Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go met with officials and key members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. in a video conference and appealed for support to revive the economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the same time, Go urged FFCCCII members to help fight corruption as businesses are slated to reopen soon.
“Kayo po ang makakatulong, mga negosyante, to invest in the provinces. At ang gobyerno din po magbibigay ng incentives to encourage you to invest,” Go said during his opening speech.
“Hinihiling ko din po na tulungan ninyo kami ni Pangulong Duterte na labanan ang korapsyon sa gobyerno. Kung may lumalapit man sa inyo at ginigipit kayo o di kaya ay humihingi ng suhol, isumbong po ninyo sa amin. Huwag po ninyong hayaan, kunsintihin o itago. Asahan po ninyo na proprotektahan namin kayo pati na rin ang inyong negosyo,” he added.
He then detailed the plans the government formulated to respond to the socio-economic effects of the pandemic.
“First, the government will restart and accelerate its Build, Build, Build Program, subject to strict health standards to protect its workers,” Go said. “Unang binuksan ito sa ngayon kase ito ang pwedeng makapagbigay agad ng trabaho and pump up the economy.”
To intensify the fight against COVID-19, the government will hire thousands of contact tracers.
Go also detailed the various assistance provided by the government such as the COVID-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises Program through the Department of Trade and Industry, COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program of the Department of Labor and Employment and the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program through the Social Security System.
The government likewise seeks to attract foreign investors to relocate to the Philippines by passing Package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, which includes flexible tax and non-tax incentives as proposed by the Department of Finance.
Go is also pushing for the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) bill.
The Create bill will require corporations to pay only 25 percent corporate income tax starting July 2020, instead of a gradual decrease of 1 percent per year from the current 30 percent corporate income tax rate, as provided in the Corporate Income Tax and Incentives Rationalization Act (CITIRA).
To further boost the economy, the government will stimulate consumer spending by reviving manufacturing of products that have strong, inelastic demand, especially food production and logistics.
There is also the Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program, which Go created to achieve equitable development in all regions and decogest Metro Manila.
The senator assured businessmen the government is always open to their concerns.
“As a public servant, I give you my word: this government will listen to you and will not abandon you,” said Go. “We will take this one step at a time so that we can slowly, but surely, emerge out of this crisis as a stronger and more prosperous nation.”