Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday announced that her administration will provide a level playing field for businesses by applying laws fairly, strengthening institutions against corruption, and prosecuting those who will take advantage of the government and the people.
The presidential aspirant outlined her program for economic reform at the Meet the Presidentiables: Economic Reforms in the New Frontier program of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), held online.
“My commitment to the business community: We will create an environment where enterprises have a chance to compete fairly. We will not fixate on restrictions, or merely wait to pounce and penalize those who step an inch out of line. Your voice will be heard as we work for the common good,” Robredo said.
The Vice President aims to build a government trusted by the business community and other stakeholders and sees a level playing field for all as a catalyst for a more equitable development.
“Results can be predicted more reliably, and that risk and volatility can be managed effectively. The energies of the entire nation can thus be focused on the project of nation-building – ensuring that the engines of the economy are engaged full throttle, from the centers of industry to communities in the margins. In so many words: Gobyernong Tapat, Angat Buhay Lahat,” she said.
To build trust, Robredo aims to increase transparency in government and appoint deserving people.
“In real, policy terms, this means filling the ranks of government with people of character, competence, and integrity. Agencies will be led by experts in their fields, and decisions on the ground will emanate from the best available science and data,” she said.
Robredo said she would make the passage of the Full Disclosure Bill, which she filed in Congress when she was a district representative, one of her legislative priorities to ensure government transparency.
“This makes financial transactions and documents of public interest readily accessible to the public and is something I will prioritize should I get elected,” she said.
She also wants to work more closely with the private sector in keeping with her policy of consultation through the National Competitiveness Council.
“Spaces for dialogue, sectoral feedback, and consensus-building will be created, enabling continued, sustainable collaboration. A fully-functioning National Competitiveness Council will be one such space: Its task will be to bridge the gap between government and the private sector, and to craft and mind a comprehensive strategy which involves all stakeholders to make the country more globally competitive,” Robredo said.
The Vice President also aims to improve the implementation of current policies and tap modern technology to improve efficiency and reduce opportunities for corruption.
“Throughout the entire process, the imperative will be to unlock the energies of the economy—ensuring that the Ease of Doing Business Act is implemented, for example, or that roadblocks in the form of outdated policies and laws are removed. In this same spirit, we will accelerate the digital transition and reduce the amount of human intervention that can often be an avenue for corruption,” Robredo said.
The electorate should look at not just the plans and promises of the candidates in choosing the next President, Robredo said.
Most importantly, she said, voters must study candidates’ track record in delivering on their promises, particularly as the country enters the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 50,000 Filipinos, destroyed millions of jobs, and forced changes to almost every aspect of Filipinos’ lives.
“The most important question cuts through all the policy clutter and goes back to trust: Whom can you trust to be true to their word, to follow through with action, to actually put into practice the plans that are pronounced on the campaign pulpit.
“To this, I respond only with what we all know to be true: The leader you can trust beyond the elections is the one that should have already earned your trust today—through her track record, and through the unshakeable proof of what we have so far done with our time in public service, and in fact our entire lives,” Robredo said.