Since formally taking office in June 30, 2016, several business groups lauded Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his first 50 days in power.
This was based on a poll conducted by The STAR as the President received a passing grade, although some concerns were also expressed.
“So far so good for the Duterte administration. I will give a grade of eight with 10 as the highest,” said Perry Pe, President of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP).
“We like what we see. Hopefully he will stay the course,” added Donald Dee, President of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines.
According to Pe, some of the highlights of the Duterte administration were the focus on infrastructure spending as well as initiatives towards foreign direct investment. On top of that, the ongoing tax reform has also been praised along with the President’s mandate to make business requirements easier and to create a safer business atmosphere for everyone by combating criminality in the country.
“However,” commented Pe, “we want a little more ASEAN initiative (and also) more government compassion with regard to the name and shame campaign, and more recognition of at least the procedural due process aspect.”
As one of the biggest business groups in the Philippines, MAP has earlier submitted a “wish list” to the Duterte administration of what they want to see during his first 100 days in office. The list included short-term, medium-term, and long-term solutions to the worsening traffic conditions in Metro Manila. Also on the list are tax system simplification and infrastructure developments.
Meanwhile, the Makati Business Club decided to skip giving an assessment on the President’s performance during the first 50 days saying the time period is short.
On the other hand, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) acknowledged Duterte’s efforts towards eliminating the drug trade problem in the country.
Guenter Taus, President of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) added that their group is satisfied with the new administration. “Reflecting back upon the first 50 days of the new government, we can see that the administration is willing and working with the various chambers, and hard in creating change,” said Taus.
Henry Schumacher, senior advocacy adviser of ECCP, said:
“We are happy with the way the budget is being prepared with appropriations in those sectors that will drive investments and employment, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.”
Taus also added:
“However, still much to be done, such as in traffic and public transportation. But we have to be fair and simply give government more time in order to fulfill their many difficult tasks. The ECCP is in close touch with the administration in supporting them wherever and whenever they need business to come and work hand in hand with government to expedite change.”