Great 2017 awaits Davao City – biz chamber

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 Dec) – Business leaders here are optimistic that the city will sustain the economic upturn next year, what with a lot of interests from large investors to locate in the metro.

Ronald Go, incoming president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce (DCCCII), told “Wednesdays Habi at Kape” at the Abreeza Mall that the city has been placed in the centerstage since President Rodrigo R. Duterte hails from here where he served as mayor for over 20 years.

“If possible, we should invest in boutique hotels that we need more for the City of Davao. We continue to grow. This development comes about after our mayor became president,” he said.

Go added that he sees a large influx of tourists coming here “to see what Davao City is like and what propelled our president where he is today. We see a lot of people just so curious about what Davao City has to offer,” he said.

He said that he is elated that the government is spending more for infrastructure projects in the city, which he believes will further the development of the city as the infrastructure will cater to the new locators.

The business leader also encouraged homegrown developers to embark into developing more commercial spaces to support the possible deluge of new investors.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 11 reported that the third quarter unemployment rate this year dropped to 3.6 percent as compared to 5.6 percent during the same period in 2015.

The same DOLE 11 report showed that unemployment rate was at 6 percent in 2012, 6.9 percent in 2013, and 5.6 percent in 2014.

The employment rate in the region, according to the DOLE 11, was recorded at 96.4 percent in the third quarter this year, higher than last year’s 94.5 percent.

Outgoing DCCCII president Bonifacio Tan said that 2016 is a good year for the city because it earned much attention that it needs to further the growth.

“During the first quarter, it was more of a speculation – more on the election-related reaction and more on how [President Duterte] is performing,” he said.

He believes that reforms that have so far been made by the present administration, like improving the collection mechanism of agencies such as Bureau of Internal Revenue and Bureau of Customs, will hike the collection targets of the government which will redound to higher budget for the local governments in the form of internal revenue allotment (IRA).

But Tan said that the proposed adjustment on business and real property taxes in the city council will be one of the issues that needs to be addressed.

He said that chamber’s incoming chairman, Antonio dela Cruz, will continue working with the local council to thresh out adjustments in local taxes. Dela Cruz was also DCCCII chairman for two terms – in 2014 until 2015.

He appealed that tax adjustments be made “reasonable” so that it will not burden the local businesses and residents nor discourage investors from coming in. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)