outbrain
Close  

Biz groups back Duterte special powers but say no to ‘takeover’

/ 07:18 PM March 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Business groups want Duterte to have special powers that would enable him to deal with the health crisis, but they said the final law should neither be overly broad nor over-reaching.

Without criticizing the versions of the proposed bill filed in both houses of Congress, 22 business groups threw their support for a measure whose earlier versions triggered concerns of another martial law in the making.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We express support for the immediate passage of the law,” the business groups said in a joint statement on Monday late afternoon. The bills have not yet been made into law as of press time.

Before a special session was held, an earlier version of the proposal from Malacanang had circulated online, noting how this would give President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers, such as the power to temporarily take over a privately-owned public utility.

FEATURED STORIES

However, the public outcry against this earlier version prompted both houses to tone down their respective bills, removing the phrase that said the president could temporarily take over businesses.

“We recommend that any law that is passed by Congress should be consistent with our constitutional and legal principles,” the business groups, comprised both of foreign and local chambers, said.

Moreover, they also said it should “not be overly broad and over-reaching,” with regards to the realignment and reallocation of government funds, and the “takeover of private enterprises.”

The groups had certain provisions they wanted to be added to the final law but noted that some of these could be included in another bill if the debate would delay the passage further.

They said the law should be limited to two months, followed by an extension granted by “an act of Congress.”

The law should authorize Duterte or his designees to grant special permits and exemptions from bureaucracy to avoid the delay in needed funds.

It should also authorize Duterte to adopt measures “as may be reasonably necessary” that would facilitate or minimize the disruption in the supply chain.

ADVERTISEMENT

It should provide rehabilitation, financing, and/or a stimulus package that would help affected businesses, especially micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

It should also support any assistance that Duterte may seek from other countries and multilateral organizations to raise money “if necessary,” and as long as the terms and conditions are in the “best interest of the country.”

“Some of the foregoing items can also be covered in a second bill if including them now will cause needless delay in the passage of the bill,” they said.

Should the re-allocated funds be not enough, the groups suggested pushing for another bill that would provide additional funds to address both health and economic issues arising from the outbreak.

“In order to minimize the damage of COVID-19 to the people and the economy, we urge Congress to pass quickly the special law at the earliest possible time,” they said.

These are the groups behind the joint statement:

American Chamber Of Commerce Of The Philippines (Amcham)
Anvil Business Club
Australian-New Zealand Chamber Of Commerce Philippines (Anzcham)
Bankers Association Of The Philippines (Bap)
Canadian Chamber Of Commerce Of The Philippines (Cancham)
European Chamber Of Commerce Of The Philippines (Eccp)
Federation Of Filipino Chinese Chambers Of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (Ffcccii)
Federation Of Indian Chambers Of Commerce (Phil) Inc.
Investment House Association Of The Philippines (Ihap)
Judicial Reform Initiative (Jri)
Makati Business Club (Mbc)
Management Association Of The Philippines (Map)
Microfinance Council Of The Philippines (Mcpi)
Organization Of Socialized And Economic Housing Developers Of The Philippines (Oshdp), Inc.
People Management Association Of The Philippines (Pmap)
Philippine Association Of Securities Brokers And Dealers, Inc. (Pasbdi)
Philippine Center For Entrepreneurship (Go Negosyo)
Philippine Hotel Owners Association Inc.
Semiconductor And Electronics Industries In The Philippines, Inc. (Seipi)
Shareholders’ Association Of The Philippines (Sharephil)
Subdivision And Housing Developers Association, Inc. (Shda)
Women’s Business Council Philippines (Wbcp)

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: COVID-19, Duterte, special powers
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.