Ramon Jimenez Jr. the current Secretary of the Department of Tourism and the man behind the tagline "It's More Fun in the Philippines". He is considered as one of the pillars of Philippine advertising being in the forefront of the industry for 35 years and serving as Joint Chief Executive Officer and Senior Adviser at WOO Consultants apart from being in the academe teaching Journalism and Marketing Communications.
Coco Alcuaz, the current business news head at ABS-CBN News Channel and anchor of Business News Nightly. For the past decade, he worked for Bloomberg News as Manila bureau chief as well as in various ABS-CBN units including in the Stock Market Live program.
Rolando Dy the Executive Director of the Center for Food and Agribusiness of the University of Asia and the Pacific. He is a recognized expert in agribusiness strategy, agribusiness models, benchmarking and project analysis. He is currently a senior lecturer of the UA&P's Advanced Management Program and Strategic Business Economics Programs and was a former Dean of the UA&P School of Management.
Roberto Batungbacal, the President of the Samahan sa Pilipinas ng mga Industryiyang Kimika (SPIK), Director of the Federation of Philippine Industries, Philippine Country Manager of the Dow Chemical Company and the Chairman of the Manufacturing Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce.
John Ridsdel, currently a Director of TVI Resource Development (Philippines) Inc., which operates the Canatuan Copper Mine in Zamboanga del Norte, and of TG World (BVI) Inc., which is the oil and gas arm of the TVI Pacific Group of Companies of Canada. He is also a memvber of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines.
Aileen Clemente, the Public Relations Officer of the Philippine Travel Agencies Association and is currently the Chairman of Rajah Travel Corporation. She is also part of TwoEco Inc., a tourism consultancy firm designed to provide professional assistance on various private and public tourism projects.
Jimenez: The numbers you are going to see are hard won and hard fought. But lets start with the good news. There is a growing list of things we were never recognized for before. For example: Top 12 hottest destinations, 2012 best Island in the world, One of the travel destinations in 2013.
Jimenez: How much of this is because we're a substantial advertisement now. It's a combination of both. You don't get on the radio unless you get dressed up for the party.
Jimenez: We are on track for 5.5 million tourists this year
JIMENEZ: 98% of all travel arrivals in the Philippines are by air. These tourists are crowding our airports so we're focusing on airports and their capacity. We don't have the luxury of having land travel.
Jimenez: We've already exceeded out domestic tourism goal of 35.5 million tourists for 2016 as early as 2011 where we had 37.5 million travelers. Domestic travel is the bedrock of the tourism industry.
Jimenez: We are a very highly desire destination. The game has now turned to creating capacity and meeting demand.
Jimenez: The DOTC budget for tourism related infrastructure is P12 billion
Jimenez: The world has not been updated as to whats going on in the Philippines for quite sometime. There were some people in my office who were surprised that Manila had a Makati. Last time they were in Manila was 1979
Jimenez: There are very strong biodiversity partnership programs. The Philippines is probably one of the most ecologically aware countries in the world. We count for 0.2% of the pollution in the world but we are one of the top victims of climate change.
Jimenez: The original tourist arrival target was 6.3 million. But that would have left us at 5th place behind Vietnam. Unacceptable because its going to cost us twice the money to gain market share.
Jimenez: Tourism is a key government industry.
Next up is the panel discussion with Alcuaz, Dy, Batungbacal, Ridsdel, Clemente (biographies listed below)
Alcuaz: Can you point out in your sectors what has been the most challenging in the last two years?
Ridsdel on mining: Mining is an industry that is not advancing to the same degree. The challenge is how do we make mining go forward?
ISHIGAMI: The focus of this segment is infrastructure. We have been working to promote the development of business environment in the years that our chamber has been working in the Philippines. We are attracting more Japanese manufacturers and investors in all industries to invest in the Philippines. The country should prepare to seize this opportunity for investments. In order to do this, the necessary infrastructures has to be in place.
ISHIGAMI: If the PH is to realize its potential as the next rising tiger in Asia, it has to move twice as fast especially in the aspect of infrastructure to increase the competitiveness and business climate of the country.
ISHIGAMI: Government should increase public spending for infrastructures to 5% of GDP by 2016.
Ishigami introduces the next speaker, Mr. Rolando Tungpalan. He will speak about Public Sector Infrastructure Planning Policies and Spending.
Rolando Tungpalan is the Deputy Director-General for Investment Programming of the National Economic Development Authority. He also chairs the Investment Coordination Committee Technical Board and the Infrastructure Committee-Technical Board. Mr. Tungpalan also chairs the National Steering Committee of the Millenium Development Goals Fund.
Ishigami also introduces the members of the panel discussion for infrastructure with a focus on Policy (including PPP), Transportation, Power and Water and Telecommunications.
Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa will moderate the panel discussion.
Maria Ressa is the CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler. Ms. Ressa is renowned journalist in Asia having been at the forefront of the industry for more than 25 years working as CNN's bureau chief in Manila and CNN's lead investigative reporter on terrorism in Southeast Asia. Her most recent book is titled, "10 Days, 10 Years: From Bin Laden to Facebook".
POWER AND WATER: Ray Cunningham is the Deputy Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee and the First Vice President of Aboitiz Power. He was the former Senior Vice President of San Roque Power Corporation and Project Director of the $1.2 billion, 345-MW San Roque Multipurpose Dam Project.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Donard Felbaum is the Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee and the Managing Director of an ICT consulting firm called OPTEL Ltd. He is also a Member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Association of Multinational Companies Regional Headquarters, Inc.
POLICY (INCLUDING PPP): Eduardo Francisco is the President of BDO Capital and Investment Corporation, the investment house of BDO Unibank, Inc. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Capital Market Development Council of the Philippines and Treasurer of the Foundation of Filipino Entrepreneurs (FFE) among others.
TRANSPORTATION: Meneleo Carlos is the Chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries and Private Sector Co-Champion for the Infrastructure Working Group of the National Competitiveness Council. Mr. Carlos is an active advocate of better infrastructure policies and the development of an intermodal and seamless transport in infrastructure system in the country to reduce costs.
Tungpalan now takes the stage.
TUNGPALAN: The progress in the last 2 and a half years in addressing infrastructure bottlenecks is quite successful. The Legal Framework for PPP, Investment Programs and Infrastructure Master Plans are all in the pipeline for completion.
TUNGPALAN: For the strategic action to accelerate infrastructure development as catalyst for inclusive and sustainable economic growth, it includes an increase in infrastructure spending, strengthen coordination in planning and implementation and fast track implementation of other crucial infrastructure.
Tungpalan stresses the need for infrastructure spending to increase from 2.6% to 5% of GDP by 2016.
TUNGPALAN: From 2012 spending of P249 B to P698 B by 2016. That's the plan.