CCCI sets rehab, livelihood plan-A A +A
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) set aside P1 million for livelihood and rehabilitation support of calamity-stricken areas in Bohol and northern Cebu.
CCCI president Lito Maderazo said on Tuesday that after the massive relief operations wrapped up, the chamber is now embarking on rehabilitation and rebuilding initiatives particularly for livelihood and commerce.
“On top of the houses lost, what we saw was a huge damage in livelihood and commerce,” he said.
According to Maderazo, the P1 million budget for livelihood was part of the P2 million funding they generated from the series of fund raising events they mounted for earthquake survivors in Bohol and typhoon survivors in northern Cebu.
Maderazo said it was time to upgrade the skills and technology of affected farmers and fisherfolk to improve their livelihood and ways of doing business.
He said the chamber also takes part in the initiatives of the Cebu Provincial Government to come up with coordinated effort on rehabilitation, particularly in commerce and livelihood.
The Province of Cebu is currently getting the support of different clusters on agriculture, education, food, livelihood, health/water, sanitation and hygiene.
They are adopting the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs template in rehabilitation plans.
“We are in the process of identifying specific areas of concern which we will present for potential international funding,” said Maderazo.
In Bohol, Maderazo said they are working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in identifying the associations and subcontractors affected by the recent earthquake.
DTI earlier reported that one of those affected were the weaving communities in Bohol who are major business partners of Cebu-based exporters.
“They were plenty of subcontractors affected, so we are putting up a program, that would provide seed capital to help subcontractors revive their livelihood,” said Maderazo.
One of the active business organizations that extended help is the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham).
CanCham president Julian Payne said they donated P100,000 as part of their corporate social responsibility to the earthquake victims in Bohol and typhoon in Northern Cebu for livelihood and rehabilitation project through CCCI.
Last Tuesday, CCCI and CanCham signed a memorandum of cooperation to strengthen the business relationship between Canada and Cebu.
Payne said investments related to agribusiness have a huge potential to grow in Canada. The country also needs more skilled workers in engineering and healthcare. He said about 25,000 Filipinos migrate to Canada each year.
Payne said their partnership with CCCI aims to promote trade missions, enhance network linkages and increase foreign investments in both countries.
He identified agribusiness, education, information and communications technology and tourism as good areas to explore for investments.
He, however, stressed the importance of making both countries aware of the market opportunities and developing direct transport linkages not only to attract tourism but also trade and investments.
There are only two direct flights from the Philippines to Canada via Manila to Toronto and Vancouver. Payne said that as they continue to strengthen partnership with the chamber, they hope they can open direct links for Canada and Cebu in the future.
While both countries present good business opportunities, Payne pointed out the need of the country to liberalize foreign direct investments policies to attract more investors.
The ease of doing business should, likewise be improved.
Payne also said they are interested in helping the country revive its manufacturing industry. He said foreign firms are eyeing the Philippines as potential location for manufacturing because of the country’s low cost of production and its hardworking and English-speaking workers.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 05, 2013.