MANILA – Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Friday urged the Filipino-Chinese business community to help the government and Congress in creating more jobs so Filipinos would not have to go abroad for employment opportunities.
“We hope we can count on the support of the federation in our efforts to open up the Philippine economy, and create more jobs here, so that there would be fewer and fewer of our countrymen who will grow up without their father or mother,” Romualdez said in his speech during the 33rd Biennial Convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCII) at the Manila Hotel Tent City in Manila.
Aware of the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on businesses, he said the first bill filed in the House aimed “to provide assistance to distressed businesses.”
The Speaker was referring to House Bill (HB) No. 1, or GUIDE (Government Financial Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery), which has been passed on the third and final reading and sent to the Senate. He is the principal author of GUIDE.
Last Tuesday, the House also approved on third and final reading HB 7363, or the “Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso Act,” which seeks to provide sustainable and collateral-free financing to micro and small enterprises.
“We are also pushing for the creation of the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF). In the House version transmitted to the Senate, businesses can invest in the MIF along with government in viable instruments, with guaranteed dividends, and part of the profits plowed back to strategic government projects,” the Speaker said.
The Speaker likewise pointed out that the House of Representatives has been passing measures to improve the business and investment climate in the country, and is also working for the digitalization of government processes, to make it easier for people and businesses to transact with the government.
“We are currently pushing for the amendment of key economic provisions of the Constitution, which we view as restrictive, to make it easier for more businesses to set up shop in the country,” he said.
“These are just some of the initiatives we are undertaking at the House of Representatives. Make no mistake about it: we are committed to bringing about a brighter future for Filipinos, and provide real, pragmatic solutions to many of the development problems that we face,” the House leader stressed.
Romualdez also cited the importance of unity in attaining the government’s goals and aspirations for the country.
“Indeed, through unity, we can achieve development and prosperity that much faster. This is the same principle that we applied at the House of Representatives to facilitate the passage of landmark measures to hasten economic recovery. Be assured that your representatives know and understand the important role businesses play in sustaining national development,” he said.
Lastly, he thanked the Filipino-Chinese business community for its barrio (village) schools program.
“The school buildings that you have helped build go a long way towards ensuring that the country can look forward to an educated citizenry. On behalf of the beneficiaries, please accept our gratitude for your commitment and support to Philippine basic education,” he said.
Romualdez noted that the path to sustained and equitable development is long and hard and that there will be challenges and problems along the way.
“But the journey is made that much easier when we are one. And the burdens we carry become lighter when these are shared,” he told federation members.
“Please continue this mission of charity – for the socio-civic programs, for the education of the Fiipino people. We, the Filipino people are so indebted to you. You make us so proud to be Filipinos. You indeed embody the message of unity for the Philippines,” Romualdez said. (PNA)