Business groups press Duterte for ‘more substantial’ economic plan vs virus

Ralf Rivas
Business groups press Duterte for ‘more substantial’ economic plan vs virus
Over 40 business groups call on the Philippine government to swiftly produce a law for economic recovery

MANILA, Philippines – Forty-four of the country’s biggest business groups urged the Duterte administration to quickly implement a “more substantial” stimulus plan to revive the economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

The business groups said in a joint statement on Thursday, June 4, that they support the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy (ARISE) bill filed in the House of Representatives.

ARISE aims to spend P1.3 trillion in 3 years to support workers and businesses heavily affected by the pandemic.

Under the measure, 1.5 million jobs would be created through infrastructure projects and financial assistance.

There is also P20 billion intended for mass testing from 2020 to 2021.

“ARISE would be an effective program for building on the Bayanihan law and the measures President [Rodrigo] Duterte and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas have rolled out,” the business groups said.

However, Congress is set to adjourn on Friday, June 5, with economic bills still pending. A special session would be held only if the President calls for one.

“We appeal to the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the administration to have thorough but speedy deliberations to produce a law for this stage of the crisis and recovery,” the business groups said.

The groups added that ARISE complements the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act (CREATE), the modified version of the controversial Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization (Citira) bill. (READ: [ANALYSIS] Why make the poor pay for the coronavirus response?)

CREATE aims to lower corporate income tax to 25%, and impose targeted tax and non-tax incentives.

The joint statement was issued by the following:

  • Alyansa Agrikultura
  • American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines 
  • Anvil Business Club
  • Asia Pacific Real Estate Association-Philippines
  • Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines 
  • Bangsamoro Federal Business Council
  • Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines
  • Cebu Business Club
  • Cebu Leads Foundation
  • Chinese Filipino Business Club, Incorporated
  • European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines 
  • Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Incorporated
  • Filipino CEO Circle
  • Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines 
  • Fintech Alliance.PH
  • French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the Philippines
  • Institute for Solidarity in Asia, Incorporated
  • Institute of Corporate Directors 
  • Investment House Association of the Philippines 
  • IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Incorporated
  • Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Incorporated
  • Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines 
  • Makati Business Club 
  • Management Association of the Philippines
  • Mindanao Business Council 
  • National Real Estate Association
  • Organization of Socialized Housing Developers of the Philippines 
  • People Management Association of the Philippines 
  • Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Incorporated 
  • Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship 
  • Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry 
  • Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives 
  • Philippine Franchise Association 
  • Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Philippine Life Insurance Association 
  • Philippine Retailers Association 
  • Philippine Women’s Economic Network 
  • Procurement and Supply Institute of Asia 
  • Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Incorporated
  • Shareholders’ Association of the Philippines 
  • Subdivision and Housing Developers Association 
  • Tax Management Association of the Philippines 
  • University of the Philippines School of Economics Alumni Association 
  • Women’s Business Council Philippines 

– Rappler.com

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.