Last February 20, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Muntinlupa chapter, in coordination with the Office of the Mayor of Muntinlupa City, Metro Manila. organized a forum on ASEAN Integration. I was asked by a friend and fellow Rotarian Baby Bunye, who is also a member of PCCI Muntinlupa, to attend and do the synthesis of the forum. I said yes.
It was a good and big forum, with speakers not only from Muntinlupa but also from some trade and tourism experts, from foreign chambers.
Program MCs were Emily de Leon of Filinvest Muntinlupa, and Joseph Chanco of Voice of the South paper. The President of PCCI Muntinlupa gave the opening remarks. Elvie is a fantastic and dynamic lady — President of the local Chamber, President of Rotary Club President, General Manager of Vivere Hotel, plus other civic and corporate engagements.
Inspirational message was given by the City Mayor. He was introduced by Roberto Franco, Past President of PCCI Muntinlupa. And I am very impressed by this man. He arrived earlier than the scheduled start of the event (11 am), and he stayed until the end of the panel discussions (about 3:45 pm). Most politicians, local or national, have the habit of speaking only then leave. That old attitude of “you listen to me, I need not listen to you.” Mayor Fresnedi is almost the exact opposite. He spoke little and briefly, and stayed and listened attentively, that rare attitude of “you speak, I will listen”. Bow.
There were six speakers, all very knowledgeable and articulate. Among the points raised by the speakers were the following.
Tony Abad, TA Associates
- Open up business, remove barriers and legal impediments
- 3 pillars of integration: socio cultural community, security and political stability, and economic community, AFTA in goods
- 99% of all goods intra-traded are at zero percent
- Competition law is needed, protect the consumers
Not in the photo was the forum moderator, Mr. Marvin Tumandao, MOST, PIO.
Ruy Moreno, National Competitiveness Council
- PH geographically well-situated
- PH improved rannking WB-IFC, WEF, TI, HF
- Think big, operate small; no more silos, teamwork
- Competition never sleeps, bar always rises, maintain momentum
- Domestic tourism is real driver, 24-25M in 2013, 12-18% annual growth
- Budget airlines, RORO, contributed to high dom. Tourism
- Integration is harmonization
- Businessmen complaints, hard to do business here
Roger Lamb, British Chamber of Commerce
- Lack of good infrastructures
- Ease of doing business, we are still too low in global rank
- Constitutional issues, banning foreign competition in some industries
- ASEAN integration will not change that, only local consti change
- Local preparedness, do we have enough infra, low electricity costs
- Education, how responsive is HR development
- Need for continued dialogue of local governments with investors and consumers, constituents
Bodo Goerhlich, German Chamber of Commerce
- Upgrade the skills of local people so EU companies can hire/use them
- Problem how govt treats big companies; paperwork and requirements getting more difficult
- More registrations, permits required
- No direct flight to europe except Manila-London by PAL
The open forum was also fast and dynamic. Then awarding of Certificate of Appreciate to the speakers, closing remarks by Chito Borromeo, another Past President of PCCI Muntinlupa, raffles, and group photos.
I know only some of the people above, like Emily de Leon (left most), Elvie Quiazon and Baby Bunye to my right.
Thanks again for the opportunity to see the event and listen to your great speakers, Elvie, Baby. Two of the photos above are also from Baby’s camera.
The full 20-slides synthesis is posted in slideshare.