The private sector is working with the Pasay City government to develop long-term plans for economic recovery from the coronavirus, as it initiates the country’s first public-private partnership initiative, Sulong Pasay.
“This certainly gives a very strong signal that the City is ready to open further and move on to help restore lost opportunities, particularly employment and businesses,” Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (PHILEXPORT) President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said during the initiative’s launch on June 4.
He assured that the sector remains committed to be a partner of the city government in achieving growth goals as it invites more investors to the city.
For one, Ortiz-Luis said the exporters group has not only been a locator for at least 35 years in Pasay City, but is also a strong advocate and driver of business in the area.
He said the World Trade Center, which stands on land leased by the government to PHILEXPORT, has become a landmark of the booming trade activities in the country.
The city also serves as a “catalyst and harbinger” of an increasing number of major locators in the area, including five-star hotels, office buildings/condotels, as well as official quarters of business support organizations, such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he added.
In its manifesto, Sulong Pasay said it is its mission to help attract more investors to Pasay to generate more jobs and revenues during this health crisis.
“To achieve these, we will assist the local government in developing long-term economic plans as well as help organize various sectors within the city such as those in business, the academe, the church, the workers, the women, the youth and the urban poor,” the manifesto read.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) president Ambassador Benedicto Yujuico is optimistic about the partnership of the private sector and the local government in creating a physical and economic transformation of Pasay City.
“The establishment of our PCCI’s Innovation Center is a testament to this belief and aspiration, and with the LGU’s (local government unit) help, we will make this center the front and center of the innovation ecosystem of our country,” he said.
Yujuico said the business organization will be in partnership with technology giants and other key players to pursue a collective dream of making the Philippines the hub of the highest quality technological workers in the future.
“This future starts here, and I look forward to Pasay City’s partnership in this pursuit,” he added.
Ortiz-Luis said Sulong Pasay is committed to help particularly the poor severely affected by the pandemic, noting the pro-people and pro-God development thrust of the initiative.
Other than Ortiz-Luis and Benedicto, Sulong Pasay proponents also include PCCI Chairperson Alegria Limjoco, PCCI President Emeritus and PHILEXPORT Chairman George Barcelon, former Tourism Secretary and PHILEXPORT Trustee for the tourism sector Dr. Mina Gabor, Philippine Stock Exchange and PCCI Council of Elders Chairman Jose Pardo, PCCI Director Injap Sia and Hotel Owners Association of the Philippines President Arthur Lopez.
Sulong Pasay is a non-government organization composed of city-based industry leaders, workers, the youth, academe, church, and other civic leaders.
Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano has lauded the private sector for launching Sulong Pasay as she vowed full support for its initiatives and programs especially those aimed at helping the economy recover from the pandemic.