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Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute holds Pilipinas Conference

Ayala Corp. Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said fostering investments from the private sector and government is key to fast recovery.

“To jump-start this economy, we all have to move to an investment-led push, and hopefully it turns more societal as more jobs get created, there’s more spending power, and then we start to get this cycle of people getting an economy that is beginning to reawaken,” Mr. Zobel de Ayala said during the recent Pilipinas Conference on the “Key Role of the Business Sector” hosted by the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute.

“The whole investment-led component of our economic equation of our country has to be jump-started. The private sector has a role and the public sector have a role, so all of us have to use whatever balance sheets we have, matched up, with the changing nature of demand, which will increase again, to start re-allocating resources and building new jobs and getting that cycle moving again,”

He said, “The public sector as well have their own balance sheet, their own spending, and we would hope that they would also be catalysts to jumpstart spending at a time like this to get infrastructure moving. This is a symbiotic relationship.”

“It’s not only FDI, but we hope that we can create that kind of structure that will be internationally accepted as an attractive framework for people to come in and invest in our country. We should all be encouraging that, but at the same time, local capital formation where private sector companies begin to move forward in terms of capital, and the public sector as well, to start to reallocate to jumpstart the economy,” Mr. Zobel de Ayala said.

“In the same forum, Edgar O. Chua, chairman of Makati Business Club said, “Business activities themselves support national development, thru production or provision of food, water, housing, power, telco, transport, education, banking and finance, healthcare and other services. Yes, business makes money from these, but they are essential to national development, to improving standards of living.

“Government should provide the enabling environment and the needed regulation to ensure laws and contracts are obeyed, both those that restrict businesses and those that protect them.”

Rizalina G. Mantaring, former president and current chair of the Committee on National Issues, Management Association of the Philippines, said, “We will see more partnership with government because the magnitude of the issues we see today requires a  whole of society approach.”

“We need to balance economic and social sustainability. This consciousness has actually been growing for years but the pandemic just highlighted it, that you can’t just be taking care of yourself because if the community around you suffer, you may not be sustainable.”

“Amb. Benedicto Yujuico, president, Philippine Chamber of Commerce, Inc., said, “Government cannot do everything alone, it needs active support of all stakeholders of society to be able to effectively nurse our economy back to health. Solidarity of the highest order, that is the “Bayanihan” spirit that is the whole of society approach.”

Stratbase ADRI President Prof. Dindo Manhit acknowledged the country’s top business groups for swiftly and aggressively responding to the immediate needs of the most vulnerable members of society amid the pandemic.

“Not only did they help in keeping the economy afloat, but they also made significant contributions in investing in necessary safety measures and COVID-19 testing. Some companies even committed to continue paying their employees despite revenue losses during the lockdown,” Manhit said.

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