MANILA, Philippines – The Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines (JFC) recently held the 6th Arangkada forum with the theme “Implementing the 10-Point Agenda” at the Marriott Grand Ballroom in Pasay City
Co-sponsored by Eastern Communications, the 6th Arangkada Philippines Forum tackled the acceleration of the country’s economic growth using the administration’s 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda, which includes recommendations on key programs and policies in the fields of agribusiness, business processing management, infrastructure (telecommunications, water, transportation and power), manufacturing, logistics, mining and tourism.
The 10-point Socioeconomic Agenda aims to spur self-sustaining and inclusive growth throughout the country, with its successful implementation depending not only on the efforts of the government but also the active participation of the business community.
The fastest growing of the larger ASEAN-6 economies, Philippines’ economy has been seeing significant developments , with its gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging 6.3 percent from 2011 to 2016 however, National Competitiveness Council (NCC-private sector) Co-chair Guillermo M. Luz also pointed out the struggle to keep up with neighboring countries.
“In the report for Global competitiveness or global competitiveness Index, we’re ranked 47th in 2015 but we slipped in the last year to 57th. This is a reminder that if we slow down (even) for a little bit, if we relax too much, other countries will move up,” Luz said.
To speed up the country’s economic growth, the panel on “Muscling the Economy” joined by Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Sec. Benjamin Diokno and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Usec. Denis Vilorente stressed the importance of filling in the infrastructure gap. Among the projects discussed were the proposed Mega Manila subway, construction and rehabilitation of airports and seaports. Construction of thirteen new bridges across Pasig River and the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Bridge was as mentioned by DPWH Planning and PPP Usec. Maria Catalina Cabral.
The modernization of the country’s telecommunication infrastructure is another challenge that needs to be addressed. As estimated by the World Bank, a country can achieve a 1.38-percent increase in their GDP if the broadband penetration is increased by 10-percent.
Competitive digital connectivity can lower the cost of doing business while the digitization of processes and providing convenient online applications and licensing can cut down processing time and curb red tape, thus increasing the ease of doing business in the country.
DICT Undersecretary Dennis Vilorente shared that they are working on to reform the public sector document processing through digital transactions and urging the local governments and agencies to make use of the GovCloud to reduce the paper filing for private firms and individuals.
Another highlight of the forum is the promotion of innovation, science and technology to sustain the emergence of creative commerce. The JFC recommends supporting start-up ventures to encourage the industry to move up the chain towards more technology and innovation driven ventures.
As one of the country’s premiere telecommunications companies, Eastern Communications understands the critical role played by digital connectivity in spurring a country’s continued economic growth. Modernizing the country’s telecommunication infrastructure coupled with stronger Start-up and SME support prompts a series of positive effects on the economy, such as bringing in investments, creating jobs, initiating innovations, and forming a progressive entrepreneurial industry.
By supporting and being the official internet provider of Arangkada for two years in a row now, Eastern Communications show that they fully encourage the demand for the growth and advancement of the country’s ICT sector and other emerging innovation driven industries.
“As a telco provider we understand that we also provide critical infrastructure and connectivity support for the country, together with power, road works, water, and others and, that with such, we have a direct impact on the economy’s growth. Through Eastern Communications voice, data and internet services – individual consumers, businesses as well as government agencies can rely on connection that are both high tech and high touch as we provide customized plans and continued customer support that will help speed their growth,” shared Eastern Communications Marketing Division Head Catherine Muynila.