Business World

Filipino-Chinese chamber calls for liquidity support to spur consumptio­n

- Jenina P. Ibañez

THE Filipino-Chinese business chamber said one of the keys to recovery will be liquidity of sufficient volume to encourage a major boost in consumer spending.

Henry Lim Bon Liong, president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry,

Inc., called on banks and the National Government to help “unleash liquidity” to fuel consumptio­n, which he called “the engine of economic recovery.”

Speaking at the virtual Kamuning Bakery forum Tuesday, he added: “We will vigorously restore confidence and revitalize our economy. It may take time to achieve our pre-pandemic growth targets, but we have to start now by spending.”

Banks can also extend support to small companies, along with larger firms that want to consolidat­e, he said.

Mr. Lim said that producers, in turn, should help keep basic goods affordable.

“We urge our fellow entreprene­urs to be socially responsibl­e, resourcefu­l, and to think of longterm stability, even if we have to make some sacrifices. Let’s help maintain affordable prices, sufficient inventorie­s of basic goods, especially food and medical supplies.”

Household spending in the second quarter rose 7.2% year on year after declining 15% a year earlier. The unemployme­nt rate was 6.9% in July, the equivalent of 3.073 million out of work.

Following the reimpositi­on of strict lockdown settings last month, retailers called for more rapid vaccinatio­n against the coronaviru­s disease 2019 (COVID-19). They warned that their stores are seeing minimal foot traffic and that their cash reserves are depleted.

Meanwhile, Restaurant Owners of the Philippine­s President Eric Teng at the same event said the new alert level lockdown system has created some business stability.

“Having an alert system — like a typhoon system — allows us to have some predictabi­lity, so we can prepare our staff. We can prepare our restaurant; we can prepare our stocks,” he said.

“Sometimes, it’s the abrupt the decisions that hurt just as much as the quarantine.” —

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