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Private Sector Advisory Council enhances inclusive governance

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has taken a major stride in promoting inclusive governance — or what is popularly described as a whole-of-society approach — in addressing the country’s challenges. He has tapped the chief executives of the country’s leading corporations to constitute a Private Sector Advisory Council (PSA).

The council members have been tasked to focus on five key sectors of the economy, as follows: Sabin Aboitiz of the Aboitiz Group, for infrastructure and tourism; Aileen Uygongco-Ongkauko of La Filipina Uy Gongco Corporation & Subsidiaries, for agriculture; Joey Concepcion of RFM Corp., for vaccination and jobs generation; Henry Aguda of City Savings, for digital infrastructure, and; Paolo Borromeo, of Ayala Healthcare Holdings, for healthcare. Mr. Aboitiz has been designated as Council chairperson.

Each of the sectoral groups has committed to provide the President with real-time feedback on what’s happening on the ground. Their focus would be on how to ease and hasten the recovery of businesses. In this way, government policies could respond more appropriately to their specific concerns. For instance, the needs of micro, small and medium enterprises would be different from those of large business.

How to calibrate regulations to continually contain and curb Covid-19 infection in light of the continuing emergence of new variants is easily on top of their agenda. Tourism and healthcare imperatives need to be addressed. As the country has relaxed restrictions to facilitate the entry of foreign tourists, inter-island travel is also being promoted as this would revive the hotel, restaurant and travel establishments that employ large numbers of workers and boost many local economies.

The country’s healthcare infrastructure also needs to be reengineered or made ‘pandemic-proof.’ Recall that when Covid-19 broke out in early 2020, the immediate response was enhanced community quarantine as critical and intensive care facilities were clearly inadequate. Prioritizing big-ticket infrastructure with enhanced private sector participation is also worth looking into, considering that the government is hard-pressed in terms of cash generation and debt management.

Digital transformation is also imperative. It is well that a banker has been tapped to head this sector as financial inclusion is being promoted by the Bangko Sentral through heightened digital literacy in day-to-day transactions with banks and financial institutions.

Finally, agriculture as a primary area of focus has already been signaled by President Marcos when he personally took on the Department of Agriculture portfolio. Assuring food security and stabilizing food prices are on top of his agenda.

As observed by PSA Chairperson Aboitiz: “The close partnership between the public and private sectors will continue to deepen with the establishment of PSAC under President Marcos. We are optimistic that by working hand-in-hand with the government to develop the five priority areas, we will see a revitalized economy that all Filipinos will benefit from.”

Credit belongs to : www.mb.com.ph

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