Palace happy on business confidence in Aquino administration

August 22, 2010 9:52 am 

MANILA, Aug. 21 — Malacañang has welcomed the “all time high” of 59.2 percent confidence of business in the Aquino administration even as it said it “we will do everything to ensure that the confidence will remain.”

The assurance was given by Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon “Ricky” Carandang in an interview over Radyo ng Bayan on Saturday.

Carandang said he confirms the “high level of business confidence in the Aquino administration” after he attended last Wednesday an economic briefing along with Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, and Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

Carandang said the main concern of the business community is that the government must adopt an “unchanging” policy environment that would allow them to plan their investments and operations in the country.

Many times, he said, businesses are discouraged by the economic and fiscal policies that change too often, making it difficult, if not impossible, to adjust their operations immediately.

“The President himself is inviting investors to come to the Philippines and set up shop here” and our message is “we are open for business. We want you to invest here. We will make sure that the rules and policies remain the same for as long as we are here,” Carandang said.

Earlier reports said business confidence for the fourth quarter has hit an all time high amid a “higher than anticipated economic growth, stronger peso, robust overseas remittances, benign inflation, strong export earnings and smooth transition of political power.”

The report from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas cited the latest Business Expectation Survey where the confidence index or the net percentage of firms that answered affirmatively (versus the negative responses) showed a more positive outlook.

Businessmen remained positive since the third quarter of 2009 or from 18.4 percent in 2009, 39.1 percent in the first quarter of 2010, 43.9 percent in the second quarter and 45 percent in the third quarter.

Respondents based their optimism on the steady growth of remittances of overseas Filipino workers, smooth transition of power and favorable expectations on the new government that could boost investor confidence in the economy, better performance of exports and sustained investment inflows and the government spending on infrastructure, social services and environmental protection. (PNA)

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