The Duterte administration’s infrastructure ambitions won’t result in the Philippines falling into a debt trap, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.
“We don’t want to repeat what Marcos did when he borrowed much of his infrastructure projects from abroad,” Diokno said during Thursday’s Dutertenomics forum.
“Every time there is a crisis, we ran out of dollars to pay our debt. Not anymore,” added,
The government’s Build Build Build program calls for it to spend around P9 trillion for infrastructure projects nationwide.
Economic managers have expressed a preference for domestic borrowings and Diokno also noted that the country currently holds substantial dollar reserves.
“We … have very hefty gross international reserves, equivalent to 10 months of import requirements,” he said.
“We cannot be afraid,” the Budget chief said as he also pointed to annual overseas Filipino worker of around P30 billion and substantial outsourcing receipts.
“In fact, we will outgrow our debt because the economy will grow much faster than debt accumulation,” Diokno said.