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PCCI urges gov’t to address gap between national, local laws

MANILA, Philippines - The government will have to address the inconsistency of local ordinances with national laws if it wants to encourage more investments into the country, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said.

In a statement, the PCCI said the inconsistency of local ordinances with national laws are among the issues the group raised during a dialogue held recently with representatives of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) led by  assistant administrator Eric Postel.

The PCCI said the overlapping national laws and local ordinances has been a major deterrent to investments as experienced by some mining and power generation companies. 

The business group said investors are holding back amid concerns on policy reversals and changes in rules midway with new leaders in the local government.

“Investments in these sectors – mining, power and PPP (public-private partnership) in infrastructure – are urgently needed to address the growing demand of the economy and to boost the country’s competitiveness and attractiveness as (an) investment and tourism destination,” PCCI president Miguel Varela said in a statement.

If investors are assured there would be no change in rules or conflicts between national laws and local laws,  more investments would be made in the country which could help create jobs and promote economic growth.

Apart from conflicting national and local laws, the PCCI said the insufficiency of power supply and high electricity rate, food security, and lack of infrastructure linking the country are also among the concerns of investors.

The group said there is likewise a need for strengthened industry-academe linkages for gainful employment.

For his part, Postel said the USAID wants to assist the PCCI.

“We are here to request you to let us know the key challenges and priorities that PCCI would want USAID to assist you on,” he said.

Postel, who is in the country for the US-Philippines Partnership for Growth, has been conducting meetings with stakeholders and partners to discuss issues related to trade, investment, and competitiveness. 

The meetings are aimed at developing key areas of cooperation between the USAID and stakeholders.



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