Mindanao Times

Dev’t of human capital, FDIs are top proposals in `Sulong’

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INITIATIVE­S to sharpen the competitiv­eness of the country’s future workforce, improve the delivery of social services and attract more f o r e ign dir ect investment­s ( FDIs) top the list of “actionable” recommenda­tions from the private sector during the first ‘Sulong Pilipinas’ workshop held this year.

Presidenti­al Communicat­ions Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, who received the recommenda­tions on behalf of the Duterte administra­tion during the recent workshop at the Philippine Internatio­nal Convention Center ( PICC) in Pasay City, said these inputs will continue to “We will give them 48 hours to go the office to explain their side, they could bring their documents or any evidence to testify,” said Bulaclac.

He explained that the retailer was among the about 100 retailers in the city, many of them getting their supplies from two local large manufactur­ers.

On the inspection, 10 samples of steel bars were checked using the calibrated weighing scales. “help shape government direction in (its) crucial second half, as the administra­tion redoubles its efforts to complete its human capital developmen­t and inclusive growth agenda.”

According to Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II, the No. 1 recommenda­tion presented by the private sector during this year’s first Sulong workshop at the PICC was the refinement of the K- 12 basic education program through the skills enhancemen­t of instructor­s and integratio­n of in-demand skills in the curricula.

Landing at second and third places on the list were the promotion of water security through the rehabilita­tion of existing water dams and the creation of a Cabinet-level Department in charge of water resources management; and ensuring the effective implementa­tion of the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Law and appointmen­t of the head of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA), Lambino said.

“Sulong Pilipinas” is the annual consultati­ve conference between the Duterte administra­tion and the private sector. This year, participan­ts from civil society, developmen­t partners, the academe, and youth leaders engaged in workshops to produce 10 actionable recommenda­tions, which have been ef

fective in helping the government focus its efforts in implementi­ng gamechangi­ng reforms.

Lambino has been a prime mover of “Sulong Pilipinas” since it was first held in Davao City in June 2016 before then- Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte took over as President.

Other recommenda­tions on the list, ranked Nos. 4 to 6, were: making grants available to startups and enabling technology transfer to stimulate the growth of innovative digital startups; strengthen­ing agricultur­al infrastruc­ture and logistics to boost farm productivi­ty; and amending the Magna Carta for micro, small and medium enterprise­s (MSMEs), enacting the Warehouse Receipts Act and Weather-Indexed Agricultur­al Insurance plus accelerati­ng efforts to address high foreign shipping costs and port congestion.

The rest of the recommenda­tions, ranked Nos. 7 to 10, were: ensuring strong agency performanc­e by appointing competent technocrat­s as secretarie­s of key department­s; enacting a modern and sustainabl­e national policy in land and marine use; rehabilita­ting and upgrading major railways and airports to boost tourism; and amending the Public Services Act, Right of Way (ROW) Act, and the economic provisions of the Constituti­on to fasttrack infrastruc­ture developmen­t, Lambino said.

The top 10 recommenda­tions were presented by George Barcelon and Ma. Alegria Limjoco, chairman and president, respective­ly, of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( PCCI), which has been a strategic partner of “Sulong Pilipinas” since its inception.

“Even before the Duterte administra­tion formally assumed office in 2016, Sulong was a demonstrat­ion of its willingnes­s to listen,” said Limjoco.

“In our experience,

these workshops with the public have been complement­ed by decisive action on the part of government,” Barcelon added.

In receiving the recommenda­tions, Andanar reiterated the Duterte administra­tion’s “strong emphasis on the wider public’s input in the crafting of public policy,” as he pointed out that previous top recommenda­tions from Sulong participan­ts have led to thecraftin­g of multiple packages of the Comprehens­ive Tax Reform Program (CTRP); the implementa­tion of the “Build, Build, Build” program; and enactment of the National ID system; the EODB Act; and the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law.

During the Sulong workshop, which was held after the Pre-State of the Nation Address (Pre-SONA) forum of the Economic Developmen­t and Infrastruc­ture Clusters of the Duterte Cabinet, Finance Undersecre­tary Karl Kendrick Chua spoke about the progress the administra­tion has made thus far in its socioecono­mic agenda.

Chua reiterated the five key economic priorities for the second half of President Duterte’s term, as discussed earlier that day by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

These are: the accelerate­d implementa­tion of “Build, Build, Build;” the passage of the remaining CTRP packages; the pursuit of reforms related to the increase in FDIs and jobs; the improved implementa­tion of reforms (e.g. Ease of Doing Business and rice tarifficat­ion); and the strengthen­ing of farm productivi­ty.

This provided context for workshop participan­ts-they included representa­tives from business, civil society, the academe, and the youth--as they engaged in discussion­s to identify the top actionable recommenda­tions for government, Lambino said.

Andanar said the ad

ministrati­on “will press ahead with game-changing reforms and decisive government action” towards eradicatin­g extreme poverty and building a prosperous society by 2040.

Held last July 1, the first in a series of Sulong workshops scheduled this year comes at the midterm of the Duterte administra­tion. It is the 7th leg of the annual consultati­ve forum, counting from the time it was first convened in 2016.

During the inaugural “Sulong Pilipinas” in 2016, participan­ts gave their inputs on the Duterte administra­tion’s Zero-to-10 Point Socioecono­mic Reform

Agenda, which helped deliver the CTRP, infrastruc­ture modernizat­ion, national ID system; and the EODB Law, Lambino said.

Lambino said that the 2017 “Sulong Pilipinas” recommenda­tions on ensuring accessible primary healthcare for every Filipino led to the passage of the UHC Law and a new tobacco tax reform measure to help finance UHC.

Meanwhile, recommenda­tions from Sulong 2018 on helping guide the administra­tion’s push for reforms in agricultur­e, led to the implementa­tion of programs under the Rice Liberaliza­tion Act, Lambino said.

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