• Duterte economic agenda ‘translates to more growth’ – BSP

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    The central bank believes that the eight-point economic agenda of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte promises continuity of the Philippines’ resilient growth.

    “I think the eight point-program translates to more growth, because it says that macroeconomic policies will be continued and will impact on spending,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo told reporters on Monday.

    Duterte economic adviser former agriculture secretary Carlos Dominguez last week said the new administration would focus on tax reforms, rural development, ramping up infrastructure spending and attracting more foreign investments, among others.

    One of the most specific points of the agenda is the acceleration of infrastructure spending by maintaining an expenditure ratio of 5 percent of gross domestic product to address bottlenecks in the government’s ability to increase infra spending, including obstacles to developing more public-private partnership projects.

    “‘More public spending’ equals about 5 percent of the budget, so that (promises) more growth,” Guinigundo said.

    He added that the economic agenda also translates to more jobs because the new administration is partial to attracting more foreign direct investment and enhancing competitiveness.

    “More growth, more jobs and more employment, and more education. We have more hope, more life because it says there more support services to small and medium enterprises, small farmers, taxation will be more equitable, etc.,” he said.

    From the BSP’s monetary policy perspective, he stressed that the general public can expect continued consistency of monetary policy with price stability, financial stability and balanced and sustainable economic growth.

    This, he said, will also be supportive of the new administration’s emphasis on the need to achieve 6.8 percent to 7.8 percent economic growth for 2016.
    “It is a big challenge but I think it is doable,” he said.

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