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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Speaker Romualdez vows passage of measures to sustain economic growth
13 April 2023 07:00:09 PM


SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez today assured foreign investors and multilateral lenders that the House of Representatives would
continue to pass measures to sustain the country’s robust economic
performance.

He also welcomed as good news the encouraging remarks made by Standard
Chartered Bank Global Head of Public Sector and Development
Organizations Karby Leggett, World Bank Country Director for
Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Brunei Ndiamé Diop, and
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Deputy Director, Asia, and Pacific
Department Sanjaya Panth during the presentation of President
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s economic team led by Finance Sec.
Benjamin Diokno on the state of the Philippine economy.

“We are committed to passing more measures that the Marcos
administration may need to further enhance investment in the
Philippines aimed at improving the lives of Filipinos. I urge foreign
investors to stay the course with us and share the benefits of
progress and development,” Speaker Romualdez said.

During the briefing held at Fairmont in Washington D.C. Wednesday
(United States time), Standard Chartered Bank, WB, and IMF officials
cited the continued strong and resilient Philippine economy despite
global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation.

Speaker Romualdez said the event was part of the Marcos
administration’s whole-of-government approach to attracting more
foreign investments that would create more income and job
opportunities for Filipinos.

“I commend members of the economic team for this briefing. The United
States is a major source of investments and funding assistance. The
World Bank and IMF are likewise principal development funders,” he
said.

He thanked the World Bank and IMF and several big multinational banks
for helping organize the conference, the second held in Washington DC
and the third in the US.

Other Philippine officials led by Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel
Romualdez attended the event.

Members of the economic team who briefed the multilateral agencies,
banks, and prospective investors were Diokno, Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas (BSP) Gov. Felipe M. Medalla, Budget Secretary Amenah
Pangandaman, and National Economic and Development Authority Sec. Arsenio Balisacan.

In his remarks, Diokno said the 2022-2028 Medium Term Fiscal
Framework, which Congress passed shortly after it convened in July
last year, “serves as a compass to steer the economy closely along the
patch of fiscal sustainability and economic growth.”

“The targets and measures under this framework are firmly supported
not only by the President but also by both houses of Congress,” he
said.

He cited economic liberalization measures Congress recently approved
to attract more foreign investments, such as the amended Public
Service Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization
Act.

Last year, Diokno said the economy posted “a 46-year record-high
growth rate of 7.6 percent.”

“This was higher than our full-year target of 6.5 percent to 7.5
percent and exceeded forecasts of local private sector analysts and
international financial institutions, placing the Philippines among
the best-performing economies in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

He said the growth target this year is 6 percent to 7 percent.

“And while slightly lower in recognition of the expected global
slowdown, this target remains high but doable,” he added.

The finance chief pointed out that the government’s fiscal performance
remains strong, with 2022 revenue collections reaching P3.5 trillion
or about US65 billion, 18 percent higher than the 2021 level.

“The Philippines’ impressive economic performance is the result of
years of interconnected structural reforms. Now, we are unfurling our
sails to journal towards shared and sustainable economic prosperity,
and our investments will be the wind driving this forward,” he
stressed.

Pangandaman told the multilateral lender-funders and potential
investors that the government’s priorities and expenditures are
aligned with the medium-term development plan and the 8-point
socio-economic agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
She said the bulk of the budget - roughly 38.1 percent - has been
allotted to the social services sector “to ensure revitalized
education, quality healthcare, and strengthened social protection.”

A sizable part of the outlay was also allocated for physical, social,
and digital infrastructure, she said.

“Here’s the good news: as of last month, the national government has
identified 194 high-impact and urgently-needed infrastructure flagship
projects. These will be given top priority during the annual
preparation of our government’s budget,” he said.

She added that physical infrastructure spending is “aimed at improving
physical connectivity throughout the country through the construction
of accessible road networks, railways, buildings, and flood control
infrastructure, among others.”

Pangandaman mentioned school buildings, hospitals, health centers,
water supply systems, and housing facilities as among the
administration’s social infrastructure projects.

She pointed out that for social infrastructure, P24.13 billion or
US434.3 million has been set aside “to accelerate the country’s
digital transformation.”

“America is an age-old friend of the Philippines. We hope to
strengthen this friendship even more as we continue to nurture our
robust people-to-people ties, invigorate our dynamic bilateral
relations and pursue economic transformation,” she said.

For his part, Balisacan said the government aims to sustain its annual
infrastructure spending at 5 percent to 6 percent of gross domestic
product from 2023 through 2028, or between US20 billion and US40
billion a year.

He said a total of 3,770 infrastructure projects with a funding
requirement of US317.5 billion had been identified, to be financed
through both local resources and investments and assistance from the
private sector and development partners.

“Indeed, the Marcos administration has aggressively pursued several
initiatives to encourage greater local and foreign investment and
private sector participation in infrastructure development…we welcome and urge the investor community to consider placing its resources in the country’s flagship infrastructure projects,” he said. (END)

 
 
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