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Palace: PCCI execs may join COVID-19 policy discussions as resource persons

/ 12:27 PM August 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Officials of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) may serve as resource persons during COVID-19 policy discussions concerning trade, business, and the economy, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque issued the statement after PCCI, the country’s largest business group, said the private sector should be part of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF),  following complaints about the “impractical standards” that the IATF imposed in the workplace amid the pandemic.

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“The Inter-Agency Task Force welcomes any group, organization, or individual, outside the members of the IATF, to join the discussion of any of its meetings,” said Roque, who is also the spokesman of the IATF.

“Officials of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) can therefore serve as resource persons on matters related to trade, business and the economy in the same way that IATF has invited health experts from different medical associations to give their inputs related to their field of expertise,” he added.

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The Palace official also noted that President Duterte’s economic managers are members of the IATF and regularly join the task force meetings to ensure that the concerns of the business sector are tabled.

The PCCI said it recently passed a resolution to urge the government to engage the private sector in consultations before coming up with policy recommendations on lockdowns and resumption of economic activities.

PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico said their members around the country have expressed concern about the government’s apprehension in fully opening the economy, incoherence between IATF regulations and local government implementation, as well as the stringent guidelines imposed on enterprises allowed to operate under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Metro Manila, the center of economic activity as well as of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, eased into the less restrictive GCQ where some industries are allowed to operate although in a limited capacity.

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TAGS: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Economy, Health, IATF, Malacañang, NcoV, Outbreak, pandemic, PCCI, Philippines
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