What the next administration should focus on according to business sector

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 7) — Filipinos will elect a new set of leaders on Monday who, hopefully, are able to help the country recover from losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some experts from the business sector have shared what they believe the next administration should focus on to help the Philippine economy get back to its feet.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Exchange, ING Bank senior economist Nicholas Mapa said the first order of the day would be to ensure investors that the new president "is championing fiscal sustainability and fiscal prudence."

This, as the Philippines is currently "saddled with a mountain of debt," with the current debt-to-GDP ratio standing at 60.6%, he noted. He added this is the first time since 2004 that an "incoming president will be faced with lack of fiscal space, definitely hindering his/her ability to hit the ground running."

Mapa noted that the marching order is to ensure growth but under a fiscal discipline.

In terms of laws, the expert said measures implemented under the Duterte administration, like tax reform programs, should be continued along with laws that could further strengthen small businesses since they could help in boosting the Philippine economy.

Sharing the same sentiment are Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines President Francis Lim and American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines senior adviser John Forbes.

Lim said the next leadership should promote business-friendly laws and push the building of infrastructures. He also noted that local businesses "hope for an honest, orderly, and peaceful elections, as well as a peaceful transfer of power" since such scenario could also affect business confidence.

As for US companies which are mostly on a wait-and-see mode, the incoming president needs to have a strong Cabinet, and continue fighting corruption and reducing red tape, Forbes said.

For small business owners, like Nigel Lirio, co-founder & CEO of MedHyve, and Dante Muyco Jr, marketing director of Chokolate de San Isidro, they hope for the new government to recognize their importance and implement laws and programs that would help them improve their products and reach more markets.