Congress urged to act on key bills
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is pushing for several key legislation to be prioritized by the next Congress to sustain the country’s accelerating economic expansion.
PCCI president Miguel Varela said the industry group wanted bills on anti-trust, rationalization of incentives, anti-smuggling, land use code, land administration reform act, and amendments to the Mining Act of 1995 to speedily pass through Congress.
“We are pushing for these because these are important pieces of legislation. These will help improve our competitiveness and ability to produce jobs,” Varela said yesterday in a media briefing.
“Although, even if these bills become law, say the one on anti-trust, we still need wider-reaching reforms such as the Competition Policy,” added PCCI vice chair Donald Dee.
Dee added that the group would provide legislators with the list of proposed priority bills by July.
PCCI has said that local business leaders believe the Philippines can sustain fast economic growth if the government will push reforms and provide needed infrastructure.
There is much work to be done, Dee said, because such legislation would have to be harmonized with those of neighboring countries ahead of Asean economic integration by 2015.
Asked whether PCCI will push for opening up the Philippine economy such that it would require constitutional change to allow foreign ownership, Varela said that short of constitutional change, legislation may address most if not all concerns of investors.
“What we want to offer them is consistency and stability to support all the other things like incentives, etc. In the end, we want an open and predictable investment climate,” Varela said.
Aside from pushing specific policies and bills, PCCI officials stressed that government should ensure regulatory stability and consistency in the implementation of laws and their interpretation through local ordinances.
The government should also lower the cost of production inputs, improve the power situation to help keep manufacturing and enterprise operations stable, and promote local industries by developing road maps.
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