Cebu Chamber to work with government to address business sector concerns

By: Irene R. Sino Cruz April 03,2019 - 01:07 PM

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Virgilio Espeleta says there’s a need for government to address concerns of the business sector. /Irene R. Sino Cruz

CEBU CITY, Philippines—Government officials should implement policies that would address concerns of the business sector, Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Virgilio Espeleta said.

Espeleta said they welcomed the approval of the Ease of Doing Business Act and Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 (Republic Act 11032) but they would wait how this would be implemented.

RA 11032 seeks to address bureaucratic red tape in the Philippines, a perennial problem that has affected the country’s competitiveness ranking. The law requires government agencies as well as government-owned and controlled corporations to process or complete simple transactions in three working days, complex transactions in seven days and highly technical transactions in 20 working days.

During his speech following his induction as CCCI president on Tuesday morning, Espeleta noted that in the 2018 ranking on World Economic Forum (WEF) City Competitiveness, Cebu City only placed number eight overall.

“Cebu ranks #8 in economic dynamism, number 39 in government efficiency, number 7 in infrastructure and number 4 in resiliency. We can surely collaborate to improve on this,” he said.

He also recalled that the Philippines ranked 56th globally among 140 countries and 5th among the nine economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). In the same report, the Philippines has low ranking for three pillars – institutions, infrastructure and health.

According to Espeleta, the country ranked poorly on terrorism incidence, homicide rate, organized crime and reliability of police services. It also lags in road connectivity, exposure to unsafe drinking water efficiency of train services and electrification rate.

The Philippines, however, has competitive advantage on four indicators such as market size, labor market, financial systems and business dynamism.

“As we approach this report from the World Economic Forum objectively, we in CCCI shall draw insights where we need to collaborate and work together with concerned institutions to eliminate or reduce the bottleneck of business growth and sustainability, hence improving our ranking,” Espeleta said.

He added that the chamber through its member-companies would offer to partner with various government agencies to address the top five most problematic factors for doing business.

These are the inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, corruption, tax regulations and tax rates.

Espeleta admitted that the business sector has the duty to comply with government regulations but government has to identify sustainable policies that encourage growth and reinvestment./dcb

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