August 8, 2022

The business sector gave a huge thumbs up to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) for his “very clear and doable directions” on how and where to bring the country under his administration with emphasis on digitalization, although some businessmen would have loved to hear a strong statement on governance issues and anti corruption measures from the President.

Edgardo B. Lacson, chairman of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), said the President’s SONA was very exhaustive and covers almost all areas, particularly his call to improve healthcare in the country by establishing rural health centers.

“One of the best SONAs ever, he gave a very clear direction. He knows where to bring this country to 2028 and we await for the implementation of these programs,” said Lacson.

One thing the business community welcomed the most was the President’s pronouncement that there will be no more lockdowns, which businessmen called as a failed strategy. The Philippines experienced what could be one of the world’s longest and hard lockdowns during the height of the pandemic.

Francis Chua, founding chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ICCP), saluted the President for his emphasis on digitalization of all government processes, particularly on improving connectivity for the educational system and the rural areas.

“Digitalization allows the government to run efficiently by reducing red tape and corruption. Through digitalization, our country will be at par with the modern and advanced nations,” stressed Chua.

He also cited the President’s focus on solutions to food and energy security amid the ongoing Ukraine war that triggered high consumer prices. He also cited the President’s global perspective when he vowed to pursue a foreign policy of “friends to all and enemy to no one” but did not mince words as he vowed not to give up even an inch of Philippine territory stressing “We are very jealous of all that is Filipino.”

George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also noted that the President touched more on resource based to generate jobs and community expansion via digitalization.

“But he was quiet about corruption but perhaps through downsizing bill he could have explained more but not touch on that,” he added noting the President’s focus on education, power and DSWD.

Barcelon also said that giving outright condonation to farmers’ debt should have been made with conditionality. “:You have to work for it,” he added.

Rogelio Singson, president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), also appreciated the President’s first SONA but said that Marcos Jr. failed to make a strong statement against corruption.

“I was waiting for a strong statement on corruption,” he said. Singson, however, said that the President means business and good governance via right sizing of government bureaucracy, but added this could be undermined if corruption in government continues.

Singson also commented on the much applauded Agragrian Reform measures of the President, stating that farm production cannot achieve economies of scale because farm lots have been parceled out to one to two hectares per farmer. Small lot farming offers very small opportunity for mechanization, as opposed to 10 to 15- hectare farms, he said.

Sergio Ortiz –Luis, Jr., president of Philippine Exporters Confederation, said most of the President’s legislative agenda incorporated the wish list of the private sector and he agreed on most of his pronouncements. He said the economic projections the President has outlined from 2023-2028 are “reasonable.”

However, Ortiz-Luis said the President did not give strong emphasis on the micro, small and medium enterprises stressing the need to pass the pending Magna Carta on MSMEs.

Overall, businessmen agreed with the President that the economy is basically “sound” even as they urged Filipinos to give the Marcos administration a chance as they expressed confidence the President and his team can deliver many of dreams for the country.

The business sector gave a huge thumbs up to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA) for his “very clear and doable directions” on how and where to bring the country under his administration with emphasis on digitalization, although some businessmen would have loved to hear a strong statement on governance issues and anti corruption measures from the President.

Edgardo B. Lacson, chairman of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), said the President’s SONA was very exhaustive and covers almost all areas, particularly his call to improve healthcare in the country by establishing rural health centers.

“One of the best SONAs ever, he gave a very clear direction. He knows where to bring this country to 2028 and we await for the implementation of these programs,” said Lacson.

One thing the business community welcomed the most was the President’s pronouncement that there will be no more lockdowns, which businessmen called as a failed strategy. The Philippines experienced what could be one of the world’s longest and hard lockdowns during the height of the pandemic.

Francis Chua, founding chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce Philippines (ICCP), saluted the President for his emphasis on digitalization of all government processes, particularly on improving connectivity for the educational system and the rural areas.

“Digitalization allows the government to run efficiently by reducing red tape and corruption. Through digitalization, our country will be at par with the modern and advanced nations,” stressed Chua.

He also cited the President’s focus on solutions to food and energy security amid the ongoing Ukraine war that triggered high consumer prices. He also cited the President’s global perspective when he vowed to pursue a foreign policy of “friends to all and enemy to no one” but did not mince words as he vowed not to give up even an inch of Philippine territory stressing “We are very jealous of all that is Filipino.”

George Barcelon, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also noted that the President touched more on resource based to generate jobs and community expansion via digitalization.

“But he was quiet about corruption but perhaps through downsizing bill he could have explained more but not touch on that,” he added noting the President’s focus on education, power and DSWD.

Barcelon also said that giving outright condonation to farmers’ debt should have been made with conditionality. “:You have to work for it,” he added.

Rogelio Singson, president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), also appreciated the President’s first SONA but said that Marcos Jr. failed to make a strong statement against corruption.

“I was waiting for a strong statement on corruption,” he said. Singson, however, said that the President means business and good governance via right sizing of government bureaucracy, but added this could be undermined if corruption in government continues.

Singson also commented on the much applauded Agragrian Reform measures of the President, stating that farm production cannot achieve economies of scale because farm lots have been parceled out to one to two hectares per farmer. Small lot farming offers very small opportunity for mechanization, as opposed to 10 to 15- hectare farms, he said.

Sergio Ortiz –Luis, Jr., president of Philippine Exporters Confederation, said most of the President’s legislative agenda incorporated the wish list of the private sector and he agreed on most of his pronouncements. He said the economic projections the President has outlined from 2023-2028 are “reasonable.”

However, Ortiz-Luis said the President did not give strong emphasis on the micro, small and medium enterprises stressing the need to pass the pending Magna Carta on MSMEs.

Overall, businessmen agreed with the President that the economy is basically “sound” even as they urged Filipinos to give the Marcos administration a chance as they expressed confidence the President and his team can deliver many of dreams for the country.

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