Amidst the global economic downturn, the business sector and government along with other stakeholders committed to intently pursue concrete and workable solutions aimed at providing an environment that sustains business viability and growth in order to strengthen the economy’s capacity to preserve and generate jobs and provide support to affected workers, Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said.
Roque said the social partners and stakeholders representing business, academe, church, non-government and government organizations signed a Communique expressing their commitment to cooperate and support business growth as a measure in helping workers and industries cope
with the global crisis at the multi-sectoral summit held in Malacañang, Monday (Feb. 9).
He said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo initiated the summit, dubbed “Joining Hands Against the Global Crisis,” to strengthen the country’s resiliency and preparedness to cope with the economic downturn by ensuring the viability and growth of business.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Trade and Industry (DTI) jointly organized the summit held at the Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace.
The DOLE Chief said the multi-sectoral summit was part of the government’s efforts to preserve and generate jobs and provide safety nets to affected workers and industries.
He said the social partners believed that the current crisis could still provide new opportunities for investment areas that would be necessary in employment preservation and generation.
He hailed the social partners for agreeing to support efforts aimed at ensuring an environment that would promote business growth as this would, in turn, save and generate jobs as well as provide safety nets to Filipino workers affected by the crisis.
In this Communique, he said, the partners specified their support to efforts that would reduce the cost of doing business by, among others, automation of import/export processing and payment, reduction in the costs of business licenses and permits, and relaxation of criteria for extension of income tax holiday.
The social partners also called for policies that would improve marketing of products especially in the herbal and health and wellness industry and other sectors which are expected to grow despite the crisis.
Roque said the government is ready to provide assistance on research and development to improve marketing of local products adding the effort would certainly boost employment generation.
The social partners, he added, likewise sought policies that would curb smuggling and at the same time ease access to credit and provide tax breaks and incentives to business particularly industries that have been affected adversely by the global financial crisis.
He said providing tax breaks to distressed firms would help industry preserve jobs while at the same time providing these firms the needed capital for them to surmount the difficulties brought about by the crisis, thereby, boosting efforts to sustain demand and the economy as a whole.