MAJORITY of Filipinos will be able to feel economic growth if voters elect the right leader on May 9, Sen. Grace Poe said on Tuesday.
“We cannot afford to risk having another six years with the wrong kind of leader. It is up to you to judge that. So ‘yon po dapat ang iisipin ninyo [that’s what you should think about],” Poe told around 600 barangay (village) officials in Quezon City during a meeting.
The elections will determine the country’s economic direction in the next six years, she said.
Poe noted that while the economy has been improving, experts are saying that the country needs to have a steady six to seven percent growth for the next 12 years before the country can feel the difference all the way to the ground.
The Philippine economy has bucked the international downward trend and has rallied in the last six years.
In 2010, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by an average 7.7 percent; in 2011, 3.7 percent; in 2012, 6.8 percent; in 2013, 7.2 percent; in 2014, 6.1 percent; and in 2015, 5.8 percent.
Poe said economic growth can be sustained by creating more jobs and investing in the young workforce, two of the priorities of her Gobyernong may Puso (Government with a Heart).
The senator had promised to allocate the equivalent of at least seven percent of the country’s GDP to infrastructure development.
“This would not only bridge the gap in rural infrastructure needs but also provide employment,” she said.
The senator promised to institutionalize feeding programs for public daycare centers and elementary schools nationwide.
While the projects will cost around P30 billion to P40 billion, they will be a worthwhile investment in the youth, she said.
Poe added that the Philippines will be the envy of other nations because the country’s work force is young.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are 20 million Filipinos aged 15 to 24.