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Internet, incentives top agenda items at upcoming PHL business conference

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PHILIPPINE businesses will ask the government to improve internet connectivity and provide longer-term incentives in some of the potential recommendations at the upcoming 46th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E).

The conference will be held online on Oct. 7 and 8, during which the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) will present its resolutions to the government.

Among the recommendations collected from regional meetings were longer-term fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, PBC&E Chair Eunina Mangio said.

“(This will) ensure the survival and recovery of businesses to continue providing employment,” she said.

PCCI is also asking the national government to step up the automation and digitalization of government processes, which Ms. Mangio said will reduce physical contact during the pandemic.

“The national government (should) provide incentives for companies to digitalize, automate, and undertake programs to upskill and reskill their human resources,” she said.

The PCCI will also ask the government to provide input subsidies to the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. The chamber said that these sectors must have access to research and technology.

The chamber is also asking the Information and Communications Technology Department and the National Telecommunications Commission to exercise its powers of oversight on internet providers to improve services and connectivity at affordable prices.

“(They should) allow the common use of facilities and impose punitive and timely sanctions for telcos that misrepresent,” Ms. Mangio added.

PCCI President Benedicto V. Yujuico said that he hopes conversations with policymakers during the event include the private sector’s role in science and technology investment, incentives policy, red tape, and internet connectivity.

The resolutions are still subject to approval.

Speakers at the event include Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III, and Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña.

Private-sector speakers include Filinvest Development Corp. President and CEO Josephine Gotianun Yap, Kickstart Ventures President Minette Navarrete, and JG Digital Equity CEO Jojo Malolos. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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