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In furtherance of a stronger, vibrant, and more resilient business environment in Davao del Norte, officers and representatives of the different chambers of commerce and industry in the province gathered together last April 30, 2021 at the PDRRMC Operations Center to elect the first ever set of officers of the Davao del Norte Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc.

Since its creation as a province, Davao del Norte has yet to constitute its own Chamber of Commerce separate from the chamber of commerce being organized in the cities and municipalities comprising it. Although several efforts have been made in the past, it is only during the administration of Governor Edwin I. Jubahib that the province has strived to realize its objective of bolstering business activity through the creation of a provincial chamber of commerce and industry.

Mr. Arturo Milan, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Regional Governor for Southeastern Mindanao, who graced the occasion, conducted a brief but comprehensive orientation as regards the rationale why it is highly advantageous to businesses to come up with a board of trade or chamber of commerce in the provincial level, especially in an ever changing political and economic climate. According to Milan, chambers of commerce play an important role in local municipalities in promoting business activity in the local level. When elevated to the provincial level, these chambers of commerce meet to discuss and attempt to shape policy that relates to the business and overall economic environment. It will bring the business community together and will develop a stronger local networks, which can result in a business-to-business exchange. Mr. Milan added that it would be more feasible to act as one big chamber comprised of several other smaller chambers from its cities and municipalities, especially in promoting public policy that are in the best interest of business. It is an effective way to influence or lobby their advocacy to community leaders for pro-business initiatives, he added.

Mr. Milan also emphasized on the importance of a stronger partnership between the public and private sector. Chambers should work with their local government and vice-versa to develop pro-business stances. Both can work together in crafting important business legislation that impact the business community, according to Milan.

Immediately following the orientation is the election of officers wherein Mr. Rene Bongabong of the Municipality of Santo Tomas was chosen as the President, and Mr. Ken Lim of the Municipality of Braulio Dujali was selected as the Vice-President. Ms. Rebecca Mercado and Mr. Elmer Zolina, were picked out as Treasurer and Auditor, respectively.

The newly-elected sets of officers are hopeful that their organization will fortify their shared objectives, and will fully represent the voice of the businesses in the province, regardless of size.

The gathering was also attended by Engr. Maria Hazel C. Zafra, who represented on behalf of Davao del Norte Governor Edwin I. Jubahib and Provincial Administrator Engr. Josie Jean Rabanoz. The activity is spearheaded by the PADO-Davao del Norte Investment and Promotion Center (PADO-DNIPC), headed by Ms. Joevynar M. Miedes.

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