The presidential candidate who has the firm platform to further develop the agriculture sector and alleviate the plight of the farmers and fisherfolks deserves the vote of the Filipino-Chinese businesses community said the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII).
FFCCCII president, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, who is also the brains behind the SL Agritech Corporation, incepted to solve the insufficiency of rice supply in the Philippines, said the next president should have a clear and enduring vision for the agriculture and fisheries sector.
“We understand that every candidate has his or her own agenda on how to run the country but we can say that all of them are sincere. And even though the federation is apolitical, we will choose the candidate who will give ample attention to agriculture, the basic need, and the backbone of the economy,” Dr. Lim said.
The SL Agritech Corporation, which Dr. Lim handles as chief executive officer, is now the number one distributor of hybrid seeds throughout the country and has now expanded to exporting rice to a number of countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Madagascar.
Dr. Lim stressed that when the agriculture sector is on the right track, the economy will run smoothly, as the sector will gain more produce to be exported to neighboring countries and other continents.
“Quoting a statement from Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said, “if you have food in your hand, then your heart will not be worried.” During our lifetime, food, including livestock, fruits, and fish remains to be an integral necessity. That’s why these should be assured by the next President of the Republic. And we are hoping that Filipinos now are intelligent enough to elect somebody who can be an answer to our continued quest and hopes for food security for our kababayans,” the FFCCCII president underlined.
Dr. Lim, who facilitated the gift-giving and donation of sacks of rice and other goods to chosen barangays in Metro Manila and non-government organizations last Friday, said FFCCCII remains bullish for 2022.
“We are looking at a conservative growth of around 6 to 6.5 percent in our gross domestic product (GDP) next year. We still hope that it will hit 7 percent. Our members, who own hotels in major tourist destinations, are now gearing to reopen their establishments when the situation continues to recover. And we hope that the new Omicron variant will not once again block our ways to attaining our pre-pandemic state, as we believe that this pandemic is not forever,” according to Dr. Lim.
Lim urged Filipinos to secure their vaccines in order to attain protection from the virus, stating that all members of their organization are now 99 percent fully vaccinated.
The Philippine economy expanded by 7.1 percent during the third quarter of the current year, among the highest third-quarter growths in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations and East Asian region amid the pandemic, boosting optimism about staging a strong recovery next year.
The third-quarter GDP was higher compared to -11.6 percent in the same period in 2020, but lower than the 12 percent in the second quarter this year mainly driven by base effects.
Year-to-date growth is currently at 4.9 percent.
The Philippine Statistics Authority recently disclosed that the country’s GDP should grow at 5.3 percent during the fourth quarter to hit the high-end of the 4 to 5-percent growth target for this year, and about 1.7 percent to achieve the lower end of the target.