PCCI pins hopes on House for bills boosting jobs, MSMEs

As the government eased quarantine restrictions, more entrepreneurs opened up small businesses, like this barbecue vendor on Urban Avenue, Makati City.

THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is counting on the House of Representatives to pursue the enactment of business-friendly measures crucial to recovery efforts, jobs creation and the long-term progress of the economy, including the amendment of the Magna Carta for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In a recent dialogue with House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez at the PCCI’s General Membership Meeting, PCCI led by its President, George T. Barcelon and the Director of its Legislative Committee, Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad, presented the Chamber’s
legislative agenda.

To facilitate the agriculture sector and micro and small enterprises’ access to finance as a tool to support their growth—the PCCI is pushing for the amendment of the Magna Carta for MSMEs Act and the Philippine Warehouse Receipts Act Amendment.

Trade Secretary Alfredo E. Pascual said during the open forum at the 43rd National Conference of Employers, “we are now reviewing the Magna Carta for MSMEs.” Last month, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) President Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis Jr. told the BusinessMirror that the previous Magna Cartas for MSMEs were not properly implemented.

Meanwhile, PCCI said topping the list of its priorities are measures to strengthen the country’s fiscal sustainability to continue and accelerate economic and social development projects such as the Packages 3 (Property Valuation and Assessment) and 4 (Passive Income and Financial Intermediation Act) of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.

The business group is also counting on the House to pursue the enactment of the Capital Market Development Act, which aims to ensure the prosperity of the country and free the people from poverty.

On the country’s natural resources, which aim at encouraging investments and providing livelihood in the rural areas, and reduce poverty, PCCI is hoping for the enactment of Successful Farmers Development Act (Amending the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law), the Tree-Growing Act and the Amendment or Repeal of the (An Act for Salt Iodization Nationwide) ASIN Act.

To broaden internet access and ensure quality, available and affordable broadband connectivity, the business group is relying on the House of Representatives to pursue the enactment of Open Access in Data Transmission Act, Better Internet Act, Rural Wired Development Act, Satellite-based Technologies Promotion Act, and the Philippine Spectrum Management Act.

As for legislative efforts to bring down shipping costs, the PCCI is hoping for the International Maritime Trade Act and the amendment of the Philippine Ports Authority Act to be enacted.

In a statement on Friday, business groups including the PCCI said they are backing the House bill that aims to strip the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) of its mandate as a revenue generator and confine the government regulatory body solely to its role as public port developer and operator.

The groups blamed the dual functions of the agency as regulator and developer for the steady increase in cargo-handling rates that has eroded the country’s competitiveness.

Meanwhile, to ensure that Filipino learners are getting the knowledge and training needed to join the workforce in “5-10-20” years, PCCI is pushing for the enactment of the Philippine Qualification Act Amendment and the Apprenticeship Act/ Amendment to the Dual Training System Act.

The business group said House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez committed to have five to 10 of the above-mentioned measures enacted within the next three years.

“He assured PCCI that the business sector will be consulted in crafting laws related to trade and commerce, vowing to hear all relevant stakeholders before passing any legislation,” said PCCI in a statement on Monday.

Barcelon, the PCCI chief, conveyed the business group’s readiness to work with the government on reform measures that boost and strengthen the country’s economic, social, and health sectors.


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