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Cebu Chamber’s thrusts right on target

CCCI President Melanie Ng

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI’s) four respective thrusts have bore tremendous fruit in just a year’s time and promises even more significant achievements this year as the body continues to touch more lives beyond its local and regional spheres of influence.

CCCI president Melanie Ng, who recently completed the first half of her term, related that the chamber’s first thrust concerns coming up with an encompassing and efficient communications system to reduce risks to life and property and network better with the agencies concerned.

In her speech feting the election of the new set of Board of Trustees and Officers during the CCCI General Membership Meeting, Ng pointed out that for safety purposes, all cellular phone signals were shutdown during the Sinulog Procession and Grand Parade last January 2017.

In place of the cellphones were seven units of handheld radios as backup communication tools used by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), the Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Police Regional Office (PRO), Cebu Bankers Club (CBC) Smart and Globe, and other government security forces.

Likewise, interpersonal communication across the industries and academe in the Technical Vocation, Education and Training (TVET), including curriculum review under the K to 12 Plus Phase Two Project and other training have been significantly upgraded to elevate the working operations of the parties concerned.

Business climate

“The CCCI’s second thrust is to represent business better by closely working with government to improve competitiveness, sustainability, and prosperity of business. Here, the business-government relations have improved tremendously due to the positive performance posted by the ICT/BPO, tourism, real estate, and other economic drivers,” Ng explained.

Investor confidence has likewise risen not only because of the peace and order situation, but also due to the social lifestyle, cultural characteristics, and environmental protection present in Cebu and the region.

Such conditions have attracted the attention of dozens of Japanese companies in a CCCI trade mission to Japan. Japanese intentions were good as it correlates with national and regional plans of the government agencies like the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for agriculture, road infrastructure, tourism, among other value chains.

“We also sit in a number of top-level bodies such as official private sector representative (PSR) to the Full Development Council and the Sub-Committees on Power and Energy, and Infrastructure as well as in special bodies namely, Cebu Provincial Government’s Development Council (PDC), Cebu Provincial Water Resources Authority (PWRA), Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council (PDRRC), Cebu Investment and Promotion Council (CIPC), and the newly created Cebu Province Adopt-a-School Committee (CPASC), etc.,” Ng added.

Chamber representation Chamber trustees and officers are also represented in the special bodies of Cebu City Government such as Solid Waste Management Board (SWMB), the Economic Development Council (EDC), and the River Management Council (CCRMC); and in the DENR-EMB Region 7 Office’s Metro Cebu Airshed Governing Board (MCAGB), Water Quality Management Assessment (WQMA) Board for the Butuanon River, Central Cebu River Basin Management Coordinating Council (CCRBMC) and the Regional Inter-Agency Steering Committee for Environmental Education (RIASCEE); For the Non-Government Organizations, the chamber actively participates in the Metro Cebu Development Coordinating Board (MCDCB) dubbed as Mega Cebu, in its Research Program and Organizational Development (RPOD) and in the Execom Meeting. As the voice of the business sector, the CCCI has lobbied various advocacies such as individual and corporate tax reduction, moratorium of minimum wage increase, strict enforcement of applicable laws on job contracting; ease of doing business in the LGUs and NGAs concerning ports, transportation congestion problems, and the international shipping practices.

Enterprise assistance

For the chamber’s third thrust to help business go to the next level, the CCCI has partnered with the DTI for “The Kapatid Mentor Me Program,” which aims to help our micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs) develop a good business sense, as well as to assist them scale up and sustain their enterprises.

The chamber president beamed as she pointed out that the chamber inked a MOA for Kapatid Program Presentation, Kapatid Mentor Me Mentee’s Orientation, Kapatid Mentor Me Roll Out, and modular trainings.

This resulted in 26 MSEs completing the program with a resounding success through the able chamber vice president and Dean Nonoy Espeleta and his team of Mentors and partner ladies, DTI Regional Director Aster Caberte, ARD Nelia Navarro and Provincial Director Nanet Arbon.

Last Jan. 24, the CCCI represented in the ASEAN 2017 Launch of the Business and Investment Programs of DTI under Sec. Mon Lopez in partnership with the ASEAN Business Advisory Committee headed by Joey Concepcion. Upcoming trade and investment events lined-up by this present administration this year include the ASEAN MSMEs Mentors Conference, ASEAN Women’s Business Conference, the International Food Exposition, the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival, among others.

“We ended up 2016 and carried over to 2017 the Cebu Business Month 2017 theme “STEP UP CEBU” (Sustainable Technology, Entrepreneurship & Productivity for the Upliftment of Cebu), a strategic innovation of bringing our businesses at the level of competitive advantage, resilient and sustainable in the global market. With our young and energetic CBM 2017 Overall Chair Charles Kenneth Co, backed up by his team, we believe we can make a difference,” Ng declared.

In the Chamber’s fourth thrust, the CCCI advocates for an enhanced organizational capability of the leadership team driven by striving to improve the daily Chamber operations by organizing activities such as coaching and mentoring the CCCI-Bantayan Island Chapter, the Naga City Chapter and just recently, the Danao City Chamber of Commerce Chapter.

“To date, we have a total of 751 individual members and 29 sectoral members. We just inducted 20 new members. With the optimism and even looking forward to more growth this year, as your Chamber president, let me encourage everyone here to capture the opportunities that are before us in this present time,” she concluded.