Economist: Infra woes weaken Cebu’s charm
Ehda Dagooc (The Freeman) - August 14, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - While Cebu is undoubtedly on top in terms of growth, the province is warned not to be too complacent, as problems on infrastructure is starting to weaken Cebu's charm.

"Do not let Iloilo [and other provinces] steal your thunder," warned economist Bernardo Villegas, yesterday during the Business Summit hosted by the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the Oakridge Business Park.

Villegas expressed deep concern on the worsening traffic problem in Cebu that could put off investors especially in the outsourcing, manufacturing, and tourism sectors.

If Cebu will continue to ignore these issues, other areas such as Iloilo, Negros, and Davao are likely to benefit from Cebu’s loss.

Villegas was specifically calling once again the concerned government authorities, to take care of Cebu's charm to investors, tourists, otherwise other neighboring cities and provinces will be able to "steal" the benefits that Cebu could have gotten.

"Your infrastructure is not catching up," said Villegas emphasizing that the traffic problem alone is one of the obvious manifestations that Cebu is not serious in keeping up with the projected (economic) progress.

"It is the greatest responsibility of the state to make sure that infrastructure is always ahead of progress," said Villegas, stressing that Cebu is almost on the brink of losing its attractiveness if problems on infrastructure as well as traffic will not be given utmost resolution.

That is why, he said next year's mayoralty and presidential election is very crucial for the entire country in general, as the ideal President and leaders that should be elected by Filipinos are those that have deep understanding on the importance of building and fixing infrastructure as a vital tool for economic advancement.

In the macro level, the Philippines, he said is guaranteed to grow at a conservative projection of six to seven percent in GDP (Gross Domestic Product), regardless of who will seat as President next year.

However, a six percent to 10 percent growth is attainable in the next 10 years but again its success will depend on the leadership of the next President.

Theoretically, the Philippine is a notch higher than its neighbors in terms of high growth potential because of factors including the US$ 28 billion remittances from 10 million OFW; the US$18 billion worth of BPO and KPO earnings; the 40 million domestic tourists; migration of Japanese firms from China to Philippines, due to China's labor unrest, among others.

There are a lot of reasons why Filipinos have to believe on the strength of its economy, while the outsiders are continuously "singing praises" about the Philippines.

He said whether "we [Filipinos]" like it or not, the Philippines will become the "New Tiger of Asia," and taking advantage of it, is all in the hands of Filipino entrepreneurs/investors--whether to exploit its own home ground, or  let others (foreigners) reap the rewards of economic explosion. (FREEMAN)

BERNARDO VILLEGAS BUSINESS SUMMIT CEBU GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT IF CEBU ILOILO MANDAUE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY NEW TIGER OF ASIA OAKRIDGE BUSINESS PARK QUOT VILLEGAS
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with