Cebu businessmen back calls for Charter change | Inquirer News

Cebu businessmen back calls for Charter change

‘Amend economic provisions in Constitution to encourage more foreign investors’
By: - Senior Reporter / @agarciayapCDN
/ 12:22 PM July 08, 2013

Economic provisions in the Constitution like on property  and other limitations that discourage foreign investors from coming here should be reviewed.

Lito Maderazo, president of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), said this was one of the reasons his group was calling and supporting the call of at least 13 business groups in Manila to amend the 1987 Constitution.

Maderazo said since we’ve gotten the attention of global investors, we still need to translate their attention into concrete investments and these would only happen if we amend the economic provisions of the Constitution.


“This only shows that the business community not only here in Cebu recognizes that there have to be changes that need to be done to the Constitution if we want to accelerate our growth. Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) are the engines of growth that the Philippines should be able to tap and exhaust especially now,” Maderazo said.


He said like business groups in Manila, the CCCI would try and initiate a unified position paper with other organizations in Cebu like the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and the Cebu Business Club (CBC).

manila groups

Among the Manila-based business groups supporting the “Cha-cha” call  are the Makati Business Club, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Alyansa Agrikultura, the Philippine Exporters Confederation, the People Management Association of the Philippines, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Australian New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the European Chamber of Commerce, the Japanese Chamber of Commerce, the Korean Chamber of Commerce, and the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters Inc.

They wrote President Benigno Aquino III on June 19 asking him to consider Charter change.

concrete issues

With Aquino’s State of the Nation Address scheduled on July 22, Maderazo said that they would need the President to talk more about concrete issues and directions, and his plans and strategies on steering the country to become more competitive and to continue growing.


“The greatest fulfillment so far of the current administration is establishing a good reputation for the country in the global business community. The recent credit rating upgrade and all the conditions that are favorable for business. These opportunities, however,- should be complemented with concrete plans and programs to translate all these confidence to concrete investments that will generate more jobs for the Filipinos,” he said.

AEC 2015

Maderazo said now would be the time to prioritize the country’s competitiveness especially since the Asean Economic Community (AEC 2015) would happen in less than two years.

“We cannot just sit and wait for the AEC 2015 and allow our neighbors to ‘swallow’ us. We need to be competitive especially with FDIs. We have to grow our FDIs that is why we need to put in place favorable conditions for these investments to start coming,” Maderazo said.

While the country has a booming tourism industry and is now being seen as the next “Tiger in Asia,” Maderazo said, our numbers were still a far cry from that of our neighbors like Thailand and Vietnam, which were enjoying a large tourism traffic every year.

“We are targeting to get 10 million foreign arrivals by 2016, but Thailand, on the other hand, has been getting over 25 million tourists a year. Vietnam is doing a lot better than us in terms of FDIs. Why are we lagging behind despite all the optimism? It’s because we have too stringent conditions,” Maderazo.said.

CBC president

CBC president Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph agreed.

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“It has been a good start for the PNoy administration, but everyone has to realize that there are still significant steps required to move forward. We need to create more jobs and these can only come from local investments and foreign direct investments. Our FDI performance remains pretty poor,” Joseph said.

TAGS: Cebu

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