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MBC Statement on the Developments at the Makati City Hall

1 July 2015 – The Makati Business Club expresses its concern at the developments that continue to unfold at the Makati City Hall. While we recognize that the mayor has decided to leave city hall as ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman, we note that it took a significant period, two orders from the Ombudsman, and instances of near-violence between the mayor’s supporters and law enforcement officers before the mayor made his decision, when such an order was immediately executory.

MBC believes that no one should be above the law—and the demand to respect the rule of law is more heavily levied on elected public servants. Indeed, affected officials are free to avail themselves of all remedies provided under our system. However, they must ultimately and immediately submit themselves to the demands of the law at the first instance an order is given.

The developments at the Makati City Hall clearly illustrate the costs of defying a suspension order, which has almost become common practice of officials facing cases from the proper authorities. As part of our democratic processes to address possible wrongdoing, suspension is not a punishment, nor does respecting a suspension order mean an admission of guilt. In this instance, the defiance of the suspension order up until the mayor’s decision to ultimately vacate city hall has created an environment of uncertainty and instability in the country’s financial center. Such a situation is unnecessary and is counterproductive, especially at a time when the economy is steadily growing and that there is renewed investor interest in the Philippines.

Now that the case is in the judiciary, it is our hope that the courts will render a fair decision swiftly and in accordance to its merits.

Updates

PBG-JFC call for more reforms entering homestretch of Aquino administration

26 May 2015 – The Philippine Business Groups and Joint Foreign Chambers, a coalition composed of 18 local and foreign business groups, urged the government to enact critical policy reforms aimed at ensuring inclusive growth through job generation, poverty reduction, and global competitiveness, entering the final 12 months of the Aquino administration.

The list of reforms was contained in a letter sent to the President and was the product of a month-long consultation process with the participating organizations.

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Updates

Philippines jumps 20 places to 46th place in WEF’s 2015 human capital index ranking

14 May 2015 — Up by 20 places from the 66th spot out of 122 economies in 2013, the Philippines now ranks 46th out of 124 economies in terms of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) revised Human Capital Index (HCI). Based on the Human Capital Report 2015, the country’s HCI also ranked sixth among 22 Asia Pacific economies. The Philippines likewise ranked fourth among 31 lower middle income economies as its scores across all age groups fared better than average among all countries in the lower middle income group.

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Updates

MBC Research Report examines Philippine trade structure and investment barriers

13 May 2015 – With the increasing importance of globalization and cross-border trade, questions are raised as to whether the Philippines is well-prepared to take advantage of this worldwide trend. Early this year, the Makati Business Club released a special research report entitled “Examining Philippine Trade Structure and Barriers to Trade and Investment,” to analyze the country’s readiness for increased global trade and possible participation in regional trade agreements. The study, authored by Dr. Marissa Paderon of the Ateneo de Manila University revealed that the while the Philippines is relatively more open now in trade and investment policy, it is weak in terms of investment and capital compared to other ASEAN middle-income economies due to inadequate government policy.

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