Duterte should outline 'clear' economic recovery measures in SONA: business groups


Posted at Jul 24 2020 07:00 PM

Duterte should outline 'clear' economic recovery measures in SONA: business groups 1
President Duterte delivers his State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 22, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Some of the country's major business groups on Friday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to outline "clear" economic strategies during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to hasten recovery, as many small firms fight to survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT) appealed to Duterte in a letter, a few days ahead of his State of the Nation address on July 27. 

“While we agree that health-related programs and policies should be prioritized in the context of this crisis, we likewise believe in balancing this objective with setting the economic stage towards recovery and progress,” the three groups said.

“There had been many delays already in pushing for these reforms as government and private sector got sidetracked by disasters and hazards at the beginning of the year,” it added.

Several measures are pending in Congress and the Executive branch so the government should "work double time" to address the matter, the statement said.

Delays in the approval of the corporate income tax reform CREATE will "worsen" the consequences of investor uncertainty, the groups warned, while pushing for the approval of the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill.

The Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE) aims to cut corporate income tax to 25 percent from 30 percent.

The group also proposed amendments to the Public Services Act, Magna Carta for MSMEs and the PPA Charter, Open Access in Data Transmission Act, Warehouse Receipts Act and the Apprenticeship Training System Act to help small firms.

“We are confident that these measures, if expeditiously enacted, will significantly help in the joint government and private sector objectives of recovery towards higher and sustained economic performance,” the letter said.

President Rodrigo Duterte will present the Philippines' pandemic recovery roadmap during his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Malacañang earlier said. 

The Philippine economy could lose P1.1 trillion due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting lockdown, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendick Chua earlier said.