Business sector open to dialogue to revive the economy
Business sector commits to help…
MANILA – With continuing gale winds brought by COVID-19 pandemic, the business sector sees “continuing challenges with the fast-evolving work patters and environment, and other disruptions” which may impact on decent work and affect employment and livelihood.
Speaking at the Job Summit also known as the government’s National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) yesterday, former Ambassador Benedicto V. Yujuico said the business sector faces a dwindling market and business confidence because of uncertainty, risk and the usual wait-and-see attitudes which slowed down economic activities, especially investments and consumption that later snowballed to lower sales and cash liquidity constraints for businesses. All these factors, according to Ambassador Yujuico, who sits Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, resulted in downward pressure on productivity and operational capacity.
Ambassador Yujuico said community quarantine restrictions that caused delays in logistics and disrupted supply chains, prevented free movement of people, goods, and services, added operational costs, and limited business operations and planning, further compounded by unclear government communications, sporadic changes in policy guidelines, and inconsistent implementation of regulations and mobility controls.
He also cited the shift of digitalization which exposed the constraints many businesses had from acquiring and applying the resources, tools, and knowledge for digitalization because of the absence of electronic devices, reliable internet access, and digital literacy.
The PCCI president underscored education and training mismatch between education and training curricula and industry practices, needs and requirements.
With the prevailing conditions, Ambassador Yujuico said restarting economic activities could take place with stimulating domestic demand and business activities alongside accelerated vaccination rollout and recognition of economic frontline workers with increasing government spending on domestically produced goods and services and the improvement of guidelines on community quarantine restrictions, easing financing options and provision of subsidies.
The restoration of business and consumer confidence may take place with the promotion of local goods and services, addressing concerns on ease of doing business, improvement of the overall business environment, rationalization and alignment of national and local government programs, projects and policies, and enhancing monitoring of compliance with public health and safety measures.
He called for the retooling and upskilling initiatives as well as the update of the curricula to match with industry requirements, the provision of entrepreneurial education and business starting assistance and the establishment of online platforms, databanks, registries and common identification systems for the private sector. (Melo M. Acuña)
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Ambassador Benedict V. Yujuico. (PCCI File Photo)