LOCAL business group Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) has proposed an economic rehabilitation plan to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental.
Frank Carbon, chief executive officer of MBCCI, said their proposed actions for the economic recovery of the province are summarized into five major points.
The first is on government infrastructure projects which are billion-peso investments.
Carbon said there is a need to quickly restart government infrastructure projects.
“The province has to start other projects with approved budget,” he said, adding that it should also expedite the bidding for pending projects.
Second, the business group suggested to the Provincial Government to extend cash assistance and wage subsidy for one more following the enhanced community quarantine.
The cash assistance, is said to be allocated for qualified citizens but were not included in the previous list of beneficiaries.
The wage subsidy, meanwhile, is for employees of non-essential businesses.
The group, in its proposed plan which was submitted to Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson and Provincial Consultant in Economic Affairs Alfredo Benetiz on Tuesday, May 19, also underscored the need for new job opportunities.
Carbon said there’s a need to create a program to assist employees or workers of affected industries to find new jobs that are attuned to their skills or learn new competencies to fill new job opportunities.
He said the government should provide opportunities to employees to be trained and learn new skills.
“Also, facilitate partnerships where workers can adapt their skills to a new job,” Carbon added.
The fourth point is on re-capitalizing employers or businesses through loans.
There’s a need to work quickly to re-capitalize the employers, especially the micro and small enterprises who make up 90 percent of the business sector in the province.
The MBCCI stressed the need to encourage loan wholesalers and retailers to operate in full, even augmented capacity to make loans available right away.
“We should proactively seek out small businesses and assist them in loan application,” it said, adding that there’s also a need to extend cash assistance to informal business owners who may not qualify for institutional loans.
Lastly, the group proposes to build up industries.
Carbon said the province should take advantage of the liquidity support for businesses that is being made available as an opportunity for the province to build up the existing local industries.
He said the market for homegrown products should be built up to help increase productivity.
“The market-road network projects should be expedited, and accelerate farmers and fisherfolk support services and infrastructure,” the business leader added.