Digong gets flying colors from business

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva July 24,2017 - 11:14 PM


CEBU business leaders lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office, citing gains made by his administration in the last 12 months.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Glenn Soco said he found the performance of President Duterte “outstanding.”

“We have seen his sincerity and efforts in trying to enforce peace and order throughout the country as well as to ensure economic stability,” he said in a phone interview.

President Duterte delivered his second State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday afternoon, which Soco and other local business group leaders watched on television.

Soco said Duterte’s 10-point economic agenda, which is yet to be implemented, was expected to bring concrete reforms that would positively impact the business community.

He said that so far, Duterte has reduced red tape in local governments, improving the ease of doing business.

The chamber president added that Duterte has also been “successful” in his war on illegal drugs, since there have been fewer crimes reported today, especially in business establishments.

The one thing the business community likes in a president, Soco pointed out, is decisiveness, which he said Duterte demonstrated in his responses to the terror crises in Bohol and Marawi City earlier this year.

Soco said Duterte has also been partially successful in eradicating unlawful labor practices such as the “endo” scheme.

He also cited the government’s Build, Build, Build initiative, a move that seeks to ramp up infrastructure spending during the current administration, which Cebu will greatly benefit from.

“He has also brought in massive investment deals from China, Japan, and even Russia, which opened the floodgates for more opportunities for business to cooperate with government,” said Soco.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, Soco gave Duterte a score of 9.

Soco said it was more about how the people around Duterte responded to the administration’s initiatives, adding that the change the president promised cannot be achieved by one man.

“It is now time for the development to come from us in the grassroots. The actions have been done, goals have been set, and the momentum has been started,” he said.

He said the business community will continue to be compliant of reforms imposed by the government and cooperate in the implementation of labor policies, among others.

For Melanie Ng, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), there has been an increase in engagement by the government with the private sector in terms of public-private consultations for projects that would benefit the people over the past year.

Ng said the successful roll out of the government’s development program for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) has had a positive impact on the business community as a whole.

She added that focus has been given to the development of Science and Technology in the country’s quest for an innovative economy particularly in the programs of Department of Science Technology (DOST) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“Even though new, DICT (Department of Information and Communication Technology) has been relentless in their pursuit of improving WiFi access particularly in the countryside,” said Ng.

Past MCCI president Philip Tan, meanwhile, said Duterte has done much for peace and order in the country, with other programs gaining momentum in years to come.

For this, Tan gave Duterte a rating of 8 for his performance during the first year of his administration.

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