PCCI calls for amendments to the Agrarian Reform Law

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The country’s largest business organization is calling on the government to increase landowners’ land retention limit from five hectares to 24 hectares and allow full foreign ownership of solar and wind projects in the country.

On Wednesday, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) listed these two resolutions among several resolutions aimed at improving the economy that will be submitted to President Marcos today on the final day of the 48th Philippine Business Conference & Expo at Hotel Manila.

On food security, the PCCI said it wants the government to adjust the land retention limit from 5 to 24 hectares by amending the land reform law.

According to PCCI President George Barcelon, the retention limit needs to be increased because the current maximum size of just five hectares was seen by many investors as too small to be viable. The proposed limit of 24 hectares is considered sufficient to support commercial production which should, in turn, contribute to securing the country’s food supply.

The resolution also recommended the implementation of a debt cancellation program for unpaid amortizations of land reform beneficiaries and the conversion of land ownership certificates into simple titles.

For the electricity sector, the PCCI is asking the Ministry of Energy to modify the rules and regulations implementing the Renewable Energy Law to allow 100% foreign investment in solar and wind projects.

The integration

The same resolution also urges the national government to accelerate the integration of the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao grids to enable the free flow of electricity throughout the country.

“The government and the private sector have taken initiatives to respond to the pandemic and stimulate economic recovery. PCCI, in particular, spent time with government officials to share and exchange views on strategic plans on economics and sustainability in business in the face of the new reality on the need for competitive and adaptive ideas. new challenges,” Barcelon said during his opening speech on the first day of the two-day conference.

Other policy recommendations

Other resolutions developed by the PCCI include recommendations on health, employment, education, national security, digitalization, environment and climate change, and international trade.

The health resolution urges the government to reform the state health insurance company, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., transforming it into a transparent, science-based health care system.

The government has also been asked to encourage public-private partnerships (PPP) in the implementation of the universal health law.

For employment, the PCCI calls on the government to help micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as to change restrictive and punitive labor laws and to enact laws that will increase productivity.

For education, the resolution recommends amending the Philippine Qualifications Framework Act to create a Philippine Qualifications Authority that will establish and maintain qualification standards for all levels of education and training.

For national security, the PCCI calls on the government to deepen cooperation with neighboring states, expand participation in regional and multilateral defense agreements, and accelerate the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

For digitization, the government is urged to enact the Open Access to Data Transmission Act, a bill that aims to liberalize the industry by lowering barriers to market entry, accelerating and reducing the cost of deploying broadband facilities, and promoting infrastructure sharing.

The resolution on environment and climate change, on the other hand, wants the government to address climate change and environmental protection by developing PPPs to establish water management infrastructure and world-class waste.

To help international trade, the PCCI wants the government to expedite the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and for the Philippines to join bilateral free trade agreements and trans-Pacific partnerships to minimize barriers to the free flow of goods and services. . INQ

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