AFTER over a month since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed his post, a key official of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) is reminding him, “Business is watching.”

At the sidelines of a discussion on federalism hosted by the Joint Foreign Chamber last week, ECCP vice president Henry J. Schumacher said the business community is closely monitoring the actions undertaken by the incumbent administration, including the controversial fight against drugs and criminality.

“We have to eliminate that (drugs), but we also believe that human rights have to be respected. Business is watching the situation. We have to see how it develops,” he told the local press.

The tally from the Philippine National Police (PNP) shows over 400 drug suspects have been killed from July 2 to Aug. 2, while there were 5,418 persons have been arrested and 565,806 have turned themselves over to the authorities.

Aside from the Duterte administration’s strong fight against drugs, Schumacher also took note of the economic agenda, which the ECCP is supporting.

However, Schumacher said the promise of opening up the economy requires immediate implementation.

“Open up the economy and allow more competition to happen. (This is) not to make everything fine for foreign investors, but to create more competition to provide better product, better service at a better price,” he said.

In addition, Schumacher emphasized the need to open up public utilities and infrastructure projects to make it take off quickly. The involvement of international contractors, he said, would allow them to bring the latest technology into the country.