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Duterte economic team to present 10-point agenda before bizmen

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Duterte economic team to present 10-point agenda before bizmen

Team commits to continue sound economic policies of previous administrations
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 03:46 PM June 15, 2016
A worker stands on a container at a port in Manila on February 24, 2015.The Philippines on Monday, July 6, 2015, secured another credit-rating upgrade from Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd. (JCR), which was also the highest that the country has received from major international debt watchers.  AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE

AFP PHOTO/TED ALJIBE

The economic team of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte will flesh out before businessmen details of their 10-point socioeconomic agenda in the next six years, the topmost of which was a commitment to keep the sound fiscal, monetary and trade policies put in place by previous administrations.

In a statement Wednesday, the transition team of incoming Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez announced that Duterte’s economic development team will meet with more than 300 business leaders in Davao City on June 20 to 21 at a consultative workshop called “Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran.” The workshop was co-organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Mindanao Business Council.

At the two-day consultative meeting, Dominguez will present the proposed 10-point economic agenda aimed at addressing the challenges to inclusive growth; while incoming Socioeconomic Planning Secretary as well as National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director-General Ernesto M. Pernia will talk about the country’s current economic health. The “21st century-style town hall meeting” will be moderated by incoming Department of Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez.

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Duterte himself is expected to grace the dialogue, as he was scheduled to give a response on the recommendations to be generated from the consultation.

First on the list of the 10-point socioeconomic agenda was to “continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary and trade policies,” the draft conference agenda provided to reporters showed.

Also part of the socioeconomic roadmap were:

  • Instituting progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection while indexing taxes to inflation, in line with the plan to submit to Congress a tax reform package by September;
  • Increasing competitiveness and the ease of doing business, drawing upon successful models used to attract business to local cities such as Davao, as well as pursuing the relaxation of the Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, except with regards land ownership, in order to attract foreign direct investments;
  • Accelerating annual infrastructure spending to account for 5 percent of the gross domestic product, with public-private partnerships playing a key role;
  • Promoting rural and value chain development toward increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism;
  • Ensuring security of land tenure to encourage investments and address bottlenecks in land management and titling agencies;
  • Investing in human capital development, including health and education systems, as well as matching skills and training to meet the demands of businesses and the private sector;
  • Promoting science, technology and the creative arts to enhance innovation and creative capacity towards self-sustaining and inclusive development;
  • Improving social protection programs, including the government’s conditional cash transfer program, in order to protect the poor against instability and economic shocks; and
  • Strengthening the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable, especially, poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.

The Duterte administration’s 10-point agenda “emphasizes the need to maintain accelerated economic growth while ensuring that gains are broadly shared by the Filipino people,” the statement read.

It was also “anchored on the long-term Filipino 2040 vision and the next medium-term Philippine Development Planning (PDP) cycle, both led by Neda,” it added, referring to the AmBisyon Natin 2040 vision.

Launched in March, AmBisyon Natin 2040 was aimed at tripling Filipinos’ per capita income to about $11,000 in 25 years’ time such that the country would become a high-income country in 2040 by implementing “right” policies as well as efficiency and productivity improvements.

A survey conducted early this year in line with the AmBisyon Natin 2040 visioning exercise showed that the majority of Filipinos aspire for a “simple and comfortable life,” which Neda had said reflected middle-class lifestyle—earning enough, educating all children until college, owning a car, owning a medium-sized house, finding time to relax with family and friends, owning a business, and being able to travel around the country.

When the next administration officially takes over by midyear, they will shepherd the drafting of the next six-year PDP to suit their development and economic goals. The PDP for the 2017-2022 period is expected to be completed by yearend.

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According to Dominguez’s transition team, the consultative meeting Sulong “is envisaged as a yearly event; the first of an annual series over the next six years, and perhaps beyond, in tandem with a civil society consultative conference.” CDG

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TAGS: AmBisyon Natin 2040, businessmen, Carlos G. Dominguez, economy, inclusive growth, Mindanao Business Council, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Development Planning (PDP), Rodrigo Duterte, socioeconomic agenda
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