Press Statement of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII
Press Statement of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII)

President Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong

Pandesal Forum of Kamuning Bakery Cafe, Quezon City

15 October 2019

Magandang umaga sa ating mga kaibigan sa media. Maraming salamat sa pagdalo Mayroon kaming ilang mga anunsyo na gagawin tungkol sa ating ekonomiya.

Good morning to our friends in the media.

Thank you for joining us here at this Pandesal Forum. We have some announcements to make regarding the state of our Philippine economy and about our stand regarding proposed tax and other reforms.

We want to meet you today, because our Philippine economy is now in a very important period of robust growth and bold reforms, while the world environment is quite uncertain due to various challenges like the USA-China trade war, increasing protectionism and even threats of a possible global economic slowdown.

We want to express our solidarity with our leaders in our collective efforts to strengthen our Philippine economy.

The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) has contributed to nation-building and socio-economic development ever since its establishment 65 years ago in 1954.

From then on, we have continuously worked hand in hand with the government in pursuit of national economic growth and social progress.

We express our full support to President Rodrigo R. Duterte`s progressive economic` policies and programs to move our country forward.

We the FFCCCII support the passage of CITIRA (Comprehensive Income Tax and Incentives Reform Act), which would put the country`s tax rate at par with those of our neighboring countries.

The reduction in corporate income-tax rates will improve the competitiveness of Philippine companies, and allow them to use the tax savings to expand their business or start new ventures, thus increasing creation of new jobs.

This reduction of corporate income tax will also help attract more foreign direct investments.

Likewise, we have expressed our support for the efforts of the government to improve the tax and customs systems in our country so that it can increase revenue collections needed to deliver social services and finance our many new infrastructure projects.

Our Federation has partnered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in conducting constant dialogues and seminars to educate the public about policies and regulations such as the TRAIN Law and real property tax amnesty.

On the rice tariffication law and the efforts to stabilize inflation, we commend the government`s economic team for having successfully brought down consumer prices.

We also look forward to the government`s efforts and programs to provide support to our Filipino rice farmers, especially in terms of providing them access to better agriculture technology, equipment, financing and other assistance.

We have confidence in our leaders in taking care of and developing our very important agriculture sector. In this exciting period of "Build, Build, Build" for the country, we also encourage more multi-sectoral support for our Filipino farmers with "Plant, Plant" Plant" and consequently a better future of "Grow, Grow, Grow" for the development of our countryside and to boost rural development by using the latest agriculture technologies.

A robust agricultural sector is important for a truly vibrant national economy.

I want to share that SL AgriTech is leading the way in private sector support for our Filipino rice farmers with our "Masagana Ani 300" program to improve our Philippine palay or rice yield from 80 cavans per hectare to 300 cavans per hectare.

Let or also encourage our countrymen to patronize our local rice. Tangkilikin ang sariling atin, ang bigas natin, suportahan natin ang magsasakang Pilipino.

We commend the economic team led by Secretary Sonny Dominguez for their efforts and contribution to our country`s attainment of economic stability and growth.

The economic reforms they initiated have resulted in continuous credit rating upgrades from international agencies.

To maintain and increase our global competitiveness, it`s important to keep our business-friendly policies, and have better infrastructure.

We support the government`s `Build, Build, Build` infrastructure program that will better interconnect our cities and provinces, to spread development across the country and make our economic growth truly more inclusive.

These projects shall boost our booming tourism industry, create many thousands of new jobs for our people, and pave the way to create more opportunities for growth nationwide especially in the rural areas.

Building classrooms is one of the components of the "Build, Build, Build" program. And our Federation`s share to this is our flagship socio-civic program called the "Operation: Barrio Schools." Since 1961, "Operation: Barrio Schools" has turned over more than 5,800 school buildings, or equivalent to more than 11,600 classrooms.

These have benefitted more than a million public school students nationwide. For the current 2019-2020 term of Federation officers, we have received pledged donations for 700 units of two-classroom school buildings for our rural countryside to help alleviate poverty and really promote social progress.

We at the Federation believe that education is a key to solving poverty and special injustice.

We have high confidence in the President`s leadership and vision for a better, more inclusive Philippines and we look forward to the other reforms he will initiate in the next three years. Our Federation—together with our 170 member chambers and trade associations nationwide--fully supports our President and country as a partner in nation-building and socio-economic progress. We believe that these reforms shall make our Philippine economic growth sustainable, stronger, more inclusive, and will make our resilient economy truly globally competitive.

Muli, maraming salamat sa pagdalo ninyo ngayon sa Pandesal Forum na ito. Magtulungan tayong lahat upang suportahan ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas, para sa pagsulong ng mga reporma, kaunlaran at para sa isang mas mahusay na kinabukasan para sa lahat ng ating mga kababayan.

Thank you and good day.

Photo: CTTO