Makati impasse worries traders
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest and most influential business organizations on Tuesday called for a swift resolution to the current impasse at the Makati City Hall between its Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay and Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, the effects of which are feared to negatively affect the investment climate soon.
More importantly, small businessmen are most likely to be at the losing end of any protracted standoff between Binay and Peña, much more than the large corporations which are headquartered in the country’s premier central business district.
“We want to see this situation resolved as soon as possible,” Makati Business Club executive director Peter Perfecto said in an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “It’s in everyone’s interest to see this issue settled as soon as possible.”
The MBC is the umbrella organization of the country’s largest corporations, many of which are headquartered in Makati City.
Perfecto said that most MBC members operate on a national scope and, as such, are not affected by the Binay-Peña faceoff. He lamented, however, that smaller firms which operate locally — that is, solely under the ambit of the Makati local government unit — may find it more difficult to conduct business if the situation remains unresolved for a protracted period.
“What we’re really worried about are the small and medium enterprises whose operations might be hampered by this,” he said, explaining that businessmen need clarity as to which party to approach for all the approvals and permits necessary to operate in the city.
Perfecto expressed hopes that the camps of Binay on one hand, and Peña and the Department of the Interior and Local Government on the other, enter into a dialogue and iron things out amicably.
Barring that, however, the MBC official said he hoped the courts would soon be able to resolve which party is truly in charge of the Makati LGU.
Perfecto’s statement was echoed by another prominent Makati-based business group, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), which has called for an early resolution of the standoff over the leadership of Makati City, as this may potentially have an impact on businesses located in the country’s financial center.
In a text message, MAP president Francisco Del Rosario Jr. noted that that impact will be felt more in the completion of business requirements and processes such as in securing the signature of the incumbent mayor, which is required for permits, licenses, among others.
“This will delay business operations and cash disbursements. (There is) no effect on capital markets and investment climate. An early resolution however will be appreciated by business community,” Del Rosario said.
The Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), meanwhile, reassured the public that its member financial organizations remain unaffected by the turmoil in Makati City Hall.
“Our members are operating normally,” said BAP executive director Cesar Virtusio. “There have been no disruptions.”
Like other business groups, however, the banker expressed hopes that the court would soon determine which party is truly in charge of Makati City’s executive branch.
“Like everyone else, we want to see a resolution to this,” he said. DL
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