Philippine business leaders called on the private sector to sustain the push for more economic recovery programs to address worsening economic slump and help small and medium entrepreneurs digitize their business.
Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said in a recent virtual forum organized by the Stratbase Albert del Rosario Institute that “the private sector is a reliable partner to government in economic recovery”.
“The private sector I believe acted swiftly, dug deep and used our balance sheets in order to protect our employees’ financial and physical well-being,” he said.
“We pivoted our businesses to stay afloat so we could extend payrolls and preserve jobs, knowing that our employees depended on us to feed their families afford other expenses. We supported our customers so they too could stay afloat and turn and in turn extend similar help to their own set of customers,” said Zobel de Ayala.
“If we will act in unison, work together, join forces and focus on some key areas where we can all make a difference, there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that the private sector can be a massive generator of goodwill in our country and a solution to many of our problems,” Zobel de Ayala said.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce Inc. president and Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico said: “Our goal in putting up the Innovation Center is to contribute to the national government's goal of ending poverty by 2040 and we can do this by teaching and training our youth on technology so that we will be able to capitalize on the competitive advantage of a young and educated population.”
“We need to get our young people educated and trained in technology. We need to get our MSMEs to embrace technology, as well as to attain sustainability of their business. Everyone needs to innovate.” Yujuico said.
Makati Business Club chairman Edgar Chua said that if the youth are not properly equipped and nourished, “the sweet spot in reality will be a sore spot as they will not be able to realize their full potential and support the country's development plan.”
“We need to ensure that budget for education goes to salaries of our teachers, we need to provide last mile schools, and we need to move to a digital transformation,” Chua said.
Stratbase ADRi president Dindo Manhit said in his opening statement that the private sector is key in creating a more sustainable and inclusive economic recovery through eight strategic initiatives.
These include addressing inequality and ensuring livelihood by creating jobs; reducing the digital divide through digital acceleration; addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions; helping strengthen the health system; pushing for public private collaboration driven by public interest; focusing and advocating for stakeholder capitalism; creating access to opportunity, quality education and social protection for all; and demanding transparency and accountability in governance by encouraging an entrepreneurial state and smart local governments.
Stratbase ADRi chairman and Ambassador Albert del Rosario said the country now has an opportunity to overhaul the flawed structures of government bureaucracies to become a digitally revitalized ecosystem of efficient processes and well-managed resources.
“The governments of neighboring economies and other developing nations have long seen this and have been investing heavily in building strategic digital infrastructure to harness the benefits of a digitally enabled, and connected population,” he said.
“This is a realm wherein nimbleness, innovation, expertise and mobility of resources is needed, attributes that are native to the developmental spirit of the private sector,” del Rosario said.