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Pres. Aquino assures ideal business environment for investors

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President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday assured the business community that his government is working hard to create an ideal business environment that would attract more investors to the country.

At the culmination of a week-long economic managers briefing and dialogue at Malacanang’s Rizal Hall, the President candidly answered the concerns raised by the business community in line with his quest for a vibrant economy and better life for Filipinos.

Makati Business Club president Ramon del Rosario, in behalf of the business community, submitted to the President a list of such concerns in an effort to sustain the successes achieved early on his administration such as a record high stock exchange, the strong peso, and the successful first-ever peso global bond float which according to them are indicators of the trust, confidence and support the Aquino administration currently enjoys.

The concerns included a clear articulation of government’s vision for the economy for 2010 to 2016; the filling up of key government positions including those in government financial institutions and government-owned and -controlled corporations; clear policies with regard to certain major economic sectors and demonstrate stability of these policies; and, pursue initial efforts to prosecute tax cheats, tax evaders and smugglers

The business community also welcomed a well-crafted competition policy and legislation to ensure adequate competition in the areas of the economy so that privatization does not simply transform government monopolies into private monopolies; the need to update significant provisions of the Labor Code that have become archaic at present times; address wage setting concerns; early implementation of an open skies policy to pursue tourism growth and the early full opening of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

Finally, the business community wants the government to further pursue the disaster prevention, mitigation and preparedness program.

For his part, the President recognized the urgent need to fill up all vacant positions on or before September 25 before the ban on hiring due to the conduct of the barangay polls, takes effect.

“So be assured we are trying our best… we have a lot of successes, but getting the right people to all these jobs, obviously is not easy, given that there are very, very few perks and benefits that we can give them,” the President said.

As to tax evasion and smuggling, the President made the assurance that all the concerned agencies have promised to file major cases every other week. “They promised to file 26 cases at least,” the President said.

With regards to the common tax tier, the President promised to discuss the matter with his allies in Congress to legislate such measure at the earliest possible time.

He said he will convene the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council when he arrives from his trip to the United States next week.

As to the anti-poverty program, the President stressed that the government recognizes that there are 4.6 million families living below the poverty line but while a lot of people consider them a burden, the Aquino administration “looks at them as fellow Filipinos who need a little helping hand “thus, the move to enhance the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, among other anti-poverty programs. (PNA)



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