Bacolod biz sector looks forward to growth in next 3 years

By Erwin Nicavera

July 24, 2019, 4:07 pm

BACOLOD CITY -- The business sector here is looking forward to the growth in the next three years of the Duterte administration after the foundation has been built during the first half of the President’s term.

Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI), said on Wednesday there is an “excitement” regarding President Rodrigo Duterte’s pronouncements during his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"We are excited about his direction in the next three years guided by what he has already put in place. Now that the house's foundation is strongly constructed, it is time for the growth to trickle down,” he said.

Carbon said Duterte has ensured the foundation for the macroeconomy by sustaining the gross domestic product (GDP) growth and stabilizing the interest and inflation rates along with the value of the peso against the dollar.

He noted that the administration’s direction in the next three years also seems to foster development in the rural areas, including the farmers, fisherfolk and small businesses.

“The President has recognized that there will be no development in the rural areas if lawlessness persists which, for us, is very important,” Carbon said.

The MBCCI also lauded the President's order to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to be aggressive in helping cooperatives.

“Land Bank should go back to land. Why are you mired in so many commercial transactions? Bumalik kayo (Get back to) where you were created for and that is to help the farmers,” Duterte said.

For the MBCCI, one of the major problems of farmers, fisherfolk and small businesses is financing, which the LBP is supposed to provide.

More significant points for the local business sector, which the President has included in his report, are the passing of the National Land Use Act, creation of the Department of Water Resources and Water Regulatory Commission, continuing fight against corruption and directing local government units (LGUs) to make the processing of permits faster only up to three days.

Carbon said a corruption-free government and the processing of a more efficient permit will draw more businesses and investments.

The issues on water management are also relevant to Negros Occidental and Bacolod, particularly in terms of sources of potable water and irrigation, the business leader said.

“The President's order to local governments to reclaim public roads will also address congestion,” he said, adding that in Bacolod alone, only about 50 to 60 percent of the public roads are utilized.

Once addressed, this would boost mobility and decongest traffic flow resulting in economic growth, he added.

“The President's pronouncements are pragmatic, practical and doable, but it will not trickle down if government agencies and local governments will not work for it,” Carbon added. (PNA)