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NCR businesses see EoDB, power, traffic as major concerns

THE National Capital Region (NCR) chapter of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said the main challengers to its members are ease of doing business (EoDB), power, and road congestion.

The issues were raised at a news conference on Wednesday launching the 2024 Metro Manila Business Conference (MMBC), which will take place on Aug. 21–22.

By the end of the MMBC, PCCI-NCR plans to present resolutions to the Metro Manila local government units (LGUs) that highlight their leading concerns, according to Hernando B. Delizo, PCCI-NCR vice-president and chairman of the 2024 MMBC.

According to Mr. Delizo, the most common issue cited by business owners in the region is ease of doing business, which they hope will improve through the efforts of the Anti-Red Tape Authority.

He added that taxes need to be harmonized between LGU and national levels.

He said power costs and road congestion result in high logistics costs, a major concern for businesses in the capital.

“This is why walkable cities are important. We are actually pushing for the pedestrianization of areas,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the previous administration looked more into motor vehicles. But if you look at Japan, Singapore, etc., their cities are walkable. That is something we need to do,” he added.

Mr. Delizo said he expects Metro Manila to remain the center for business, noting that it will take time to develop Clark as a new investment hub as part of a broader effort to organize the US-backed Luzon Economic Corridor.

“These developments will take time. Infrastructure development is challenging, especially with the rising cost of raw materials and manpower,” he said.

“Although we are in support of that, depopulating Metro Manila will not be easy… We actually welcome the Luzon Economic Corridor; however, I know that it will take time,” he added.

He said that Metro Manila retains many real estate assets that are not “maximally used.” — Justine Irish D. Tabile