MANILA - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has created a Private Sector Advisory Council composed of several leaders in the business sector "to be attuned" to the problems in the sector, a member of advisory panel confirmed on Friday.
The Advisory Council is headed by Aboitiz Equity Ventures President and CEO Sabin Aboitiz, said Joey Concepcion, Go Negosyo founder and former Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship.
"Malaking bagay yan that the President really wants to be attuned to yung mga problema ng mga negosyante ngayon at practical issues at hand, especially 'yung areas of agriculture, where he is the acting secretary as well," he told state television PTV.
(It's a big thing when the President wants to be attuned to the problems of the business sector and other practical issues at hand, especially in areas of agriculture, where he is the acting secretary as well.)
Concepcion said he was designated as the Council's "Lead for jobs, including micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs)."
On July 7, Marcos posted photos of his meeting with several members of his Private Sector Advisory Council.
"I thank the members of the Private Sector Advisory Council for joining us in a meeting to discuss and exchange ideas about scaling up our agricultural sector," the President said in a tweet.
"It is refreshing to hear ideas from them, and I’m excited to establish programs with the cooperation of the private sector to help our farmers," he said.
Conception said private sector stakeholders "want to make sure that the economy will continue to move, to accelerate."
"Our growth rates cannot stall and for us to be able to do this, there cannot be lockdowns anymore," Concepcion said as he proposed a color-coded system for COVID-19 alerts.
"Dati ang (Before, the) suggestions ng private sector were not as strong. Now, overtime, during the pandemic, we developed a relationship with many of these medical advisers," he said.
"Ang ginawa namin, we got the best and we consulted them kaysa we will recommend something na walang medical or scientific basis," he said.
(What we did was to get the best and we consulted them instead of recommending something that has no medical or scientific basis.)
"We wanted to give our own inputs or advice whether they take it or not, it's okay. Ang importante dito yung advice namin should also be solid, based on medical science," he added.
Malacañang has yet to release a list of the businessmen and other officials who attended Marcos' meeting with the said Council.
Several reports earlier said that Aboitz - Marcos' long-time friend - helped the President in choosing the members of the Council that is similar to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's Business Advisory Council, where Aboitiz is the current Philippine representative.