Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Tuesday, January 3, enumerated five preconditions necessary for the Duterte Government to be able to achieve a 7 percent sustained growth rate.
These five preconditions which must be achieved are: peace and order, addressing the infrastructure gap, investing in human resources, cutting the cost of doing business in the country, and a competitive tax system.
The 2017 national budget seeks to realize these five preconditions as it allocates an amount equivalent to 5.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for public infrastructure spending, Diokno said in a press briefing on Tuesday. The infrastructure investment is unprecedented in the country’s history.
Diokno said the investment will be increased so that by the final year of President Duterte’s term it will be about 7.2, 7.4 percent of the GDP.
The Budget Secretary said this would amount to spending about P8 to P9 trillion. The DBM Secretary also said he is now actively seeking good projects all over the country.
Diokno said investing in human resources means converting the youth into a productive, agile and healthy workforce so they become an asset.
The Budget Secretary undescored the need to cut the cost of doing business in the country as this will further attract foreign investors.
Diokno said the Philippines’ tax system fares poorly with that of its neighboring countries.
“So if we manage to grow by 7 percent, we become the fastest growing country in the fastest growing region in the world and that’s an honor, right? And that would be an accomplishment, ” said Diokno.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella announced in the same press briefing that President Duterte has been named “Person of the Year” by the Chinese Magazine Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly) for being the “Most Influential Person” in Asia in 2016.
President Duterte was chosen due to his stance of an independent foreign policy that consists in distancing away from the United States and forging closer ties with China especially on the economy. Also noted was the President’s thrusts in good governance, anti-corruption and anti-drugs.
Yashou Zhoukan is the only Chinese language international affairs magazine. A prominent columnist dubbed it as the Time Magazine of the Chinese-speaking world. PND/WJG