Bullish: Ayala, Gokongwei, Tan, RSA solidly behind Duterte despite ratings slump – Concepcion
The country’s bilyonaryos are standing solidly behind President Rodrigo Duterte despite the recent drop in his satisfaction and trust ratings due to growing public outrage on extra judicial killings on his war on drugs.
“Despite the ratings of our President which is slightly down, one thing is important: the business community is solidly behind the President,” Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said in a Palace briefing.
Concepcion said there was a great sense of optimism, especially from the bigger conglomerates, all the way down to micro and small entrepreneurs.
He said large conglomerates — “the Ayalas, the Lucio Tans and the Gokongweis among others” — have formed a cluster to work closely with Duterte’s economic team.
“Briefly about a week ago, the conglomerates met with the economic team, we were briefed. And we, for the past actually month or so, have been engaging with them on how the private sector can partner closely with the government in their Build, Build, Build program,” Concepcion said.
“Over the past weeks, they were very much open to really bring the private sector in towards a PPP (public private partnership) or a modified PPP arrangement which was done in the previous administration,” he added.
The Bilyonaryo said there was a sense that “this government really really wants be partners with them in their nationwide building program” specifically in airports.
“We have the unsolicited offer of Ramon Ang of San Miguel for Bulacan and we have also the Ayala group, very much interested in NAIA (Ninoy Aquino Internationla Airport). And together with the other conglomerates like Lance Gokongwei of Cebu Pacific and Michael Tan, they too would like to be part of this partnership, especially in the airport,” said Concepcion.
He also cited the interest of Bilyonaryo Luis Virata for Sangley Airport; and the the Aboitizes, Gotianums, Megawaide, and Edgar Saavedra in provincial airports.
“If you’re saying that there is a weakness in confidence in the business community, definitely not. You have the proposal of MVP group for the MRT. So from my perspective, everything is moving as fast as possible,” said Concepcion.
The bilyonaryo said proof of the business sector’s confidence in the way the President was running the economy was the robust performance of the stock market.
“The stock market hit an all-time high. If there’s no business confidence, you won’t see the stock market making an all-time high,” he said.
“I will always say, the reflection of the business community is really always looking at our stock market. That is the index of confidence for business confidence,” Concepcion said.
According to the results of the Third Quarter 2017 Social Weather Survey (SWS) released Monday, Duterte obtained a net satisfaction rating of +48 (good), a dip of 18 points from the “very good” net satisfaction rating of +66 he got in June 2017.
The survey, which was conducted from September 23 to 27 also showed that the President’s net trust rating fell to +60 (very good) from +75 (excellent).
Concepcion said the large conglomerates have also promised to really bring the micro and small entrepreneurs into the system.
“You have of course the politics and all of that noise there. But we have to remember that the business sector has to be focused on its vision aligned with the government on how in the end, all of these infrastructure will really help many of our small entrepreneurs and eventually the general population,” Concepcion said.
He said that the country was conducive to business and defended President Duterte’s war against drugs, criminality and terrorism as part of the process of providing the right macro environment for business.
“Our country is conducive. Yes the drug war is continuing to be fought by our President and the military. And whatever it is, the drug solution is definitely a problem and the process of solving the problem, we have to trust our leadership on what is the best process,” he said.
“We have to have a country that is safe. Marawi is one instance wherein in the end, it was more than just terrorism. And I’m glad that the President is really focusing on providing security in making this country drug-free. Because in the end, without the right macro environment, no matter what a businessman does to grow and be part of a growing economy, it would be always challenged,” Concepcion said. (PNA)