Business groups urge passage of business and economic reform measures

DOMESTIC and foreign business groups today urged leaders of Congress to move to final enactment a series of business and economic reforms that are very advanced in the legislative process.

These measures are: Anti-money Laundering Act amendments, Direct Remittance of Local Government Share in National Wealth Taxes, Enhancing the Curriculum of Basic Education (K+12), Insurance Code amendments, Institutionalizing the National Land Use Policy, amendments to several laws on professions to allow foreign reciprocity (Criminology, Environmental Planning, Pharmacy and Forestry), Rural Bank Act amendments, Sustainable Forest Management bill, Universal Healthcare Coverage and Whistleblowers Protection bill, all which have passed the House of Representatives but have yet to pass the Senate. Meanwhile, the House has yet to pass the Design Council bill and Freedom of Information bill that were approved already in the Senate. Both
chambers have yet to approve the Anti-trust bill.

The domestic and foreign business groups noted the growing reform momentum in the Philippines which is attracting worldwide attention in the international press and among foreign governments. They urge Congress to support this momentum by accomplishing a final effort by passing most of these measures when it resumes for a three-week session on January 21 before entering the election campaign period.

The groups also commended the hard work of Congress in passing bills that will soon be forwarded to Malacanang for signature of President Benigno Aquino III: Anti-trafficking Act amendments, Intellectual Property Code amendments, Tripartism, Conciliation and Mediation as a Mode of Dispute Settlement, and the removal of Common Carriers Tax and Gross Philippine Billings Tax. eThe groups that join in this appeal are composed of the Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC) and Philippine Business Groups (PBGs): American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Australian-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Financial Executives of the Philippines, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Philippines, Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Association of Multinational Regional Headquarters, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc.

The JFC-published Arangkada Philippines 2010, which contains 471 business and economic reform recommendations, documented business and economic reform measures enacted in the 14th Congress. With the passage of these additional measures, not only will the 15th Congress strongly enhance Philippine competitiveness and support economic growth but will surpass the 22 business and economic reform measures passed in the previous 14thCongress.

The JFC will be releasing the second annual assessment of the 471 business and economic reform recommendations in the Arangkada Philippines report at the Second Annual Arangkada Philippines Forum: Realize the Potential! on February 26, 2013 at the Makati Shangri-La. — Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines

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