Ecop: We wish gov’t consults private sector before signing economic deals
MANILA, Philippines — One of the biggest employers’ groups in the Philippines on Monday said it hopes the government would consult the private sector prior to signing important economic agreements with other countries.
Employers Confederation of the Philippines (Ecop) president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. made this remark as President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. embarked on his initial state visits to Indonesia and Singapore from September 4-7.
“Sana ang wish ko lang ay ika nga, kung mayroong importanteng item na pipirmahan ay sana na-consult sa private sector,” Ortiz-Luis said during an interview in Laging Handa briefing.
(I wish that if there are important items to be signed, it has undergone a consultation with the private sector.)
According to Ortiz-Luis, there have been cases in the past when the Philippines entered into economic agreements with other countries that were not consulted with the private sector and have failed.
“In the past, madalas na nangyayari na pipirma tapos it does not work dahil hindi naman pala nakonsulta. I hope it went into the process,” Luis added.
(In the past, it usually happened that there was a signing, but eventually, it did not work due to lack of consultation. I hope it went into the process.)
Luis , however, stressed that the Philippines should forge economic deals that would improve the country’s trade and investments as the Philippines is already “being left behind” in these sectors.
“Well, definitely anything that will improve investments at saka involvement of trade will help, lalo na sa panahon na ito. At iyang dalawang bayan na iyan ang malakas dito sa Asean, as a matter of fact, in the Asean 5 ‘no. So, importante na kung mayroon pang mga problemang nakikita roon sa investment na papunta sa atin at sa mga trade dapat ay ma-cover sana noong agreement,” he noted.
(Well, definitely anything that will improve investments and involvement of trade will help, especially in this time. Those two countries are known in Asean, as a matter of fact, in the Asean 5. It is important that if there are still problems in our investments and trade, it will be covered by the agreement.)
“Alam mo… huling-huli tayo. Tayo dito, dalawa pa lang. Alam mo iyong Asean at saka iyong sa Japan ‘no, iyong ibang mga kalaban natin sa world trade, sa mga ano, kung sila mga lima, anim na. Tayo we’re still talking about sa Europe, iyong mga countries na kailangan nating ma-develop ang ating trade at saka investments ay huling-huli tayo. At iyan kapag naiiwanan ka ay parang ano iyan, palaki nang palaki ang agwat kung hindi ka nakakahabol,” the employers’ group official added.
(You know… we are being left behind. We only have two here. Those in Asean and Japan, our world trade competitors, already have five or six. Here, we are still talking about Europe and other countries where we need to improve our trade and investments. If you are being left behind, it’s like the gap is widening.)
Marcos Jr. started his inaugural state visit to Indonesia on Sunday, September 4, and he will be there until September 6. He will then proceed to Singapore and meet with President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
Among the agendas to be tackled in the state visits include agreements on strengthening economic, culture, defense, and security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations and the Philippines. — Christian Paul Dela Cruz, trainee