Binay promises traders better administration
VICE President Jejomar C. Binay took another swipe at the Aquino administration on Monday, calling the last five years a “period of lost opportunities,” before members of the country’s largest business group.
In the same breath, Binay attempted to woo the businessmen with promises of crucial reforms being passed under his presidency, including amendments to economic provisions of the Constitution, massive investments in infrastructure, and the restructuring of the tax system.
Speaking at the 41st Philippine Business Conference, Binay noted that the “Aquino administration promised much but, unfortunately, it delivered very little.”
“The Philippine economy over the past few years has been a paradox. We have seen (strong) GDP growth but the poverty rate has worsened. We have experienced a property boom but the housing backlog has worsened. Agriculture has failed and smuggling of agriculture products has been rampant. Despite a rice self-sufficiency thrust, this government imported larger and larger volumes of rice,” Binay said at the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry-hosted conference.
Under a “Binay presidency,” the Vice President cited three basic thrusts, namely, economic dynamism that will create more jobs and opportunities for the people; social inclusion or expanded social services, and a change in the leadership and structures hindering the rapid development of the Philippines.
“Under a Binay presidency, a massive infrastructure program will be given primary attention, and this is key to tapping the potentials of the national economy,” he said.
Binay also vowed to “give tax relief to our people by revising the tax rates to account for inflation, which the current administration will not do in its last months.”
“This move should restore the purchasing power of the working class and expand demand in the local economy. This should reduce the pressure to increase wages that would make the current economy uncompetitive. Corporate tax rates should likewise be reduced to be at par with the rest of the region. This, by far, will serve as the best incentive for investments in our economy. The increased investments should offset the initial losses in revenue with the adjustment of the tax rates,” Binay said.
He promised the business community a streamlined tax payment process; the easing of both land and air traffic congestion, and a focus on agriculture to create more jobs and spur economic activity in the regions.
Binay also supported amending the Constitution to lift restrictions on foreigners entering certain sectors of the economy. He said he would review the laws that currently require complicated business registration processes, particularly for crucial energy projects. Amy R. Remo
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