The 31st South Luzon Area Business Conference 2022: Accelerating South Luzon’s Business and Economic Recovery was held at the Summit Ridge Hotel in Tagaytay City, Cavite from July 21 to 22, 2022. Organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry - South Luzon (PCCI), the main message this event aimed to convey is that the Philippines is ready and open for business, including partnerships with foreign investors.
According to PCCI, with optimistic economic indicators such as the high probability of our gross domestic product increasing by 6% to 6.5% within the second half of 2022 and the growing employability of our workforce in the local labor market, the outlook is very promising for our economy.
The event was attended by Local Chamber Presidents, Regional Governors, the Area Vice President, PCCI President and Board Members, and other guests. Notable figures who graced the event included Ms. Sallie C. Lacson, Area Vice President for South Luzon PCCI and 31st SOLABC Chairperson; Cavite Governor Jonvic C. Remulla who gave the keynote address; Bacoor City Mayor Strike B. Revilla; Mr. Jayson R. Atienza, President of PCCI - Bacoor and the 31st SOLABC Conference Director; Usec. Ernesto V. Perez, Officer-In-Charge and Deputy Director General of the Anti-Red Tape Authority; Atty. Charles M. Bautista, Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Marketing and Promotions of the Tourism Promotions Board; and Atty. Bevienne G. Malateo, Regional Director of the Department of Tourism Region 4B; among others.
There were four plenary sessions during the conference. Ar. Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr. was among the panelists for the fourth and last session with the topic “Industrial Developments in South Luzon.” Ar. Palafox shared his insight regarding the opportunities available for Filipinos within and outside the country, especially with the resources the Philippines has. According to Ar. Palafox, the Philippines is No.1 in marine biodiversity, voice call centers, sailors, and seafarers; No.2 in geothermal energy; and has the third longest coastline in the world, the fourth largest gold reserve, and the fifth largest reserve for other mineral resources. We are No. 4 in shipbuilding and No. 12 in human resources. The Philippines is 400 times the size of Singapore, 350 times bigger than Hong Kong, eight times the size of Taiwan, and three times larger than South Korea.
The other plenary sessions covered the topics of Addressing Supply Chain Bottlenecks in South Luzon, Emerging Trends and Opportunities for South Luzon’s Tourism, and Fast-tracking the Recovery of MSMEs: Government Support Services. Through these, notable speakers and panelists were able to share presentations about investment opportunities and updates included in the tourism road map of South Luzon; logistic solutions and alternatives in South Luzon’s ports and terminals; different programs and assistance that the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Department of Labor and Employment offer; and securing more investments and establishing more economic zones; among others. These fruitful discussions among business leaders, representatives from national government agencies and local government units, and other thought leaders indicate strong cooperation between the private and public sectors that will help South Luzon enhance its regional growth and development.