DAVAO CITY (JUNE 20, 2016) – Incoming Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez today challenged the country’s business sector to start building coalitions for reform in order to “radically transform the way we do things” so that economic growth does not translate into “further entrenching the oligarchy.”
“When we do things more efficiently, the majority benefits from the values created… When government performs better, the consumer benefits in the end,” Dominguez told over 300 business leaders from all over the country at the first day of the two-day “Sulong Pilipinas” economic consultation workshop at the SMX Convention Center here.
The meeting was convened ahead of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s formal assumption to the Presidency on June 30.
In his speech during the opening ceremony, Dominguez said both the government and the private sector would have to jettison their traditional mindsets and radically change the ways they do business and deal with or serve our people.
It is only through this that all Filipinos can truly benefit from the country’s nascent economic gains, he said.
Dominguez said while the incoming administration will continue the sound macroeconomic policies that have allowed the economy to grow under the Aquino administration, it will also overhaul the policies and systems that have barred an overwhelming majority of Filipinos from partaking of the benefits.
He said this would require sweeping reforms from the incoming government ranging from much higher public spending on human and physical capital to improve living standards to tougher law enforcement that would make homes and streets safe anew.
Dominguez said the incoming government will pursue “an environment that would be good for business” by leveling the playing field, carrying out investor-friendly initiatives, ridding the bureaucracy of graft and inertia, and freeing government agencies from “regulatory capture.”
He said for its part, the business community needs to deliver on new public-private partnerships over the next six years.
“We cannot transform government without transforming the community,” Dominguez said. “We cannot evolve a rules-based economy without a rules-based ethos for the whole community. We cannot have good governance in the public sector without good governance in the private sector.”
Dominguez said the new administration will “move away from the chronic under-spending we have seen the past few years.”
“We will invest in building the infrastructure necessary to make us a 21st century economy: from modernizing our ports to improving our logistical spine to ensuring reliable and cheap power for all the islands,” he said.
He expressed the hope that with the two-day dialogue, the public and private sectors could jointly start refining the reforms that would be put in place over the next six years.
“From the onset, let me assure you that the new administration will be guided by what is best for the nation,” he said.