THE plan of the Duterte Administration could lift the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) growth to as high as 10 percent, although tighter global conditions could pose some challenges, an economist said.
In a recent interview, Bank of the Philippine Islands Vice President and lead economist
Emilio Neri Jr. emphasized that if the Duterte administration will be able to deliver the infrastructure spending it targets, the economy’s growth could ramp up.
“If those will be delivered then we will be growing much faster at maybe eight, nine, even 10 percent [GDP growth],” Neri said.
In the first quarter of 2016, the Philippine’s GDP grew by 6.9 percent.
Neri pointed out, however, that the past Aquino Administration was fortunate to be able to ride on a more stable global economic situation.
“The thing is, it’s more difficult for the [Duterte] Administration because the economic cycle is moving towards the opposite direction . . . it will be a lot more challenging especially if the plans are to really step up on the infra,” he said.
Some of the present global problems weighing on the global economy include the unexpected vote of Britain to leave the European Union and the slowdown in China, he said. Tighter global economic conditions could reduce the amount of investment funding available for some projects, such as those under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.
Earlier this week, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) reported that it would allocate P171.6 billion or 5.2 percent of the P3.3 trillion national budget to infrastructure building.
Meanwhile, aside from infrastructure development, Neri pointed out that education and tourism are also sectors that should be given attention in order to boost the economy’s growth.
“Education has to become maybe closer to [the level of]India. So if you want to move high on the value chain, it is really education that’s a must. The higher education people have to provide a curriculum that would match a more competitive outsourcing sector. Tourism, also the same. You have to train people to become very competitive in those areas,” Neri said.