Goal: Stronger ties with gov’t

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Monday, May 19, 2014

THE first female president of the 111-year-old Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Ma. Teresa Beltran-Chan vowed to work for a stronger chamber-government relationship in her term.

“We will coordinate, work and collaborate more with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the National Government so that any new circular, memorandum, or law that they’ll promulgate will be automatically consulted with us,” Chan told Sun.Star Cebu on the sidelines of the CCCI general membership meeting and turnover ceremonies at the City Sports Club last Friday.

Chan explained that while they have already established a “very strong” relationship with the city and provincial governments and government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Tourism, she sees a need to tap Congress, BIR and BOC.


Position on Asean integration

One of the steps the chamber has taken to make its concerns heard at the national level was the series of focus group discussions regarding the opportunities and challenges of the coming full integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. These were held in Cebu in recent months and attracted participants from the academe and business sectors like manufacturing, export and tourism, among others.

Chan said that the chamber has collated the results of these discussions and will submit these in June or July to the National Government.

Results include the issues raised by the players in different sectors, their possible solutions and recommendations.

Chan said she hopes that government officials will consider the data and take necessary actions to make the country more competitive.

Vice President Jejomar Binay said in his speech during the membership meeting that the strong partnership of the business community and the government will further flourish the economy of the Philippines, it, being now eyed as an investment destination in Southeast Asia.

“I’ve always believed that there is a need for a strong, vibrant business community in order to have a strong economy. (I believe that) the Cebu Chamber of Commerce will support the government’s work toward inclusive growth and improving global competitiveness,” Binay said.

The vice president also raised the issue of the Philippine economy being heavily dependent on outsourcing and overseas Filipino workers’ remittances.

“The Philippine economy is too narrowly based on the outsourcing industry and remittances of Filipinos working abroad (…) The Philippine economic portfolio must diversify in the manufacturing, agricultural, tourism and in other sectors,” Binay added.

‘2013 tested our commitment’

CCCI immediate president Lito Maderazo, during the ceremony, recalled last year’s experiences that tested and strengthened the chamber, especially the string of natural disasters in the Visayas.

“This year tested our commitment to serve the chamber to the limit,” Maderazo said.

The chamber raised millions of pesos for relief and rehabilitation efforts, through activities like the #BangonSugBohol donation drives and benefit concerts.

The CCCI currently has 710 member-companies. In February to May, it added 21 members, including Lexmark Research and Development Corp., Lenddo Lending Corp., Baker Bob and Kate’s Bakery Products, Inc. and Sunlife of Canada (Philippines) Inc.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 20, 2014.


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