‘Powerhouse’ PH economy to withstand global slowdown, says DOF chief
The Philippine economy is “ready to soar” after its strong performance in the third quarter of 2019 and is likely to grow by 6 percent or more for the rest of the Duterte administration, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
This despite international trade conflicts and other signs of a global recession, he added.
According to the head of the administration’s economic team, the massive rollout of the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program and bold reforms by President Rodrigo Duterte support the rosy outlook for “one of Asia’s powerhouse economies.”
The Philippine economy posted a growth of 6.2 percent in the third quarter of 2019 and an average of 6.4 percent in the first three years of the Duterte administration.
“You will find this country an oasis of optimism in a world burdened with trade wars and uncertainties,” Dominguez said in a speech before the Chief Executives Organization (CEO) in Makati City.
He said while most “mature economies are expected to go slower this year, the Philippines stands staunchly as a growth leader in this dynamic region of the world.”
“Against the headwinds of a broad slowdown in the global economy, we expect our economy to grow at around 6 to 7 percent this year. The country is strong and ready to soar,” he said in his speech.
The economic team, he added, was confident of sustaining a growth rate of 6 percent or higher despite the dangers of a global economy sinking into recession.
Dominguez said Filipinos were starting to reap the rewards of a well-managed economy under Duterte’s watch. Unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in 40 years, while poverty rate has fallen to 21 percent.
He said the Duterte administration stands by “our commitment and our ultimate goal to bring down poverty incidence to just 14 percent by 2022.”
This meant a million Filipinos being lifted out of poverty every year, Dominguez added.
The Philippines, he said, was expected to wear the badge of an upper middle income country by 2020 way ahead of schedule. The government is preparing for opportunities lying ahead with this newfound status by investing on a young, talented workforce.
On top of the spending spree through the administration’s ambitious infrastructure program, the private sector is also pumping money into the economy through a construction boom fuelled by low interests, a stable peso and growing demand for housing and office space, Dominguez said.
He said the Build, Build, Build program, whose to-do list has been expanded to 100 highly strategic infrastructure projects, “creates a multiplier effect on domestic economic activity, ensuring continued rapid expansion.”
Edited by TSB
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