PCCI's wish list to P-Noy covers 13 areas

By Max V. de Leon, BusinessMirror

Posted at Oct 12 2012 08:08 AM | Updated as of Oct 12 2012 04:16 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) submitted to President Aquino on Thursday its 14-page wish list made up of policy recommendations that would address top concerns of businesses in the country today.

The Philippine Business Conference (PBC) 2012 Resolutions covered 13 areas including power, environment, housing, information and communications technology, industry, mining, SME (small and medium enterprises) development, taxation, strong peso, transportation and logistics, agriculture, education and Southeast Asian economic integration.

The wish list was a product of yearlong consultations conducted by the PCCI with its members in different regions.

The group’s recommendations on making the country’s domestic industries grow raised concerns with smuggling.

Aside from pushing the passage of the anti-smuggling bill, the PCCI also wanted to make the filing of the inward foreign manifest and import entry documents from the original shipping line a requirement.

It urged the Bureau of Customs to provide updated and accurate reference values based on responsible private-sector inputs; assure the authenticity and credibility of registered warehouses; encourage the assistance of the private sector in case preparation and prosecution; and reinstitute a public-private anti-smuggling group similar to the Cabinet Oversight Committee on Anti-Smuggling. This group would include as members the trade, agriculture, finance and justice departments and two private-sector representatives.

The PCCI prodded the government to help formulate and implement industry and sectoral-development plans and provide needed government resources, especially assistance from foreign donor agencies, and establish a long-term program and institution similar to Malaysia’s economic transformation program and performance management delivery unit, which uses public-private joint governance mechanisms.

It also urged both houses of Congress to create the Philippine Trade Representative Office (similar to the US Trade Representative) to integrate and focus trade negotiations across industry, agriculture and services, with active private-sector participation.

The PCCI called on the Supreme Court to open a dialogue with business groups in the formulation of the Rules of Court on the writ of kalikasan and other issues affecting technical, technological and business interests.

To lower the cost of logistics in the country, it asked the national government to draft a master plan for land, air and sea ports, laying out the transport infrastructure to seamlessly link airports and seaports to cities and key destinations and ensuring efficient movement of people, goods and services.

For air transport, the PCCI pushed for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) to become the gateway for domestic air travel and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) for international air travel. General aviation, it said, should also be relocated from the Naia to adjacent airports such as Sangley Point in Cavite or Lipa City in Batangas to enable the expansion of the Naia.

The PCCI also sought night-landing facilities for more provincial airports to be able to have full-night operating capability and prevent crowding out of scheduled flights at daytime. It also called on the Senate to approve the bill repealing the common carriers tax and the gross Philippine billings tax in order to entice foreign carriers to operate in the Philippines.