How Good Governance and Good Business Environments Co-Exist
By Alyanna Therese Tagamolila
While vaccination efforts here in the Philippines have been steadily increasing, the COVID-19 Pandemic and its effects are far from over. This worldwide pandemic which caused the shutdown of business, establishments and even non government and government organizations have just shown how almost everything is just one unexpected tragedy or occurrence away from complete collapse – this is why it is important to understand that good governance and how administrative and legislative decisions are made in the Philippines affect everything, most importantly, affect you and your business.
Businesses and the Government
A business owned by an entrepreneur or a Filipino individual that is recognized by the Philippine regulatory bodies such as the DTI and the BIR can only operate according to these regulatory bodies’ rules and regulations as well as our country’s economic and trade policies, local community ordinances or instances such as this pandemic wherein the IATF is ultimately tasked with the decision making on the operations of ALL the sectors of country. This means that while we do have our freedom to expand, re-brand and choose what to do with out business, there are limitations to it as well as it can be abruptly taken away from us – unless we do our part and make sure the ones in position make decisions with our business’ welfare in mind.
What we can do as Business Owners?
While it is ultimately the responsibility of the administrative, legislative and local government units of the Philippines to make decisions with consideration to all the sectors of the government and to think of the welfare of the common Filipino such as small business owners; so that we can continue to operate, make enough profit to keep us and our employees afloat and do our part and stimulate economic flow in our community, there are a few easy steps that we can do to make sure that those in power do their part.
1. Register to Vote
With the Philippine voter’s registration ending this month, we at RBMC hope that everyone grasped this opportunity to vote and let the voices of business owners be heard! Entrepreneurship is now just being recognized by local communities as an effective avenue not just for economic stimulation but to lessen unemployment rates, lack of job vacancies and even encourage out of school youth and give them direction. Let’s continue the emerging importance that local governments are giving entrepreneurship and businesses by registering to vote.
2. Critical Assessment of each Candidate
Registering to vote is just the first step – there is still a long road before we can say to ourselves with full integrity that we made our vote count: by making an informed, incorrupt and unbiased vote. Do not just vote for the candidate with the catchiest jingle, the ones who give out money in what we call “vote-buying” or even the ones who use low-comedy and wit – vote the candidate with plans of action that protects your welfare and the welfare of those around you. To help you out, this is what you should generally look out for when studying candidates:
General Plan of Action
Look into the promises that they are making, what do they want to achieve when they become President? Do they have platforms and proposed programs for all the sectors of the country – including a sound economic plan that helps businesses?
Past Administrative/Legislative Performance
More often than not, the candidates that are running have already or are still holding other government positions – this is a great way to assess whether they can walk their talk. Look into laws, policies and ordinances they have passed during the terms they’ve served and if they have done anything worthwhile. Have they used their position to help others in the past? Were they actual public servants or were they glorified celebrities as they were seated on their posts?
This may seem like it isn’t that important but conduct and how they present themselves and their care for the Filipino people matters. You want candidates who embody what it means to be a public servant – those who have integrity and know that the position they will be holding is to serve and not to profit. Look for those who do not partake in mudslinging tactics, do not have questionable backgrounds AND existing cases especially if their existing cases are of corruption and the like.
The way to make you vote matter is to make sure you vote for people who will take action and will prioritize helping the Filipino people – prioritize helping you. This will allow your business to have a safe governing power watching over them who will listen to reason when adjustments in their regulations need to be made because it is harmful to you, your employees or your community. Practice care for your business by practicing care for your country, vote wisely.