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In establishing inclusive growth in the country, it is vital to foster excellent relations with stakeholders who will work together to create programs to achieve the common goal. Good thing to have a government that is eager to deliver results to its constituents.
Recently, I and Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez presided over a meeting between the presidential economic team and members of the private sector to discuss programs where the private sector can contribute and collaborate with the government.
The meeting was attended by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Budget Secretary Ben Diokno, Economic Planning Secretary Ernie Pernia, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and Bases Conversion and Development Authority president Vince Dizon.
Joining me from the private sector were Edgar Saavedra (Megawide Construction), Josephine Yap (Filinvest Land), Manny Pangilinan (Metro Pacific Investments Corp.), Tessie Coson (SM Investment Corp.), Sabin Aboitiz (Aboitiz Equity Ventures), Ricky Delgado (Citadel Holdings), Ricky Razon (International Container Terminal Services), Michael Tan (LT Group), Alfred Ty (GT Holdings), Jaime Augusto Zobel (Ayala Corp.), George Barcelon (ASEAN BAC Philippines and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), James Go (JG Summit Holdings Inc.), Lito Alvarez (Philippine Airlines), and Leo Virata (CLSA Exchange Capital Inc.).
The meeting was a venue for key Cabinet members who oversee the administration’s economic and infrastructure development agenda to listen to the business conglomerates’ position in supporting and cooperating with the government’s Build Build Build program. It is also the Filipino businessmen’s venue to learn in finer detail about the government’s direction – on whether the government is open to private sector collaboration in order to accelerate the execution of its infrastructure program.
The Build Build Build projects will then create jobs, spur economic growth and attract foreign investors. It created the Philippine infrastructure portal (www.build.gov.ph) that lists high impact projects envisioned to increase economic productivity, create jobs, increase incomes and strengthen the investment climate which could lead to sustained inclusive growth. It serves as the government’s tool for project monitoring and tracking.
With Build Build Build, the public has access to relevant information about public spending on infrastructure projects. It provides information on the status of each project such as the development, procurement, and implementation of Public-Private Partnerships.
It is worth noting that since President Duterte’s government took over 18 months ago, they have been fast moving on the projects that will strengthen the connectivity of the country. In this series of coordination, my role is to hasten the partnership and collaboration of the private sector and the government.
I am honored to be part of both sectors, in the private sector and in the public sector with my role as the presidential adviser for entrepreneurship. I intend to bridge the gap between the two sectors.
I have been advocating for the 3Ms which we believe will help an entrepreneur succeed. The 3Ms are Mentorship, Money, and Market. The role of the Build Build Build is connectivity which links entrepreneurs to its markets. Access to market is vital to the growth of micro entrepreneurs. Roads, bridges and ports which provide easier transportation of goods and services will support the economic and trade activities of MSMEs. And since the Philippines is an archipelago of more than 7000 islands, we can maximize these infrastructures to strengthen the tourism sector which many MSMEs are involved in.
One of the projects the private sector would want to contribute to is the development and extensive improvement of airports in key cities outside of Metro Manila and Metro Cebu.
The economic team encourages the private sector to develop the plans and present these so the team can integrate and streamline these into the administration’s development agenda.
Other infrastructure projects along the way are the building of ports, MRT connections, bridges, railways, expressways, power, and water utilities. The economic team acknowledges the interest of the private sector in helping the government’s goal of creating a better community.
As we promote prosperity for all, it is high time to create tools and systems such as hard structures that can pave the road of inclusive growth for all Filipinos.