Pernia: Investors not bothered by ‘mundane’ oust-Duterte matrices
MANILA, Philippines — Not even alleged plans to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte, as shown in an expanded matrix released by no less than Malacañang recently, could deter investors planning to set up shop in the country.
The country’s chief economist declared this Thursday when asked how last Wednesday’s fresh allegations of conspiracy to discredit the Duterte administration, as presented by Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo in a briefing with Palace reporters, may impact on investor sentiment.
“Investors – local businessmen as well as international foreign investors – I think they have learned to be transcendent in their view of the economy,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told a press conference.
“They are not really so bothered about these, you know, some stylistic things having to do with matrices,” added Pernia, who heads the state planning agency National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).
“They just look beyond these mundane things. They are more concerned about the performance of the economy, per se,” he also said.
A devout Catholic, Pernia said he had also been telling his friends in the Church as well as members of the media: “Just have a metaphysical view of things; do not be too concerned or bothered about physical, mundane matters.”
But even as the Philippines’ economic growth slowed to a four-year low of 5.6 percent during the first quarter due to the budget impasse, Pernia said voters’ perception of the Duterte administration ahead of the midterm polls on May 13 would unlikely be affected.
Approval of the over P3 trillion national budget for 2019 had been delayed as lawmakers tackled alleged illegal insertions and “pork” in the proposed spending bill.
“I think most voters would have already firmed up their list of candidates that they are going to vote by this time,” he said.
“This news about the economic performance, I doubt if it’s really going to have effect on voting preferences,” he added.
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