LOCAL business owners called on the voting public to help keep today’s election clean.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) President Melanie Ng asked voters to choose their candidates with wisdom and discernment.

“The election is not about who’s right or who’s wrong. In the end, it’s about what’s right for our country,” Ng told Sun.Star Cebu. CCCI consistently maintains an apolitical stand.

“We are an apolitical business organization. We will suport whoever is elected into office,” she said.

For the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Cebu chapter president Robert Go reminded the public to vote from their “conscience and vision.”

“Remember, the leader you vote for will be there to lead your country for the next six years and may push everyone up or may also drag everyone down,” Go said.

Growth in peripheries

The businessman hopes that the people elected into government office have the integrity to improve the lives of the Filipinos by bringing in more jobs. He also pointed out the importance of having government officials who believe in countryside development.

“(They have) to encourage rural growth and economic gains in the towns and provinces so there would be distribution of wealth and possible growth in the peripheries,” Go noted.

PRA is also an apolitical organization, he said.

Since the latter part of April, the business community faced falling a Philippine Stock Exchange index (PSEi). Last May 6, the last trading day before the elections, the benchmark PSEi shed 7.88 points or 0.11 percent.

While the election plays a role in the drop, local financial experts said last week that global external factors are the major causes for it, namely the slowdown of China’s economy, falling oil prices, the possible interest rate hike from the US Federal Reserve, and Bank of Japan’s decision to keep its rates.

“Our economy is really doing well and I think it will do well whoever becomes the President,” said Unicapital Securities business development officer Marco Niño Velasco, citing strong economic fundamentals.

National media also quoted PSE president and chief executive officer (CEO) Hans Sicat of an expected recovery post-elections.

Historically, based on the past four elections in the country, Sicat said the market went up six months after a new administration took over.