MANILA - President Benigno Aquino on Tuesday urged the country's top businessmen to help continue the "Daang Matuwid" program his government has started.
This was his message when he addressed an audience of businessmen during the 41st Philippine Business Conference in Pasay City.
"I tell you today the best news of all: we've only just begun. While we have already achieved so much, I submit that we have not even scratched the surface of what the Philippines has to offer, which is why we have to nurture these beginnings. We have to protect the successes that the Filipino people have made; more than that, we have to continue and build on them," Aquino said.
Although the President did not mention Mar Roxas in his speech, it was also sort of a campaign as well for the President's anointed one, whose election branding is "Daang Matuwid Edition 2."
"Each and every one of you here today knows this, and I am confident that you, like the rest of our countrymen all over the world, will do your part to ensure that the Philippines rises to greater heights," Aquino said told members and guests of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
He said that under his administration, the Philippines received 22 positive credit rating actions that boosted the country's image and investors' confidence.
Aquino said his administration's infrastructure projects have more than tripled the country's economic competitiveness.
The President said his administration also focused on social services, particularly the conditional cash transfer program.
Aquino said the country has regained the respect of the international community.
"Just look at the global rankings of competitiveness: The World Economic Forum's Competitiveness Report has bumped us up 38 places since 2010, from 85th to 47th. The World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report has likewise raised us from 144th to 95th. Over the course of our administration, we have also received 22 positive credit rating actions, with the most momentous ones coming in 2013, when Moody's, Fitch, and Standard & Poor's all declared the Philippines investment grade," he said.
The 41st Philippine Business Conference is an annual gathering and dialogue of policymakers in the executive and legislative branches of government and of decision-makers in Philippine business.
Resolutions created during the two-day conference will be submitted to the President.
The resolutions include reform legislation, policies for price competitiveness and power supply, climate resiliency, international trade, educational programs, e-commerce, development of capital markets, policy direction for small and medium enterprise, and comprehensive tax reform program.
This year's conference focuses on how the government and business can intensify their strategic synergies and alliances that would build and strengthen competitiveness in an integrated global marketplace.
It also touches on investment opportunities in the local, regional and global settings. It also highlighted success stories and global and regional trend on business competitiveness.