Another of those economic reforms involves changes in the tax system, including plans to reduce corporate and individual tax rates. Unlike past administrations, the Duterte administration has demonstrated an ability to "move to execution fairly rapidly," said Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chief executive of the Ayala Corporation, one of the oldest conglomerates in the Philippines.
"One thing is words and the other thing is action. I have never seen [reforms] move so fast," Ayala added.
However, whether these measures will be sufficient in placating sentiments among the Philippine business community is something that remains to be seen.
"The proof of the pudding will be what we see by the end of next quarter (in terms of) investments continuing in … infrastructure projects," said Sicat. It will be a good indicator if an increase in government expenditure on infrastructure development is matched by private sector partnership, he added.
In the meantime, both business leaders pledged that they wanted to make a positive impact on the country, highlighting the need for greater inclusivity as the economy grows.
"This administration has stated that inequality is an issue … [and] it's important for the private sector to address the needs of all income groups and not just the group at the top," said Ayala, "It would make me happy to remain a progressive element and a relevant element in our society."
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