In behalf of the FFCCCII, I send the happiest greetings and our sincere prayers for a peaceful and prosperous New Year for the whole Philippines in 2020!The passing year 2019 was a period of notable achievements for the Philippines, despite some domestic challenges and global uncertainties.
Among the 2019 good news we should be thankful for include: the Philippines’ strong economic growth, lower inflation, lower interest rates, lower rice prices, positive momentum in the “Build Build Build” new infrastructure projects, the booming Philippine tourism industry due mainly to successes in the government’s pragmatic independent foreign policy and relentless anti-crime campaign. Congratulations also to the whole country—especially to the government, heroic athletes, volunteers and organizers—for the successful hosting of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and for the numerous sports victories!
We congratulate President Rodrigo R. Duterte for his recent fourth quarter 2019 approval rating survey results of 87%, which is unique for an incumbent president of the republic at mid-term or three years in office. We believe this means that the government’s poverty alleviation and socio-economic reforms, and his anti-crime campaign are succeeding and helping social progress.
In the new year 2020, we at the FFCCCII are optimistic about strong and resilient Philippine economic growth of 6.5% to possibly 7.5% due to increased domestic and foreign investments, continuing economic reforms, good fiscal and monetary policies, benign inflation rate, political stability, the expected major acceleration in infrastructure expenditures, the strengthening tourism boom, implementation of state technical and credit support for rural farmers.
We hope in this era of “Build Build Build” for Philippine infrastructures, let us support our Filipino farmers with a “Grow Grow Grow” campaign for Philippine agriculture modernization. In my personal capacity, I am advocating a “Masagana 300” program in partnership with Secretary Joey Concepcion’s GoNegosyo NGO to encourage the estimated two million Filipino rice farmers to boost rice production to 300 cavans per hectare.
We the FFCCCII are fully behind the government in aiming for grade A investment rating for the Philippines from international credit rating agencies, thus we support the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA) to lower corporate income tax from 30% to 20% and to rationalize investment incentives.
An important, positive milestone in the new year 2020 shall be the upcoming 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between two ancient allies and trade partners the Philippines and China, amidst flourishing economic and infrastructure cooperation, cultural diplomacy and other people-to-people exchanges. The strengthening of our traditional good relations with China is good news for the Philippine economy, as we compete with our Asean and Asian neighbors in tapping this world’s No. 1 largest consumer and tourism market of 1.4 billion people.
For the FFCCCII in 2019, among our numerous economic, business, socio-civic and cultural advocacies include promotions of increased investments; welcoming of foreign investors; helping create more new jobs; humanitarian aid of free rice and cash P1.4 million pesos to fully rehabilitate fishing boat hit in Recto Bank; relief assistance for victims of typhoon, fire and earthquake calamities; donation and construction of public school-buildings under FFCCCII’s “Operation Barrio Schools” civic project; support for various Filipino Chinese fire volunteer brigades nationwide which help all fire and calamity victims regardless of race or socio-economic origin; weekly Sunday free medical and dental missions for urban and rural poor families; etc.
Whatever we at the FFCCCII have done in 2019, our over 170 member chambers and industry associations nationwide are committed to do more for 2020. We have great faith in the bright and more inclusive future of the Philippine economy, therefore we shall invest more and encourage other fellow entrepreneurs here and abroad to do more business in the Philippines.
Once again, the FFCCCII sends our warmest greetings for a new year of continued reforms, progress, national unity, peace and prosperity for the entire Philippines!