Tax reform, infra top Duterte economic plan
The economic team of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte will flesh out before businessmen the details of their 10-point socioeconomic agenda for the next six years, topmost of which is a commitment to keep the sound fiscal, monetary and trade policies put in place by previous administrations.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the transition team of incoming Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez said Duterte’s economic development team would meet with more than 300 business leaders in Davao City on June 20-21 at a consultative workshop called “Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran.” The workshop is 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 Economic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Ernesto M. Pernia will talk about the country’s economic health. The “21st century-style town hall meeting” will be moderated by incoming Department of Finance spokesperson Paola Alvarez.
Duterte is expected to grace the dialogue, as he is 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 toward 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
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 economic 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, such that the Philippines would become a high-income country in 2040 by implementing prescribed policies.
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