Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Business still optimistic of growth

Despite typhoon damage
Manila Bulletin

Business damage caused by the two typhoons are estimated to have reached P5 billion but the business community does not see this a reason to bring the country’s economic growth to a negative.

Edgardo B. Lacson, president of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, however, said the business sector is still assessing the extent of the damage on businesses wrought by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

“Our estimates point to P5 billion worth of businesses being damaged,” Lacson said. The business damaged by Ondoy was placed at Ondoy but Pepeng was higher at P3 billion.

Lacson said the damages include factories and company operations that have been submerged by flood, lost materials and lost business opportunities.

“Some of our members are affected in the Northern Luzon,” Lacson said.

Lacson, however, said the business damages would have no impact on the local economic growth this year.

In fact, there could be higher growth this year because of increased economic activities for the reconstruction.

On the government calamity fund, Lacson said the government has to realign its budget because it will take time if they have to wait for Congress to act on it.

“The P10 billion calamity fund can be taken from the road users tax,” he said.

In the case of the PCCI, they will be extending financial assistance to the micro and small businesses affected by the typhoons.

For instance, PCCI will be extending financial assistance to some 2,000 shoe manufacturers in Marikina whose factories have been flooded.

“They need some equipment and overhauling of the submerged machines,” he said.

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