Chamber prexy: Duterte is the captain of the ship

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 June) – President-elect Rodrigo R. Duterte is the “captain of the ship” of the business community in the Philippines, one of the country’s business leader said Tuesday.

Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PCCII) president George Barcelon said this at the second day of the “Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran” at the SMX Convention Center Davao.

“I liken you Duterte as the captain of a ship docked at the wharf. You gave order to your quarter masters, your economic team who has blown the horn, and businessmen from here and far have heard this calling, they have come from all over the Philippines to be here in your beautiful city. They are here to hear from you and they are committed to help,” he said while addressing the 450 business leaders.

Barcelon said that the business sector is confident about the economic team of the incoming administration.

“By the mere fact they have this consultation, it shows that they take the business community as their partner to hear us out and for us to hear the desire of the administration,” he told reporters in an earlier interview.

Barcelon said this is the first time that a consultative meeting was held to hear the business sector’s sentiments before a new president would be installed.

“This time it’s the incoming (president) who wants to hit the road running by hearing you out and getting action plans from us,” he said.

The PCCII president said they don’t have much to add to Duterte’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda, as he believes it covers all the key areas of concern.

Barcelon added that the business community saw the need for a long-term masterplan “for our children and their children” as he lauded the initiative of the president-elect to solicit opinions from the country’s business leaders.

He said that he believes the 10-point socioeconomic agenda is very doable with the private and government sector working hand-in-hand.

“The nation needs a vision that all Filipinos here and abroad can identify with. A mission and masterplan that’s not just a medium-term plan that we together can implement for our children and their children. We recognize and deeply grateful at the initiative your excellency and the incoming cabinet economic cluster had taken to consult with the business community on how to move things forward. We are indeed honored by your presence today,” he said.

Barcelon presented the first part of the 10 recommendations of the business sector while Mindanao Business Council (MBC) chairman Vicente T. Lao presented the other half before Duterte and the business leaders.

Barcelon said they were able to tap the cream of the crop of the business community to come up with the recommendations.

“Yesterday, your incoming secretary of finance presented the 10-point socioeconomic agenda that was taken up during the afternoon. Each issue was analyzed, dissected, and argued. But at the end of the day, we came to a consensus of recommendations,” he said.