MANILA, November 26, 2003  (BULLETIN) Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Sergio Ortiz-Luis yesterday confirmed that PCCI is putting together a First 100 Days Plan that the next administration can consider as a roadmap to put the economy back on track and accelerate recovery and growth.

Ortiz said this will be done in consultation with other vital sectors of the economy, reaching out to all stakeholders and encouraging them to lay their concerns on the table in light of prevailing uncertainty and the apparent polarization of the country's political forces.

Ortiz said the plan is being commissioned by the PCCI Council of Business Leaders.

Chaired by former Finance Secretary Jose Pardo, the Council counts among its members former Cabinet secretaries spanning four administrations, business leaders and members of the academe; namely Antonio Cojuangco, Jose Concepcion, Donald Dee, Alberto Fenix, Herman Montenegro, Menardo Jimenez, Samie Lim, Victor Lim, Placido Mapa, Rizalino Navarro, Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Manuel Pangilinan, Cesar Purisima, Juan Santos, Jimmy Tang, Miguel Varela and Cesar Virata.

"This plan, which will be our collective economic blueprint, will essentially take off from the viewpoint that we are in sick bay and we need more than just the bitter pills. Our economy today needs to undergo 'surgical' intervention to get back on its feet." Ortiz-Luis said.

The PCCI President added that radical reforms are necessary to jumpstart the economy. "We do realize that we have long-running problems that have defied solution for decades already. The sad fact is that our leaders know the solutions but most of them dare not bite the bullet because doing so may not be politically palatable," he said.

"Who the country needs is one with tremendous political will, not to mention mandate from the people. He or she must not be beholden to anybody but the people," he said, emphasizing that the private sector has chosen to respond to the call of the times to 'organize the disorder' and allay people's fears that the 2004 elections will further wreck the economy.

"Even as we prescribe the radical measures, we submit that we cannot forego democratic processes. We still maintain that government should only provide the enabling environment for economic growth and that private sector will be the main engine of growth," he said.

Ortiz-Luis suggested that the PCCI would even take it a step further to suggest that the new president should be clothed with special powers to implement necessary reforms. "In order to make a difference, the new administration will have to invest all the goodwill generated from a fresh election victory. Structural reforms should be effected and our leaders must take a pragmatic stand on issues vital to national interest," OrtizLuis said.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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