The Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. (AFFI) has expressed big hopes for entrepreneurs after hearing President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s plans for the sector over the last few days.
Duterte has bared his 8-point economic agenda, which his administration plans to implement once he officially assumes office. He has also vowed to end red tape and corruption in the government to fast-track business processing, promising to cut business registration to only three days.
“We’ve been hoping to hear something like this from our would-be leader even before the elections,” says AFFI Executive Vice President Ricardo Cuna. “We’re ranked pretty low in terms of ease of doing business here in the country, and that’s primarily because of our current entrepreneurial ecosystem. I think most of us in the industry agree that it’s the first thing we need to improve.”
Cuna cited the latest World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2016 report, where the Philippines ranked 103rd out of 189 economies with regard to “processing business permits and registrations”. It also came 6th place among its ASEAN counterparts, with Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, and Vietnam outranking the country for the first five slots.
“This situation is one of the factors that slows down the growth of entrepreneurship in the country. Hearing directly from President-elect Duterte that he plans to focus on resolving that gives us confidence that this will all change soon,” mused Cuna.
‘Strike while the iron is hot’
The business community is waiting to hear more of Duterte’s economic plans since his posting a landslide victory last May 9.
“Our economy has been tremendously growing these past few years, and it isn’t showing any sign of slowing down. We’re on a tight race here. We have to strike while the iron is hot. That’s why we want to learn more of what he intends to do so we could also act and do our part,” argues Franchise Guru Armando “Butz” Bartolome, one of AFFI’s founders and current Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Bartolome said the next administration’s primary steps are crucial in maintaining and increasing the country’s momentum. He praised Duterte for taking cue from the Aquino administration and continuing some of the healthier economic policies the latter has made throughout his time in office.
“There’s no shame in continuing what has been proven beneficial for the nation,” stressed Bartolome. “What the incoming administration should do, however, is to throw in improvements on these reforms and accelerate implementation of programs for the economy and the entire entrepreneurial community.”