At HK roadshow, DOF chief urges PH integration into global markets
The Philippines requires more than $125 billion in investment to build efficient infrastructure that would integrate the country into the global supply chains and cope adequately with the impact of climate change, the country’s Finance secretary said.
“The Philippines is estimated to need at least $125 billion in infrastructure investments.
My own estimate is that it’s more, because to be connected to the world, to be part of the global supply chains and tourist networks, you must have world-class infrastructure,” Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said in a speech during the Philippine Infra and Public-Private Partnership Roadshow in Hong Kong last week. Copies of the speech were released to the media on Tuesday.
Being an archipelago, the country needs ports, airports and other inland means of transport to be interconnected so that the movement of people and goods within the country becomes much more efficient than it is at present.
“So again, this is something that we cannot avoid and therefore, I’d like to look at it not as a cost but as an investment in the future, an opportunity to drive further the growth of the country to an even higher level,” he said.
The Department of Finance (DoF) chief also sees infrastructure as a growth driver for the economy, stressing that the country’s fiscal space is dedicated to its development not only to help the country catch up with its neighbors, but also to face the challenges posed by climate change.
“If you look at climate change, it’s double edged. It’s a problem, but we like to look at it as an opportunity, to again leapfrog the infrastructure [development]of our country. Again, being a late mover, we can build better infrastructure,” he said.
This year, the government is aiming to raise the share of infrastructure spending to gross domestic product (GDP) to 4 percent, before ramping it up further to 5 percent next year.
The government had said it was on track toward meeting its goal of raising infrastructure investment to 5 percent by next year, having augmented its allocations for public works and communications under the proposed 2016 national budget.
It said public works and communications infrastructure would be getting a total of P829.6 billion under the P3.002-trillion proposed budget.