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Rama promises to tap traders as dev’t partners

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita April 28,2016 - 10:41 PM
CCCI MAYORAL CANDIDATES FORUM/APR. 28, 2016 Mayor Michael L. Rama at the Cebu Chamber of Commerce forum for the Mayoral Candidates. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama elaborates on the economic gains achieved by his administration at the Cebu Chamber of Commerce mayoral candidates forum. (CDN PHOTO/CHRISTIAN MANINGO)

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama yesterday vowed to actively involve the business community in his administration if he and his slate are elected to office.

During yesterday afternoon’s mayoralty forum organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) at Marco Polo Hotel, Rama said bureaucratic red tape should be removed to ensure a better business climate in Cebu City.

“Remove the avenue of corruption, remove bureaucracy and red tape to make it easier for business. It’s the discretion (of offices) that’s really causing corruption,” Rama told the crowd of businessmen who attended yesterday’s forum.

The same forum, with the same set of questions, was earlier held by the CCCI last week with former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña, who is running against Rama.

The incumbent mayor showcased some of his administration’s efforts to improve the city’s business climate which includes a one-stop shop to fasttrack the processing of business permits to as quick as 15 minutes.

“We have that. If there are delays, I’m pretty sure it’s not us. It’s the other agencies. My order is put a temporary business permit for as long as you can issue. Then go through with the other requirements. We need money, why make it difficult?” Rama said.

If he gets reelected, Rama said he will immediately call for a meeting with the chamber to discuss their issues and concerns with the city government.

He also assured that his administration would promote participatory governance and asked the businessmen present to also lend their resources to the city government.

“Give me a pool from the chamber who are willing to lend their best minds because that is what we need because there are so many projects. Once you’re inside, you will realize, wow, there are talents. Trust should be promoted. Be a stirrer, a catalyst and an example,” he said.

Rama was also asked how he would describe his vision for the business sector in the next three years in five words, to which he answered: “globally competitive, innovative, participatory, sustainable and responsible.”

Rama also promised that he will promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in his administration.

He recalled how he used to sell eggs, chicken, pigs and grapes in his youth.

“I wish to see MSMEs to become like the company of (businessman) Bunny Pages. Start as MSMEs and you end up as a giant. MSMEs, count on us,” the mayor said as he convinced the businessmen present to vote for him and his slate. Other Team Rama candidates and City Hall department heads attended the forum.

CCCI president Melanie Ng said they hope the two foras they conducted with the mayoralty candidates will help their members decide who to vote for on May 9.

“After this, whoever will win, we will work with them because we work with the office. Just like what Mayor Michael Rama said, it’s not the personality but the office that we collaborate and work on,” she said.

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