CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — Business leaders are now up in arms over a proposed city ordinance that would require their firms to hire security guards.
Businessman Rene Romero, who is a co-founder of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce annd Industry (PamCham), said, “This proposal is unfavorable for businesses, as not all require security guards. It is anti-business!”
The proposal mandates the hiring of security guards to obtain a Mayor’s Permit.
Romero went on to say that “the government should not shift its duty of providing security onto businesses, as it is its responsibility.”
“This is a crucial moment for the business sector, especially PamCham members, to advocate for their interests. It is the city that has the mandate to protect business enterprises as they pay taxes where it could possibly draw payments for such services. The city must not pass this burden to businessmen,” he said.
A businessman, who requested anonymity, said that if the city cannot protect them by using some of the proceeds from taxes they pay, then they are being forced to boycott paying local taxes.
It is not appropriate for the local government to impose such mandates on businesses, said Romero, who owns the Romac Group of Companies.
“The hiring of security guards must remain a prerogative of the businessmen as it is them who knows exactly if they really need to hire,” Romero told Pampanga News Now.
The trader, who owns the Romac Group of Companies, also told PNN: “Businessmen are puzzled if not confused as to why the city is still pursuing this move despite their expressed opposition to the measure.They are asking who stands to benefit from this requirement.”
The former Director of PamCham noted that currently, there is no compelling data to suggest that the city’s security situation is critically alarming.
“Therefore, it raises the question as to why the city council would insist on making the hiring of security guards,” he observed.
With this, he is urging the current leadership of PamCham to firmly oppose the ordinance, saying that the most impacted would be the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that PamCham is supposed to represent.
“I urge the officials of PamCham, particularly our President and Chairman of the Board, to pay close attention to this ordinance and to firmly oppose it,” he stated.
He is imploring PamCham President Terry Carlos and Chairman Jess Nicdao to attend the hearing on January 18 and present a strong opposition to this ordinance.
He said that if the ordinance passes, PamCham members and the entire San Fernando business community may hold PamCham accountable for not adequately representing their interests.
“If this ordinance is passed, it could have adverse consequences for the City of San Fernando. Existing businesses may choose to relocate to areas without this security guard requirement, and potential new businesses might decide to establish themselves elsewhere. This scenario would result in a significant loss for San Fernando, both in terms of business activity and economic vitality,” he said.