DOF chief: Duterte gov’t to usher in ‘irreversible’ economic achievements
The country’s Finance chief was confident that the economic reforms being introduced by the Duterte administration will bring about “irreversible achievements” that will benefit more Filipinos.
“I assure you: this is an exciting economic story, and it has just begun. Stay with us as we stay the course. We will deliver the change that matters,” Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said in a statement Wednesday.
For Dominguez, the 6.5 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth posted in the second quarter “demonstrates well we are on the way to building a dynamic, investments-led and inclusive economy.”
The Philippines’ economic expansion during the April to June period remained among the fastest in the region. For 2017, the government targets 6.5–7.5 percent GDP growth.
Ultimately, the strong growth rates must redound to an economy where “the incidence of poverty is significantly reduced, incomes have improved and domestic consumption is strong,” Dominguez said.
The Duterte administration aims to slash the poverty rate to 14 percent by 2022 from 21.6 percent in 2015.
“We expect even more impressive numbers in the succeeding quarters as private investments begin moving and as the infrastructure program gathers steam,” Dominguez added, referring to the “Build, Build, Build” program.
Under “Build, Build, Build,” the Duterte administration plans to usher in a “golden age of infrastructure” by spending a total of up to P9 trillion on hard infrastructure until 2022.
Dominguez assured that the ambitious infrastructure program “will not come at the sacrifice of fiscal discipline.”
“It will not be a reckless growth that incurs unsustainable debt and causes inflation to spike. We have set clear quantifiable targets against which our performance might be measured,” he said.
As domestic interest rates remain relatively low, the Duterte administration wanted to finance its programmed wider budget deficit equivalent to 3 percent of GDP in the next six years through a borrowing mix of 80 percent local and 20 percent external.
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