Gov’t urged to conduct information drive on AEC 2015By Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
A Cebuano businessman has asked the national government to disseminate information on the conduct of the 2015 Asean market integration so that local businessmen can prepare for it.
Roberto Go, president and chief executive officer of Prince Warehouse Club, said that it was ironic that since plans of the integration were made early this year, “there was no information on what would happen until some people from the private sector asked what’s going to happen.”
“I am advocating for more information coming from DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and the (national) government about the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) integration come 2015 because we are not prepared for it,” said Go, who is also the Philippine Retailers Association-Cebu board member.
The Philippine government and businessmen are encouraged to prepare the country’s industries for the integration of the Southeast Asian countries by 2015 through the Asean Economic Community 2015 (AEC 2015).
AEC 2015 is designed to make Asean, a single market and production base, and a strong regional economic bloc in the global economy where there will be free flow of goods, services, investment capital, and skilled labor following the liberalization.
The countries that will be integrated include the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and
“Even the businessmen they do not know (what the integration is about) because there is not enough information about what we should be prepared for,” said Go.
Go said that in order to help in the information dissemination campaign, the leadership of the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Central Visayas decided to keep him as chairman of the economics committee.
RDC has yet to elect a new set of officers during their third quarter assembly scheduled in September.
Go is also asking DTI to organize a caravan to send its people around to disseminate information on the 2015 Asean market integration.
“If you are prepared, then you will be better off than your neighbors. And the same goes with our businessmen. If you are not prepared, then that is not good for you,” he said.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano who joined Go in the Sari-Sari Store Festival 2013 which he organized last Saturday said that he also planned to file a resolution when Senate resumes its session to ask the national government to find means to prepare local businessmen for the planned integration.
Cayetano said the country’s adoption of globalization in the mid-1990s resulted in the decline of production in the agriculture and fisheries sector.
“Gusto nating sunod sa uso, but we did not prepare safety nets for our farmers and fisheries,” he said.
Lack of preparation, he said, limit the country’s ability to take advantage of opportunities which result from the agreement it entered into with its neighbors and the enthusiasm of local businessmen to take part in the partnership.
Knowledge also helps local businessmen to prepare for the “dangers” that such a partnership may bring.