Freeman Cebu Business

Business leaders pray for supportive LGU execs

Carlo S. Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Cebu business community is hoping that government officials to be elected in the upcoming May polls will really put focus on improving the ease of doing business, boosting infrastructure and adopting a supportive governance.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Virgilio Espeleta said that Cebu needs government officials who are supportive to business growth.

“We want LGUs (local government units) to be led by people who are receptive and open in operating for a common purpose,” the business leader said when asked about what the business sector wants from those who’ll be elected.

In Cebu, gubernatorial candidates Agnes Magpale and Gwendolyn Garcia are competing for the top Capitol position.

While in the provincial capital and business hub, Cebu City, the mayoral race is between reelectionist Tomas Osmeña and Vice Mayor Edgar Labella.

Espeleta stressed that Cebu must elect officials who have the same goal of making Cebu into a competitive province.

Citing the 2018 ranking on city competitiveness, he said Cebu lags behind at number 8 in the overall ranking. Cebu ranked 8th in economic dynamism, 39th in government efficiency, 7th in infrastructure and 4th in resiliency.

“We can surely collaborate to improve on this,” he said.

He pointed out that if the government is supportive to business growth, that will eventually trickle down to the constituents through jobs and income.

Furthermore, the CCCI president particularly cited the bureaucratic red tape, which remains to be a challenge to the ease of doing business.

He said the government still needs to improve on the ease of doing business.

Last Friday, Espeleta said the CCCI board approved the plan to conduct an extensive and exclusive survey among its member companies to pinpoint specific experiences, issues, patterns or practices “from where we can likewise be specific in easing and lowering the cost of doing business.”

“With the best intentions and resources of its member-companies, we offer to partner, to collaborate, to ease up bottlenecks especially in designing work processes, digitalizing transactions and in advisory capacities with the various government agencies to address the top five most problematic factors for doing business,” he said.

These factors include inefficient government bureaucracy, inadequate supply of infrastructure, corruption, tax regulations and tax rates.

“In the same survey, we shall be quick to recognize and acknowledge the best

practices and business-enabling institutions easing and lowering the cost of doing business,” Espeleta said.

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