• Aquino sees 7-8% GDP growth

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    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday said the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) may hit 7 to 8 percent this year and in 2016, the fastest rate in 60 years.

    The President said he is happy to note that his administration has already achieved a 6.3 percent GDP, which he claims was already the fastest in 40 years.

    “If we could achieve the 7 to 8 percent growth this year, we’ll beat the record for fastest development in the last 60 years,” he noted in a radio interview.

    Aquino boasted that while economic growths posted during the past administration were true, they were only temporary.

    “My predecessor used to say that the GDP grew in successive quarters. That was true. But where did that growth come from? It was largely due to increased consumption, the expenditures on services,” he explained.

    Huge remittances from overseas Filipino, according to Aquino, contributed enormously to the growth of the economy back then.

    Those remittances were what actually pushed the economy upward, he said.

    The problem with that, the President further explained, is that the growth was actually being held hostage by the remittances from countries that may reduce recruitment of Filipinos.

    “Now, what’s the problem with that situation? What if a certain country would decide to stop hiring and send the Filipino workers home? Our economy would get finished,” he said in Filipino.

    The growth that is being experienced today, Aquino also noted, is based on infrastructure spending and improvement in the manufacturing sector and agriculture.

    He cited the 1.04 million new jobs created for the labor force and the Conditional Cash Transfer Program (CCTP) for the poor that ensures students would not drop out from school.

    “We started helping just 800,000 households, now we’re attenting to 4.4 million families [through the CCTP],” the President said.

    “What made our social welfare assistance better is that since last year, we started helping high schoolers as compared to the previous scheme where we were only helping grade schoolers,” he added.

    Unlike in the past, Aquino said, public spending is no longer dictated by politics but by the actual need to have more infrastructure.

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