President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges pleasantries with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo during the Courtesy Call at the Music Room of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (May 21, 2015). Also in photo are Chef de Cabinet Ambassador Tim Yeend and Philippine Permanent Mission to WTO Ambassador Esteban Conejos, Jr.. (MNS Photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III exchanges pleasantries with World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Roberto Azevedo during the Courtesy Call at the Music Room of the Malacañan Palace on Thursday (May 21, 2015). Also in photo are Chef de Cabinet Ambassador Tim Yeend and Philippine Permanent Mission to WTO Ambassador Esteban Conejos, Jr.. (MNS Photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) – Local and foreign business groups are calling on the government to implement key reforms as President Aquino enters his last year in office.

The Philippine Business Groups (PBG) and Joint Foreign Chambers (JFC), a coalition composed of 18 local and foreign business groups, sent a letter to the President urging him to enact critical policy reforms aimed at ensuring inclusive growth through job generation, poverty reduction, and global competitiveness.

The PBG-JFC said “qualified, credible, and experienced public servants” should be immediately appointed to vacant posts in the Civil Service Commission, Department of Energy, and the Philippine National Police.

The coalition also urged the establishment of a public-private Energy Council “composed of credible electricity experts who will formulate and regularly update a detailed energy security and price competitiveness roadmap” as well as a National Privacy Commission.

They are also pushing for the release of the implementing rules and regulations of the Data Privacy Act and the Cybercrime Prevention Act

The group also highlighted the need for assistance to farmers and fisherfolk and for improved processes in establishing a business.

Also among the group’s proposals that government should take action on are the “revision of the Foreign Investment Negative List to reduce the list of industries where foreign participation remains limited; intensified efforts to implement with minimum delay critical land, air, and sea transportation projects; and early resolution of the Maguindanao massacre trial and the plunder cases against the senators accused in the pork barrel scam and Former President Arroyo, as well as provision of additional resources to the judiciary.

The PBG-JFC also called for the executive’s support for the swift passage of Freedom of Information Act; Amendments to the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution (Resolution of Both Houses No. 1); PPP Act (BOT Law Amendments) and amendments to the Right-of-Way Act (RA 8974); Fair Competition Act; Act creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology; Customs Modernization and Tariff Act; and Comprehensive Tax System Reform

The PBG-JFC noted that the immediate enactment of the proposals will greatly assist in accelerating the Philippines’ upward trajectory.

The group also emphasized their continuing support for the administration and commitment to work with the government.

The signatory organizations include the Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Employers Confederation of the Philippines, IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Alyansa Agrikultura, Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc., Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce, Australia-New Zealand Chamber of Commerce, Canadian Chamber of Commerce, European Chamber of Commerce, Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Korean Chamber of Commerce, Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters. (MNS)