LGUs deemed ‘business-friendly’ make European chamber’s short list

November 16, 2016

THE European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP) said that it will endorse over 60 business-friendly local government units (LGU) to various business groups in order to encourage more regional development.

Since 2014, ECCP along with other consortium members of the Partnerships for Integrity and Job Creation (Project I4J) have identified LGUs that adopt transparency measures proposed by the consortium.

Henry J. Schumacher, ECCP external affairs vice-president, said that the list of LGUs across the country will aid in the government’s mandate to channel development outside Metro Manila.

“What we’re doing at the moment is we’re writing letters to Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to Management Association of the Philippines, to the Makati Business Club, to the Joint Foreign Chamber. These are more than 60 LGUs that have gone through the program and are committed to be business-friendly,” he said in a media briefing in the Mariott Hotel.

“It’s really along the line of decentralization and regionalization. It’s important because we have to know where to look for the decision making process to work.”

Integrity circles have been established in most of these localities with an Administrative Order or a resolution institutionalizing their existence.

These circles are tasked to review the integrity and business promotion mechanisms and to support the LGU in the implementation of these mechanisms.

ECCP Director Gerry D. Constantino said that the list of LGUs was based on the referrals of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP).

The Philippines is composed of 1,400 municipalities, 140 cities, and 80 provinces.

Asked why the consortium only listed a small portion of the LGUs, Mr. Constantino said: “This is a project with budget constraints. In fact, our target is 80 but we achieved only 60. We also had difficulties because it was the election period. At the time, they were also not sure if they would stay. That also disrupted the process.”

Project I4J, which is funded by the European Union and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), is set to end this year.

The project was born out of the need to foster more communication between the private sector and the LGUs — a relationship which, according to Mr. Schumacher “hasn’t always been very good.”

The objectives of the project will be carried over through the Philippine Network of Local Government Integrity Circles (LoGIC), a similar initiative taken up by the consortium members along with the LGUs.

The ECCP will host the LGU-Business Summit on Nov. 22 in which selected LGUs will be held up as examples of best practices. — Roy Stephen C. Canivel

Business World, November 16, 2016

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