Year 2016 for the Philippines would be bright with investments flowing and a new leadership expected to tackle by the horn the country’s myriad of woes.
Davao City businesswoman Joji Ilagan Bian said the Asean Integration would allow the Philippines to push its economic strategies on a wider perspective and lift the local economy through interaction with neighboring countries under the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines/East Asean Growth Area (BIMP/Eaga).
Bian,former head of the Mindanao Business Council (MBC), also said she is all-out in his support for the presidential bid of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Bian, an awardee for excellence of Davao City’s prestigious Bago Awards, said: As a Dabawenyo, I am strongly supporting the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 elections.
Duterte is our pride, she said, adding that Duterte’s campaign against crime and corruption is what the country needs.
She said the shift to federalism espoused by Duterte is the key for country to move forward.
Bian, who once chaired the biggest grouping of Mindanao businessmen, said however, that there is need for government to remove stumbling blocks that hinder flow into the country of direct foreign investments.
She identified these as, among others, red tape, labor cost, corruption, industrial peace and unclear government policies.
Bian, guesting on December 22, in Bombohanay program in Bombo Radyo hosted by Brix Flores, predicted that year 2016 would be a good year for the Philippines particularly for Mindanao and Davao City where she is based and where she is among key figures in the city’s economic landscape.
If the negative factors that stymie foreign investors are cleared, Bian said the Philippines faces a bright future especially under the Asean Integration program of the BIMP/Eaga, said Bian, founder of the pioneering tech-voc school Davao City-based JIB Career, who as then chair of the MBC sat in key planning committees during the early days of the BIMP/Eaga, which was launched in Davao City in 1993 by then President Fidel V. Ramos.
Bian also urged Mindanaoans to give their full support to Federalism.
Mindanoans should put more energy into the call for Federalism even if Mayor Duterte, the loudest voice urging a shift from the current unitary presidential to a federal parliamentary form of governance, makes it to Malacanang in the 2016 presidential election, she said.
“Duterte has added passion to the call for Federalism which is a long-time dream of Mindanaoans,” she said.
Bian recalled that she and her group from Mindanao who were members of the Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) during the post-EDSA Corazon Aquino administration proposed Federalism as a concept of governance, but this was opposed.
Bian said the presidential bid of Duterte should be supported by all Dabawenyso.
But she wondered why incumbent Second District Congresswoman Mylen Garcia-Albano has not announced she was supporting Duterte. Congressman Isidro Ungab of the Third District and Congressman Karlo Nograles have already announced their support for the mayor.
If you have the heart of a Dabawenyo, you are for Duterte for President, said Bian, in an apparent broadside at Garcia-Albano, who is married to Isabela Congressman Rodolfo Albano.
In the 2013 election, the biggest issue against Garcia-Albano was that she was not a Dabawenyo being an ‘absentee congresswoman’ who spends more time in Isabela than in the Second District which she is supposed to represent in Congress.
Garcia-Albano run under the Liberal Party in an unopposed reelection in 2013.
Her husband, Congressman Albano, is said to be supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay, the standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), to explain why she has not announced her support for Duterte.