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Chambers push for infra projects, creative designs

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero January 04,2016 - 05:50 AM
Traffic congestion in Metro Cebu, especially in Mandaue City, is among the urban development problems that regional econimic planners need to address, businessmen say.

Traffic congestion in Metro Cebu, especially in Mandaue City, is among the urban development problems that regional econimic planners need to address, businessmen say.

Leaders of the Cebu and Mandaue chambers of commerce said 2015 was a good year, but there’s a need to address road and port congestion to sustain growth as well as come up with innovative product designs to compete in an integrated economy.

“The challenge now is that we are victims of our own success,” said Teresa B. Chan, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).

She said infrastructure development has not kept pace with the growth in investments and purchasing power.

Tomas Riveral, president of the Oriental Port and Allied Services Corp. (Opascor), said a new port should be developed to address congestion at the Port of Cebu.

“There has been no port expansion for over 30 years already while imports grew 11 percent,” Riveral said during the chamber’s yearend report.

With the creation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Donato Busa said local businesses should develop more innovative products to be able to compete with other Asean businesses.

Busa said the chamber hopes to establish a design center by February or March in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The center will serve as clearing house for architects, designers, artists, design students and other members of the creative design sector. It will also serve as venue for exhibits.

“There will be plenty of things in store for next year. It will also be very interesting to see the effects of the Asean integration and the IEC (International Eucharistic Congress) and all other events we will be having,” he said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) adopted last November the AEC Blueprint 2025, which took effect on December 31 and will lead toward a single market and production base in the region.

Chan said regional integration will mean the entry of more Asean goods and services in the Philippines. This will mean cheaper products, greater cooperation and better trade relations among the participating countries.

Filipino professionals will also find it easier to land jobs in other Asean countries, Chan added.

The Mandaue chamber, meanwhile, is also pushing for the labeling of locally made products with a “Made in Mandaue” seal.

“We’re very excited for what’s going to happen in 2016. We’re just in a wait-and-see now,” Busa added.

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