Successful conduct of election seen to propel growth, inspire investors

The business community yesterday said that the successful midterm elections would further strengthen the country's economy to higher growth path.

Atty. Miguel Varela, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, cited the generally peaceful elections despite some hitches on some of the PCOS machines at the start of yesterday's voting.

Melito S. Salazar, president of the Management Association of the Philippines, noted that "clean, honest election always reassures investors on the stability of the country."

According to Varela, once the new Congress resumes work legislators are expected to tweak some economic provisions in the Constitution to further enhance the attractiveness of the domestic economy.

"Legislators should look at new areas of the economy under the Constitution that need amendments to make the country more attractive to foreign investors," Varela said.

PCCI, the country's largest business organization, also urged the incoming new Congress to provide incentives to investors.

"We need to provide incentives to investors because other countries are also granting tax perks, we have to compete with these countries," Varela said.

"New investments would mean creation of more jobs," he stressed.

The newly elected local officials are also expected to pursue reforms aligned with the "Daang Matuwid" policy of the Aquino administration. This would make the countryside more attractive for investors to enter, he added.

Salazar noted that: "If the majority of those elected are with PNoy it will definitely push economic growth to higher levels since business knows good governance means good results."

He, however, stressed that "business must do its share walk the talk in integrity and professionalism."

Stellar economic growth has characterized the Philippine economy since the assumption of President Aquino into power in 2010. Two out of three international credit rating agencies have already upgraded the country year to investment grade status with a stable outlook.

In 2012, the economy as measured by gross domestic product grew by a better-than-expected 6.6 percent, one of the highest in the region.