Business groups in Bukidnon form provincial chamber

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/ 13 July)– Businessmen from different local business groups in Bukidnon created Thursday a provincial chamber to assert its “critical economic role as a food basket in the country.”

The Bukidnon Kaamulan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BKCCI), formed on the second day of the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Caravan, seeks to address the problem of “underrepresentation” of Bukidnon in the Philippine business community, Roderico Bioco, president of the Mindanao Grains Processing Inc., said.

“We should put Bukidnon in the (business) map of the Philippines. We were not able to transcend as a stronger voice for the province,” he added during his presentation on the role of the business community in shaping business and investment-enabling environment.

Bioco said Bukidnon’s critical role in food production is not matched in its voice in shaping business policy in the country.

“Bukidnon plays a critical economic role as a haven for food security and food basket in the country. But the business community was not able to get leverages because they failed to organize,” he added.

The unified provincial chamber groups four local chambers in the area.

Bioco recognized that it’s an additional load for business people to have another organization, but he said they should give more focus to it to deal with business in general.

The elected founding chair of the new chamber, Bioco said they intend to affiliate with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) “so Bukidnon businessmen will have greater influence in local and national business policy-making.”

He added that over the years PCCI has recognized only one of the existing local chambers.

Bioco cited for example Bukidnon’s role in shaping the policy of exporting corn. He said the corn sector has already been lobbying for years but it’s different when there is one unified business voice from the whole province.

He added that the new group will promote economic development in the country.

Proper representation, he said, results in good policies and decisions and also creates business opportunities that result in new investments.

From these new investments, there will be new jobs, profit for businessmen, and taxes for the government, Bioco said.

But he said the opposite is true if there are bad policies and decisions. He noted it results in the vicious cycle of bad business, closure of business, layoffs, unemployment, and losses for the business sector.

In the end, these will result in less taxation for the government, Bioco said.

The new chamber is scheduled to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, accredit with PCCI, and attend the Mindanao Business Conference and the Philippine Business Conference. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)