DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the private sector plays a “very crucial” role in the country’s economic growth and recovery amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Malaya, in an economic forum on Friday, said amending and removing restrictions in the Constitution will help to facilitate investments from private entities.
“That is why we want to be able to bring foreign capital because our investments and gross capital formation decreased by negative 18.3 percent compared to previous statistics. So while it’s true that the government has an important role to play, private sector investment is very crucial to economic growth,” he said.
In the same forum, Center for Strategy, Enterprise, and Intelligence (CenSEI) executive director Gary Olivar said reforming the economic provisions in the Constitution will also help in attracting foreign investments.
He added that big foreign investors in the country should be seen as partners for growth instead of being competitors.
“Ang pagpasok ng malalaking foreign investors ang siya ngang tutulong sa mga medium and small scale industries. Hindi po sila kakompetensya (The entry of large foreign investors will help the medium and small scale industries. They are not competitors),” said Olivar.
He added that there will be more business partnerships between foreign investors and local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) if the Constitution will ease the entry of foreign investments into the country.
He said most of the foreign investments here are in the manufacturing sector, but the proposed economic reform would enable to attract more foreign capital in important sectors like agriculture.
Moreover, Malaya said the proposed Bayanihan to Arise as One Act (Bayanihan 3), which is currently in deliberation in Congress, would be an economic stimulus package that would provide more assistance to micro-enterprises and SMEs and the local economy.
“I think Bayanihan 3 would be one of the important measures that the government can do. Unfortunately, it might not be enough. We need to ensure greater consumer confidence, we need the private sector… and of course, amending and removing the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution,” he said. (PNA)
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