President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said his Administration intends to address the weaknesses of the country’s economic, financial, as well as political policies.
In his inaugural speech in Malacañang, Duterte said his government policies will be based on the principles articulated by two past presidents of the United States.
“The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little,” he said, quoting President
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the 32nd US chief executive.
“And from Lincoln, I draw this expression: ‘You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men,’” he added, referring to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US President.
Earlier, Duterte announced a broad outline for his Administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda as follows:
*Continue and maintain current macroeconomic policies, including fiscal, monetary, and trade policies.
*Institute a progressive tax reform and more effective tax collection, indexing taxes to inflation. A tax reform package will be submitted to Congress by September 2016.
*Increase competitiveness and the ease of doing business. This effort will draw upon successful models used to attract business to local cities, and pursue the relaxation of the Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership, except as regards land ownership, in order to attract foreign direct investment.
*Accelerate annual infrastructure spending to account for 5 percent of gross domestic product, with public-private partnerships playing a key role.
*Promote rural and value chain development toward increasing agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism.
*Ensure security of land tenure to encourage investments, and address bottlenecks in land management and titling agencies.
*Invest in human capital development, including health and education systems, and
match skills and training to meet the demand of businesses and the private sector.
*Promote science, technology, and the creative arts to enhance innovation and creative capacity towards self-sustaining, inclusive development.
*Improve social protection programs, including the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer program, to protect the poor against instability and economic shocks.
*Strengthen implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law to enable especially poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.