NCC, Amcham urge next gov’t to prioritize economic reforms

The National Competitiveness Council (NCC) together with the American Chamber of Commerce (Amcham) has recommended that the next administration should prioritize the passage of key economic reform measures that seek to enhance the competitiveness of the country and provide opportunities for new investments needed for jobs creation.
NCC noted that the country needs to create a policy environment conducive to development of businesses that could generate jobs crucial to encourage the people to stay home rather than work overseas.

Developing the eight sunrise industries is one way to harness the country’s competitive advantages and propel economic growth.

These eight industries are tourism, agri-business, information technology/business process outsourcing (BPO), mining, electronics, supply chain logistics with value-added services, manufacturing particularly shipbuilding and automotive parts, and health wellness including retirement.

NCC cited the passage of a bill creating a Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) that could help boost the BPO sector, still the country’s top generator of jobs.

Amcham’s stressed the need for more reform measures to be addressed by the next Congress, especially those that could increase the country’s competitiveness and generate employment here.

The ratification of the Revised Kyoto Convention by the Senate last month is expected to move the Philippines into a more modern customs regime.

The 14th Congress passed 32 major economic bills as of February 19 this year, and there were five more pending for transmission to the President.

The 32 new laws that specifically impact on business and economic reform include, among others, the Tourism Act of 2009, Amendments to the Customs Brokers Act, Strengthening the Regulatory Capacity of the Bureau of Food and Drugs, Extending the Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Fund and Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
At least five significant measures are set for consideration by the President, including the Exchange of Information on Tax Matters, Agri-Agra Credit Reform Act, Tax Relief to Life Insurance Industry, Establishment of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) and Establishment of National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.