By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco | Journal News Online
TWO of the most influential business groups in the country have expressed willingness to work with President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., to help sustain economic growth targets that will hasten the country’s economic recovery post-coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19).
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) issued separate statements on Tuesday in support of Marcos, who is poised to assume the country’s top post with his sizeable lead in the ongoing partial and unofficial tally of election results.
As of 2:02 p.m. Thursday, May 12, Marcos has already garnered 31.1 million votes and is leading by 16.2 million votes against his nearest rival, according to the latest data from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Media Server.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, said on Tuesday that the public should give the new administration time to develop and communicate its plans and encourage everyone to be optimistic.
“Let’s give the incoming administration time to draw up and share their plans for making our country more progressive. Let’s stay positive,” PCCI President George Barcelon said in a statement released to the media.
Barcelon also underscored the internal and external risks that Marcos’ incoming economic managers need to address immediately once the cluster is formed.
“The president-elect (Marcos Jr.) will be faced with the same financial challenges due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and lately the geopolitical storm in Ukraine similar to other countries particularly in relation to debt and inflation issues,” Barcelon added.
Meanwhile, JFC, a coalition of chambers representing 3,000 member companies, is looking forward to working with the Marcos administration to ensure the country’s recovery from the pandemic.
“As business chambers, we hope to continue to work closely with government officials at all levels throughout the country for the recovery from the pandemic and to maintain high levels of GDP Gross Domestic Product growth, infrastructure development, job creation, and FDI inflows best achieved by continuing the governance and policies of the current and previous administrations,” a portion of the JFC statement read.
The JFC is made up of chambers from the United States, Australia-New Zealand, Canada, Europe, Japan, Korea, and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc. (PAMURI), with a combined trade and investment value of over $100 billion in the Philippines.
On Wednesday, Marcos announced that his running-mate, winning Vice-President Sara Duterte, has accepted his offer to become Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary.
Also, during the event, Marcos highlighted the critical role of economic managers in the next few years as the country emerged from the pandemic.
“The economic managers are going to be critical for the next several years because of the pandemic and economic crisis, so that is something that we are looking at very carefully,” the presumptive President said.
The expected 17th President of the Philippines also added that competence, willingness to work, and not one’s political color would be the top considerations in selecting the next crop of officials that would comprise his Cabinet.
“I continue to be guided by… competence and willingness to work with the next administration, so we have removed… immediately what their political leanings have been,” he explained. By Ryan Ponce Pacpaco