Session 5 of Pilipinas Conference 2020: “The Key Role of the Business Sector in Economic Recovery”

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis highlighted the crucial role of the business community in mitigating the impact of the community quarantine imposed in the Philippines since mid-March 2020. While this quarantine measure was intended to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, it led to severe repercussions on the economy as many businesses have been forced to shut down. Several others had no choice but to permanently close shop altogether. In the process, millions of workers lost their jobs as the country’s unemployment rate reached a record-high of 17.7% in the second quarter. Expectedly, the Philippine economy contracted by 16.5% in the second quarter, the lowest recorded growth in decades. The public health crisis that originated in China resulted in a global domino effect that impacted heavily on the economic lives of Filipinos.

Fortunately, when a domestic lockdown was abruptly imposed in March, the country’s biggest business groups swiftly and aggressively responded to the immediate needs of the most vulnerable members of society. Not only did they help in keeping the economy afloat, but they also made significant contributions in investing in necessary safety measures and COVID-19 testing. Many companies even committed to continue paying their employees despite revenue losses during the lockdown. Thanks to these business groups, employees were provided with relief amid the pandemic.

A recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia revealed that 85% of the respondents agree that to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, the government should engage in partnership with qualified and reputable private enterprises. The same survey also showed that the top issues which private investors can help address are the creation of jobs, expansion of livelihood opportunities, and the alleviation of poverty.

Now that mobility restrictions have been greatly eased in many areas across the Philippines, the business community must get ready to adapt to the post-pandemic world. Interestingly, according to the 2020 CEO Survey conducted by PwC and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), 58% of CEOs are confident that their respective companies will experience revenue growth in the next 12 months. Moreover, 83% expect the Philippine economy to recover within 1-3 years.

It is the private sector that provides significant employment and a stable income to people. As such, uniting both the government and the private sector is crucial in dealing with the ongoing crisis as well as in paving the way for economic recovery and sustained growth.

In light of these developments, Stratbase ADR Institute organized a session in this year’s Pilipinas Conference to serve as a platform for business groups and top industry leaders in the Philippines to share their outlook on the performance of the business sector in both the short- and long-term, as well as the challenges that they may face in a post-pandemic world.


Introduction and Opening Remarks
Prof. Dindo Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

Keynote Address
Dr. Benjamin Diokno
Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

Building a Better Normal through the Whole of Society Approach
Amb. Benedicto V. Yujuico
President, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Labor and Social Policies for National Development and Economic Recovery
Mr. Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr.
President, Employers Confederation of the Philippines

The Role of the Business Sector in National Development
Mr. Edgar O. Chua
Chairperson, Makati Business Club

Prospects for Equity Growth
Mr. Ramon S. Monzon
President and CEO, Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc.

Preparing Human Capital for the New Normal
Dr. Jikyeong Kang
President & Dean, Asian Institute of Management

Management Practices for the New Normal
Ms. Rizalina Mantaring
Former President and Current Chair of the Committee on National Issues, Management Association of the Philippines;
Former Country Head & CEO, Sun Life Financial Philippines

Shared Prosperity for Recovery and Sustained Long-Term Economic Growth
A virtual dialogue with:
Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala
Chairperson and CEO, Ayala Corporation

Moderated by:
Atty. Michael Toledo
Member, Philippine Trade Foundation (Philippines, Inc.)

Closing Remarks
Prof. Dindo Manhit
President, Stratbase ADR Institute

Ms. Elizabeth Lee
Board Trustee, Philippine Trade Foundation (Philippines, Inc.)

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