He's no Santa Claus but President Benigno Aquino III has been getting loads of wish lists even before his proclamation as the country's new head of state. Here's a list of wishes from the Philippine automotive industry gathered at a recent forum hosted by Sunshine TV and through separate interviews.
"We are fortunate to be in the business of connecting people. Unfortunately, we need better roads, better infrastructure for our customers to use our vehicles and travel to visit their families in the province." - Atty. Albert Arcilla, managing director and chief operating officer of The Covenant Car Company, Inc. (Chevrolet Philippines)
"The traffic situation in the metro has to be improved. The hours-long traffic on the entire stretch of EDSA is becoming too much. Something has to be done about it soon." - Fe Perez-Agudo, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.
"There should be some stability in the policies of the government. How can we set the correct and proper pricing if they will keep surprising us with new bills and policies and regulations?" - Bobby Rosales, president of Asian Carmakers Corp. (BMW)
"The government must take the initiative to strengthen the Motor Vehicle Development Program (MVDP). From what I've seen, there are many questionable policies and loopholes in it that can be exploited. Something must be done to prevent this." - Daniel Isla, president of Lexus Manila
"The influx of gray-market imports has to be curbed. Besides the questionable conversion from right-hand to left-hand drive, these gray-market importers have no facilities, they don't pay the correct taxes, they artificially inflate the figures of newly-registered cars in the Land Transportation Office. This has to stop as it's killing the local car industry." - Greg Yu, chairman of CATS Motors, Inc. (Mercedes-Benz)
"The importation of used cars from Japan, America, and other countries must be stopped. These vehicles don't comply with the local regulations, and the conversion of the steering wheel from right-hand drive to left-hand drive is questionable. From my experience, there is no such thing as a bolt-on kit that can easily convert the steering wheel's orientation " - Taizo Furuhashi, executive vice president for marketing of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp.
"He should be supportive of the local automotive industry. Otherwise, we can kiss the industry goodbye. Support will come in the form of incentives, lower cost of production, income tax holidays." - Art Balmadrid, senior vice president of Isuzu Philippines Corp.
"(We need) a strong and viable MVDP--one that is fair to all formal players and one that will encourage additional investments into the country for both CKD (completely knocked down) assembly and legitimate formal importers doing business in the country." - Elizabeth Lee, chief operating officer of Universal Motors Corp. (Nissan) and president of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines, Inc.
Do you have a wish list for a better automotive environment, too? Feel free to post it on the comment box below.