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Change in administration, change of fate?

Oxford Business Group, a global research and consultancy firm, highlighted the Philippines’ economic growth in their last year’s report. For this years’ report, they expect the Philippines to grow economically despite the contrary opinions with the change in administration.

The May 9 elections is crucial not only for the lives and careers of the presidential hopefuls, the Filipino people but most especially to the sector that caused us to rise as one of the best Southeast Asian economies – the BPO sector.

Economists and business experts have pointed out that the change in administration might hurt the non-stop growth of the outsourcing world, the one that the past administrations have groomed and flourished.

Weeks after the elections, the business world feels that they are in the right path as presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte reveals his 8-point economic agenda.

D30’s Economic Agenda

A Duterte presidency’s economic priorities will be as follows (taken from an article by Rappler.com):

  1. Continue and maintain the current macroeconomic policies. However, reforms in tax revenue collection (in the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs) efforts will be complemented by reforms within the bureaucracy of these tax collecting agencies.
  2. Accelerate infrastructure spending by addressing, among others, major bottlenecks in the public-private partnership (PPP) program. Maintain the target of setting aside 5% of the country’s gross domestic product to infrastructure spending.
  3. Ensure attractiveness of the Philippines to foreign direct investments by addressing restrictive economic provisions in the Constitution and our laws, and enhancing competitiveness of the economy.
  4. Pursue a genuine agricultural development strategy by providing support services to the small farmers to increase their productivity, improve their market access, and develop the agricultural value chain by forging partnership with agribusiness firms.
  5. Address the bottlenecks in our land administration and management system.
  6. Strengthen our basic education system and provide scholarships for tertiary education which are relevant to the needs of private sector employees.
  7. Improve the income tax system to make it progressive to enable those who earn little to have more money in their pockets.
  8. Expand and improve implementation of the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program.

This agenda was explained to the media by Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez on May 12 along with the presumptive President’s transition team. The team says details about the plan will be discussed further and improved in the coming days.

According to Paulius Kuncinas, Oxford Business Group’s Managing Director for Asia at the launch of their 2016 Philippine report on May 13, attracting more foreign direct investments (FDI) and fxing infrastructure bottlenecks are very important in establishing an advanced economy.

Notice that the agenda answered the very critical issues in-line with the BPO industry like infrastructure. In this way, BPO firms and clients will take more interest in investing and trusting the Philippines’ quality of service first and foremost if they can see the progress in infrastructures in the country not only in Manila but also in other top BPO hubs like Cebu and Iloilo.

In a previous interview, Duterte already expressed his interest in lifting the Charter’s restriction on foreign ownership. He also mentioned that he is willing to create a business friendly environment to foreign investors.

“I will open investments. If possible, in every region, I’ll have economic zones. And the foreigners can come, and they’ll have the same protection. I guarantee them profits that will be swiftly returned to them,”

~Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte (Read more…)

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