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Today’s the much-awaited election day. After months of grueling campaign, debates and fighting among friends, we will now cast our votes and hope for the best in the next six years. Whoever wins the election, let us hope that he or she will pursue not his or her personal interest but sincerely dedicate his leadership for the welfare and progress of our country. We hope to see a president who will be a selfless, unifying leader.
While our next president may have many advisers upon his proclamation, I asked some entrepreneurs in our community to share their advice to the next president. As mentioned in my column last Thursday here in the Philippine STAR, there are a number of problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Let me share with you the insights of some Go Negosyo entrepreneurs:
Miguel Belmonte (Philippine Star)
I want to see a government that is sensitive to the needs of our countrymen who have less in life. A government that sincerely cares about the plight of poor Filipinos and acts immediately to improve their condition. I am expecting that the mistakes of past administrations will not be repeated and, in fact, that changes for the good of everyone, especially the less privileged, be implemented sooner rather than later. The priority should be poverty alleviation by providing more job opportunities even for those with limited educational background. Provide better mass transportation system to ease traffic and shorten the time needed for commuters to get to and from work. And finally, stop all forms of corruption at all levels.
Felipe L. Gozon (GMA Network Inc.)
I’d like to see that the new top leaders in the executive and legislative departments of our government are seriously, sincerely, unselfishly and honestly thinking of and doing what is best for the country and the great majority of the people. If those who will be elected in the executive and legislative departments possess the qualities I specified above, we can expect high economic growth, political stability and peace in our country.
Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation)
I want to see a leadership where sincerity is converted to action. I want a governance that is sensitive to the needs of the people and one that shows such good examples that it inspires citizens to be their best. For both the immediate and multiplier effect, the focus should be on infrastructure and mass transportation, also education and access to health care.
Felix Ang (CATS Motors Inc.)
The incoming administration will have many areas of concern, but I believe that infrastructure (and specifically mass public transportation) should be at the top of the list. I believe that the infrastructure problems we are facing today are holding back the Philippines from reaching our greatest economic potential. From an economist’s perspective, the traffic gridlock in Metro Manila alone is a multi-billion-dollar problem that when solved, will have trickle down benefits to both corporations and consumers alike. It also erodes that quality of life of Filipinos who don’t get the opportunity to have a work-life balance.
Eric Alberto (PLDT Group)
We would like to see a new government that can unite all Filipinos to move in disciplined cadence towards our country’s achieving a respected place in the league of nations, economy-wise and as a proud people. Focus and attention must be given to infrastructure development that would enable us to be truly globally competitive, and much needed poverty alleviating programs that will sustainably lift the quality of life of all Filipinos.
William Belo (Wilcon Builders)
The next president should fast track infrastructure development to ease the traffic, which affects the productivity and the quality of time that one can spend with their loved ones. Fast track the Clark International Airport development to make it the main gateway for international travelers. Resume the high-speed train to connect Manila to Clark. This would greatly help our tourism industry. Peace and order will come into place when people have work. Job creation is the key to crime prevention. “An empty stomach knows no law,” as the saying goes.
Justin Uy (Profood International)
A genuine government that wants to help the people and businessmen. Cut red tape!
Ray Gapuz (RA Gapuz Review Center)
Our country is so far experiencing a deluge of changes, both from within and external. Thus the new government should be led by a president with a clear vision not just a slogan. Decision-making based on new laws enacted must be holistic and not short-term and more importantly, the new government must establish its priorities to encompass the basic needs of its people — nutrition, health, safety and education. A country cannot be competitive in the global market if its professionals are not adequately supported by the government. If we are to aspire to be the next Asian tiger economy, it’s high time that our government should recognize the expertise and potential contributions of the young professionals whose ideas are more aligned with the economic directions in the world.
James Bernas (MBank)
I would like to see a government that is firm and resolute in implementing the laws without fear or favor. I expect nothing less than public service because that is the job description. A public service that looks at a balanced short-, mid- and long-term solutions for our country’s numerous challenges. A public service whose decisions are based on integrity and anti-corruption. The president should prioritize transport infrastructure, sustainable agriculture development, and national ID so that microfinance can be less risky and bring down the cost of capital. Lastly, hire the right people who are honest, competent and courageous. The rest will follow.
Joseph Calata (Calata Corporation)
I would like to see transparency in the new government. The freedom of information bill should finally be prioritized and approved. The agricultural sector is in need of utmost attention and I am hoping that the incoming leaders would create programs to promote modern farming technology and make it a viable option for our youth.
Samie Lim (Philippine Franchise Association)
I hope the new government will be magnanimous in their victory, and will focus on moving forward. May the leadership have the heart to honor the living and dead heroes of our land. The mind to visualize the future of the Philippines as a first-world country. The skill to excel in the performance of his task. And the will to continue to serve all our countrymen always! The government’s job is not to hand out fish/cash but to teach people how to start a business and create jobs and income for all.
Jose Magsaysay Jr. (Potato Corner)
I expect the next administration to: stop being vindictive, love everyone, even the new government’s enemies, be God-centered and address problems in this order — peace and order, drugs, smuggling, teach discipline and courtesy, take care of OFWs (improve this national treasure so that we are the best manpower provider worldwide), and their families that are left behind, lower power rates, target 20 million per annum foreign tourist visitors, target same Internet speed at Singapore, and improve love and pride of country.
Johnlu Koa (French Baker)
New government should simply build on existing gains and get really qualified individuals to implement all vital projects and finish them ahead of time.
Siu Ping Par (PR Gaz)
First is the continuity of the economic reform and growth that we have been experiencing. Second is transparency in the actions and decisions of every government agency. Third is building more infrastructure, which is a basic requirement to economic development. On a daily basis, I hope that the new government will address the traffic condition in the Philippines which is a source of frustration and inefficiency.
Josiah Go (Mansmith and Fielders)
I want to see a momentum president and his/her team that the world can respect. Crime is just one part, a vibrant economy that can solve poverty is indispensable. I want to see a unifying president that attracts instead of offend different groups. I want to see a role model government starting from the president.
Jerry Ilao (AFFI President)
I expect the government to continue building the Philippines to become a $1-trillion economy by 2030. We have gained so much in the last few years from being the sick man of Asia, to being a rising tiger of Asia, and perhaps to become a $1-trillion economy by 2030. The Philippines should continue to address corruption and eliminate red tape in government. One way to do this is by using technology to automate tasks and foster transparency in all government transactions. It’s time to tap into the many brilliant start-ups and technology companies here in the Philippines and let them help the government develop these technologies.
Richie Cuna (Fiorgelato, AFFI Board)
I have very simple areas of my expectation for our next administration: first, restoration of trust and confidence in governance. Second, implementation and delivery of people’s basic needs. Third, peace and order, which includes anti-crime and corruption. Fourth, stronger foreign investments on various projects.
Butz Bartolome (AFFI)
Basically what I like to see is the restoration of peace and order. There has been so much crime and even crime of passion is something ordinary. People are scared to go out regardless of the time of day or evening. The pressing problems I see is curtailing the flow of drugs. One almost sees areas where young minds are becoming victims. We need to stop corruption.
Alan Escalona (PFA)
I’d like the new government to speed up what has been started on the economic side. We will not be the second fastest growing economy if the policies are not good. With the momentum on our side, I expect that gains be tripled in the next six years. Priority should be that the masses feel a big improvement in their lives. Improved basic services for all, all changes should be seen and felt. Lastly, corrupt practices should be cut and eventually put off.
Delby Bragais (Northroad Image and Fashion Group)
I would like to see improvement in the following areas: 1. Ease of doing business in the Philippines (example: cutting down on red tape, faster Internet speed similar to that of Singapore, lower telecom rates instead of that dictated upon by only a few large players in the industry, lower power rates, improvement of infrastructure, addressing the traffic situation that eats on productivity); 2. Peace and order. 3. Zero corruption in government; 4. Increasing the standards of education; and 5. Modernizing and upgrading the military.
Tina Papillon (Pamora Farms)
Cooperation with respect — whoever wins this election should work together as one team to serve our nation, to serve the people, even if they come from different parties. Education —TESDA is a good example. Teach the people to use their hands, their ability and strength to work for their needs. Giving them money because they are poor is not helping them to improve, instead it just tolerates their laziness and taking advantage of their situation. Infrastructure — we need more efficient and reliable infrastructure to do business in this country and create more jobs.
Dustin Andaya (Island Rose)
I expect the new president to be more decisive than the outgoing administration. From the business point of view, I believe we have to simplify the ease of doing business and introduce reforms in the major government agencies with priority to the BIR, BOC, DOLE, BOI, DPWH, and DOTC. I would also like to see more programs to uplift the lives of the poor people in this country.
Cristina Liamzon (Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Program)
I hope the new government will express a real bias and provide full support for the poor, especially our farmers, fishermen and IPs who produce our food and proceed with the necessary programs that will empower them over the short and longterm. The government should address the widening gap between the poor and the rich through anti-trust laws, progressive taxation etc., end labor contractualization and provide support for real and meaningful local economic development. The new president should set up a migration debt that would consolidate and integrate various services for overseas Filipino and overseas Filipino workers.
I want to see a government that will continue the good things started by PNoy and correct the areas needing improvement. I want the countryto go from good to great rather than from fair to worse. I want a government with a long vision rather than one whose aim is quick solutions. I want a president that would serve as a good example and inspiration to the youth.
Sarabeth Soriano (Baliwag Lechon Manok)
I hope the next administration makes it possible to start a business with trade name and government permits completely online so people will be more encouraged and less intimidated to start a business. Our growth should be inclusive — it is pointless for our economy to be statistically getting better but does not trickle down to and cannot be felt by the ordinary working Filipino.