Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia met with members of the community Tuesday, Sept. 20 in an informal round-table meeting to discuss the Duterte administration’s economic agenda.
“We have had high economic growth for the past six years averaging 6.2% from 2010 to 2015, resulting in credit upgrades from Moody’s, Fitch and Standard and Poor’s,” Pernia said.
“The Aquino administration was responsible for this good macro-economic performance. New administrations tend to criticize the previous administration. Not us, because we credit the previous administration’s economic policies that resulted in a sharp upward growth trajectory,” he added.
The country’s GDP grew 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016 and 7.0 percent in the second quarter and remains one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia. The average growth rate of 6.2 percent in the last six years has been the highest since the 1970s.
However, despite the high growth rate, the Philippines still has the highest poverty incidence in the Asean region at 26.2 percent as of 2014. Myanmar (25.6%) and Laos (23.2%) are the two other Asean countries with more than 20 percent poverty incidence rates.
The Duterte administration has come up with a 0 to 10 point socioeconomic agenda designed to address this quandary.
“We have an impatient president, he wants action agad. He is results-oriented. He demands action and speed in the delivery of results,” Pernia said.
In order to provide a significantly better investment climate for potential investors, the government is ramping up its programs on peace and order, massive infrastructure upgrades, cut red tape and ease constitutional restrictions on foreign direct investments.
To respond to the uneven growth among the cities and regions, Pernia said that the administration hopes to push for regional and rural development in order to come up with more pro-poor economic growth and building up socio-economic resiliency.
“We have just recently approved nine infrastructure projects covering the first two months of the Duterte administration, a record speed in terms of project approval,” Pernia said.
Plans are also in place, from raising farm productivity to ensuring full, rapid and sustained implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to promoting science and technology and creative arts for self-sustaining inclusive growth and increasing the country’s participation in the global knowledge economy.
Sec. Pernia also discussed the Philippine Development Plan for 2017 to 2022, currently being crafted with the administration laying down the foundation for inclusive growth looking at a more long-term plan.
“This is our plan for the next generation of Filipinos and we can start by achieving 6.5 to 7.5% growth in 2017 and stabilizing with a growth rate of 7 to 8% from 2018 to 2022,” Pernia said.