BAYANIHAN FUND NOT ENOUGH: Big business cautiously optimistic

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    BUSINESS leaders are cautiously optimistic over the prospects of their companies, their industries and the economy over the next 12 months as the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) takes its toll.

    Lim

    According to Francis Lim, president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), COVID-19 response under Bayanihan 2 of P165 billion is not enough and there may be a need for Bayanihan 3.

    Lim in summing up the highlights of the PwC MAP 2020 CEO Survey released yesterday said 87 percent of respondents expect revenue growth, of which 70 percent are very confident, findings that are “telling considering the damage of the pandemic.”

    While many of the CEOs’ aspirations as stated in the results of the survey have been addressed by Bayanihan 2 with its P165-billion support package, “everybody agrees the amount should have been a lot bigger,” particularly the P1.3 trillion proposed under the Accelerated Recovery and Investments Stimulus for the Economy.

    “Many aspirations of the CEOs such as the industry-specific measures, recovery plans , tax incentives, access to financing and government guarantees and wage subsidies … these were all addressed in Bayanihan 2. But we need ca bigger amount, I won’t be surprised if there would be a Bayanihan 3 if government finds the amount not enough,” Lim said.
    Lim also urged government to make sure funding provided will be directed to those which need it through a set of objective criteria.

    These include the industry’s contribution to employment and to GDP and its multiplier effect.

    “We hope the fund P165B billion to go to the right recipients,” Lim said.

    MAP specifically mentioned the P24 billion to be given as subsidy to farmers and fisherfolk; P13.5 billion for health; P4.5 billion for the construction of temporary medical isolation and quarantine facilities and P3 billion for personal protective equipment.

    The survey showed 59 percent are confident about their organization’s revenue growth over the next 12 months.

    Over the medium term, 90 percent of the respondents are confident of revenue growth in the next three years.

    The survey showed 83 percent of the respondents expect the economy to recover in one to three years.

    The findings show 78 percent of the respondents expect losses of up to 50 percent of their estimated 2020 revenues as a result of the pandemic

    To cope with the impact, 80 percent are implementing cost containment measures; 51 percent deferring or cancelling capital investments and 24 percent deferring or cancelling planned acquisitions.

    The survey was conducted by Isla Lipana & Co./PwC Philippines between July and August on 161 respondents.