THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said it will be recommending that the government focus on food self-sufficiency, human resources development, and ease of doing business.
PCCI Senior Adviser Alberto P. Fenix, Jr. made the remarks at a briefing, saying that addressing food security will also help bring down inflation.
“The first one is food self-sufficiency. We urge the government to really look into that and see in what way we can have this, as that will also do something about inflation,” Mr. Fenix said.
He added that food is the biggest component of the basket of goods used in calculating the consumer price index.
Food security can be addressed via new technology and improved logistics infrastructure, he said.
“(Second) is human capital formation … We talk about the fact that we have a very young population, but as to whether they have the skills and the knowledge needed in the future world of work or even in the present world of work is another matter,” he said.
He said students are coming out towards the bottom of international assessments of education.
“That should be really given attention so that we can really take advantage of the young population. Being there is not enough; they have to have the knowledge and the skills needed for them to be gainfully employed or gainfully self-employed,” he added.
“The future is artificial intelligence (AI). And I am very confident that if we do that properly we will really be a powerhouse in the world in terms of AI workers and technology,” he added.
In terms of ease of doing business, Mr. Fenix said businesses struggle to deal with regulations, inspections and registrations, which have pushed enterprises, especially the small and the micro segments, to operate in the underground economy.
Mr. Fenix said that one of the reasons why the ease of doing business is still an issue is that complex government processes enable corrupt dealings.
“These are all complex and there are many facets to it, and we have to prioritize and address it one by one,” he added. — Justine Irish D. Tabile