The country’s largest organization of Filipino-Chinese businessmen gave President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a performance rating of 8.5 to 9, on a scale of 1 to 10, for his first 100 days in office.
“It’s hard to be perfect. But our fearless assessment is that the President has performed well, did well in his first 100 day in office,” said Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) president Henry Lim at the Pandesal Forum Wednesday.
The group recently met the Chief Executive on initiatives to fast-track the Philippine economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lim stressed during the meeting that the business sector can invigorate the economy by investing more and creating more jobs to boost productivity.
“We have confidence in our government’s economic team. We believe that we’re right on track to continuous economic recovery,” he added.
The group submitted major concerns and propositions meant to push the national economic recovery. These include a call to embark on projects and modernization of systems to better support the growth of major industries, particularly agriculture.
On transportation, the FFCCCII pushed for the establishment of a comprehensive transportation infrastructure system to spur tourism, encourage investments in all regions, ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila and major cities, and ensure faster delivery of goods.
The group was also keen on the “Build, Better, More” (BBM) infrastructure program of the new administration and has called on the government to address the barriers to business such as unreasonable shipping fees and charges imposed by international and domestic shipping lines.
The FFCCCII also noted that high electricity cost is a continuing challenge to businesses as the Philippines continues to have the highest electricity rates in Southeast Asia, which is a big turn-off to prospective investors.
“So, we support the development of a viable energy sector that would provide stable, lower-cost energy to our people,” Lim said.
The fourth proposition is an improvement of the current tax system to help businesses compete better with Asian neighbors, and attract more investors followed by a call for regular employment of contractual workers and for law enforcement agencies to sustain the various peace and order initiatives to fight criminality.
The group recently coordinated with Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos and Philippine National Police chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin, Jr. to discuss the alleged rise in kidnapping cases related to the offshore gaming operations in the country.
Lim said the group was also actively supporting the legislative bills filed in the Senate and the House of Representatives for the declaration of Chinese (Lunar) New Year’s Day as a special non-working holiday.
“Pending its passage into law, we hope that the President will issue a Presidential Proclamation to declare the Chinese New Year a holiday,” the FFCCCII said.
Another item on their list is the continuation of the school learning donation program to the barrios, as well as the continuation of the calamity fund raising program in partnership with the national and local government units.
“We very much appreciate President Marcos’ openness in addressing the concerns raised, and his full support to the further development of our Filipino enterprises. We reaffirm our support to government efforts to fast-track our economic recovery,” Lim said.